Coconut Cake

Photography by Michael Caronchi

Coconut Cake To top everything off, local cake designer Karen Vazquez created two versions of her decadent coconut cake. One was garnished with shredded coconut while the other featured a fondant icing decorated with hand-painted oranges and orange blossoms, and both contained a sweet, tropical filling of oranges and lemon zest. Click Here for the Recipe


Serves 10-12 guests (fills a Bundt Cake pan or two 6”x3” rounds halves)

1 teaspoon Natural Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Natural Coconut Extract

6 large eggs at room temperature (separate egg whites from egg yolks)

3 cups of sugar

3 cups of Self Rising flour

12 oz. of butter or margarine at room temperature

1 cup of milk at room temperature


Mixing Instructions:

  • Heat oven at 325 degrees for 1/2 an hour prior to placing your pan inside for baking
  • Generously grease your cake pan with butter
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour evenly, until you have your cake pan coated
  • Place your cake pan upside down and gently tap on the sides to help remove the excess flour
  • The inside should have no flour and butter clumps, nor areas missing your cake “release agent”.  Should you prefer to use a commercial release agent in spray form, I highly recommend Bak-klene, found locally at GFS or William Sonoma
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the following ingredients:
    • Pour in first your 1 teaspoon of pure Vanilla extract followed by your 1 teaspoon of Coconut extract.  Why the Vanilla first?  It helps bring out the flavor in the extracts that follow.  In our studio we prefer to use non alcohol base, all natural extracts to keep baked goods on the healthier side.
    • Continue by adding your 6 large egg whites.  Mix on High until you bring its consistency to a meringue stage.  It should look similar to a shaving cream’s consistency
    • Lower your mixer’s speed to Medium and add the 6 large egg yolks, one at a time, until fully incorporated.  It should look similar in color to “corn meal”, with a softer, foamy texture.  Be careful not to over beat your egg whites.  If you do, you will end up with a dryer product.  On the contrary if you under beat, you can end up with too soft of a product underbaked and prone to sinking.
    • Continue by gradually adding the 3 cups of sugar; a 1/4 at a time, in medium to low setting.  Do not forget to use a spatula to clean the edge walls down, of the inside of your mixing bowl.  This will help prevent your cake from having air pockets or clumps.
    • Reduce the speed to low and alternatively add your 3 cups of Self Rising Flour and 1 cup of Milk, a little at a time.  Make sure to continue to scrape down the edges of the bowl with your spatula.
    • Lastly add the 12 oz. of butter or margarine to your recipe, cover your bowl with the “sneeze guard” and mix on High until you see all ingredients well incorporated and your batter shinny and soft.  Be careful not to make it too runny.  This last process takes about 8-12 minutes depending on your mixer and humidity in your environment.
    • Scrape the sides of your mixing bowl and pour recipe inside your cake pan, and follow your cake pan instructions.  Usually a Bundt Cake Pan will take anywhere from 45-50 minutes in the oven.  Two 6”x3”  will take anywhere from 50-65 minutes when baked at 325 degrees

For your Icing:

  1.  Mix in…
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Extract
  • 5 cups Confectioner’s Sugar also known as 10X or 16X
  1.  Add
  • 1 cup (8 – ounce) container of frozen Whipped Topping, thawed
  • Or
    • Some people prefer a sweeter option or “at Room Temperature Safer” option.  If you do, you may substitute this step by using 1 cup of Pre-made Vanilla Icing (i.e Pillsbury) mixed in with the rest of the ingredients.  If you choose to do so, you may need 3 tablespoons of either milk or water to soften it up.  This will be determined by how much body you desire on your icing.
    • If using as a filling, we normally suggest an additional tablespoon of either water or milk, to keep softer.  For icing, we recommend less liquids to keep it stiffer.
  • If you want to add more body to this recipe, cut down on your Pre-made Vanilla Icing by 1/2 a cup and substitute with 1/2 a cup of vegetable shortening.


  • Use the same recipe described above, but…
    • Add a 1/8 cup of canned or freshly cut oranges with 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon zest for a more “tropical” feeling


    •  With shredded coconut or shaved white chocolate curls

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