Home / Recipes / Meal Type / Desserts / Cake Recipes / Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake

Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake

Calories: 1220.9kcal|Fat: 73.6g|Carbohydrates: 131.2g|Protein: 11.1g | 1 hour
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
The ultimate coconut cake raises the bar for homemade desserts. It offers an exceptionally moist texture, a light and airy crumb, and a rich coconut flavor.
cream cheese frosting coconut cake ina garten
Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake is a heavenly confection that embodies the essence of coconut in every bite. The cake itself is incredibly moist, thanks to the addition of buttermilk and coconut milk, which infuse it with a rich, creamy texture. Each layer is delicately flavored with shredded coconut, almond, and vanilla extracts, creating a fragrant and irresistible taste. The cream cheese frosting, topped with a coating of shredded coconut, raises the benchmark for this indulgent homemade dessert, making it difficult to compete with.

Why you’ll like it

  • Indulgent: The combination of cream cheese frosting, shredded coconut vanilla and almond extracts will transport you to a tropical paradise.
  • Moist and Tender: The cake keeps moist, fluffy and tender melting in your mouth with every bite.
  • Easy: One thing that impresses me is how anyone can bake a gourmet cake with little knowledge of baking. Thanks to Ina Garten’s recipe, even novice bakers can achieve impressive results.
  • Showstopper: This cake is impressive, with shredded coconut giving it a snow-covered appearance while cleverly hiding any imperfections. Little Effort – Big Results.
  • Budget: You can easily assemble the cake for less than 10$ and given it’s simple to make you might want to save the $50 to buy it from a confectionery. 

coconut cake ina garten with shredded garden on top of a cream cheese frosting


  1. Make sure the butter, eggs, and cream cheese are at room temperature for optimal results.
  2. Toasting the shredded coconut before using it as a topping adds a lovely nutty flavor.
  3. For an extra coconut kick, you can brush the cake layers with coconut syrup before frosting.

What You Need

  • Butter – Use unsalted butter, at room temperature. You also need a little more for greasing the pans
  • Sugar – Use normal or confectioner sugar for the cake but sifted confectioner sugar for the frosting.
  • Eggs – Eggs – You need 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature. If you have large eggs, use 6¼ eggs to make up for the size difference. 
  • Flavourings – Use pure vanilla and almond extract. Don’t replace it with any other flavourings. If you don’t have it simply omit.
  • Flours – Use all-purpose flour or plain flour together with the baking powder, baking soda and Kosher salt. You can simply replace all these by using self-raising flour.
  • Milk – Use full-fat milk. As a plant-based non-dairy alternative use coconut milk or soya milk
  • Shredded coconut – Use sweetened shredded coconut. Subs with unsweetened shredded coconut if you want it with less sugar.
  • Cream cheese – Use cream cheese at room temperature. Subs with mascarpone.

Save The Coconut Cake For Later

  • Leftovers: To store a coconut cake with cream cheese frosting, cover it with a cake dome or loosely wrap it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Refrigerate the cake to keep the frosting fresh. It can be stored for up to 5 days. Let it sit at room temperature before serving for optimal taste.


Serving the Coconut Cake

If you want to take this cake to the next level you can:

  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or pairing it with a scoop of coconut, vanilla or roasted rice ice cream.
  • Enjoy alongside a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a tropical peach iced tea – a delightful combination.

Health Info

  • Calories: 1220.9kcal
  • Sugar: 98.9g
  • Sodium: 434.2mg
  • Fat: 73.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 131.2g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Protein: 11.1g

More Coconut Recipes:

cream cheese frosting coconut cake ina garten

Homemade Coconut Cake Recipe

Author wellbeingbarista
Servings 10
Calories 1220.9
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Fat: 73.6g|Carbohydrates: 131.2g|Protein: 11.1g


The ultimate coconut cake raises the bar for homemade desserts. It offers an exceptionally moist texture, a light and airy crumb, and a rich coconut flavor.


  • ¾ lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • tsp pure vanilla extract
  • tsp pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt – ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 oz sweetened shredded coconut

For the frosting

  • 1 lb cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 lb confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 6 oz sweetened shredded coconut


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans lining them with parchment paper, greasing them, and lightly dusting them with flour.
  • Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer using a paddle attachment on medium-high speed.
  • Mix for 3 to 5 minutes until they turn light yellow and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer still on medium speed, scraping down the bowl once during mixing.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. Don't worry if the mixture appears curdled.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients (mixed together in step 7) and the milk to the batter with the mixer on low speed in the following way: i) 1/3 milk ii) 1/3 dry ingredients iii) 1/3 milk iv) 1/3 dry ingredients v) 1/3 milk vi) 1/3 dry ingredients.
  • Mix until combined.
  • Fold in the coconut using a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the pans and smooth the tops with a knife.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes until the tops turn brown and a knife comes out clean.
  • Set aside the cakes for 30 minutes.
  • Turn them out onto a wiring rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting:

  • Combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and almond extract with a mixer on low speed
  • Add the confectioner's sugar and mix until just smooth, avoiding overmixing.

To assemble the cake

  • Place one layer on a flat serving plate with the top side down and spread frosting over it.
  • Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides of the cake.
  • Decorate by sprinkling coconut on top and lightly pressing more coconut onto the sides. Serve the cake at room temperature.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Ingredients: Ensure butter, eggs, and cream cheese are at room temperature for best results.
  2. Storage Tips: Cover cake with dome or wrap in plastic/aluminum foil. Refrigerate to preserve frosting freshness; store up to 5 days. Allow cake to come to room temperature before serving for optimal taste.
  3. Serving: Serve with whipped cream or serve with coconut, vanilla, or roasted rice ice cream. Pair with freshly brewed coffee or tropical peach iced tea for a delightful treat.
  4. Butter: Unsalted, at room temperature; extra for greasing pans.
  5. Sugar: Normal or confectioner’s sugar for cake, sifted confectioner’s for frosting.
  6. Eggs: 5 extra-large at room temperature; use 6¼ large eggs as a substitute.
  7. Flavourings: Pure vanilla and almond extract; avoid substitutions.
  8. Flours: All-purpose or plain with baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt.
  9. Milk: Full-fat; substitute with coconut or soy milk for non-dairy option.
  10. Shredded Coconut: Sweetened; unsweetened for less sugar option.
  11. Cream Cheese: Room temperature; substitute with mascarpone if desired.
  12. Variations: 
    • Toast shredded coconut for a nuttier flavor when using it as a topping.
    • Brush cake layers with coconut syrup for an extra coconut boost before frosting.

You might like more…

coffee and walnut cake
Mary Berry’s Coffee & Walnut Cake
Check out this recipe
tiramisu cake
Mary Berry Tiramisu Cake
Check out this recipe
carrot cake with ginger mascarpone frosting ina garten
Ina Garten Carrot Cake With Mascarpone Frosting
Check out this recipe
Mary Berry Carrot Cake
Check out this recipe
Key Lime Pier Mary Berry Serving with Garnish
No Bake Mary Berry Key Lime Tranche Pie
Check out this recipe

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Scroll to Top