White Coconut Cake

Total Time:
4 hr 15 min
40 min
3 hr
35 min

1 (4-layer) cake

  • Rum syrup:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light rum
  • Splash coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups baker's or superfine sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Splash coconut extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Coconut Buttercream, recipe follows
  • 1 cup sweetened flake coconut (long, lacy flakes)
  • Coconut Buttercream:
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds (about 8 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
Rum syrup:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Make the rum syrup. In a small saucepan heat the water, rum, coconut extract and sugar until the sugar dissolves completely. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat.

Sift together dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Line and grease 2 (9-inch) cake pans with butter then dust lightly with flour.

In a bench-top mixer (with the paddle attachment), cream butter and sugar until pale in color and light and fluffy - about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula then with the mixer on low add eggs 1 at a time. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk, coconut and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides, if necessary. Once flour is fully incorporated stop the mixer.

Divide batter evenly amongst the 2 cake pans and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. When done, transfer cakes to wire racks and allow to cool completely.

Remove paper lining then carefully cut each cake in half horizontally using a bread knife. Remove the domed top off 1 of the halves so you have 3 flat disks and 1 domed disk (this will be the top layer).

Assemble the cake directly on your platter by layering 1 of the disks on the plate as a base. Using a pastry brush, wet the layer evenly with the rum syrup then spread with a 1/2-inch of coconut cream. Repeat this process of wetting and spreading until you reach the 4th top layer which will be the domed disk. Place on top and lightly wet the entire cake with remaining rum mixture. Cover the rest of the cake with the frosting and sprinkle all over with coconut flakes.

Set in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Coconut Buttercream:

In a stand mixer fitted with whip attachment, whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the coconut and vanilla extracts and pinch salt and blend just until incorporated. Refrigerate until needed, but no longer than 20 minutes.

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3.1 74
Love it- I made cupcakes and added 1 cup coconut flakes to the cake batter itself too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake was ok. I've made better coconut cakes that were light and fluffy. A little too sweet for my taste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a cake that I have made 2 in 1 week. A real hit with all who has had some. Easy for me to make, a keeper in my box! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Most Amazing Cake Ever!! Made this for turkey day and EVERYONE raved over this cake. My mom even wants me to make it again for Christmas. The only thing I changed was the frosting. Used the basic cream cheese frosting recipe instead. The one with this sounded way to SWEET. Also my cakes only took about 32 minutes to cook - so I would definitely cake test yours after 30 minutes just to see how it is coming along. PS This cake was awesome for breakfast the next day too =] item not reviewed by moderator and published
i would like to see the episode DXo103 that aird on 11/13/10 8.00 am item not reviewed by moderator and published
too perfect! it was delious!!! when my family and i made it we brought it over to my sisters house and the LOVED it !! i would TOTALLY make it again :D item not reviewed by moderator and published
Follow the recipe in every detail and you will get yourself a great dessert. I have yet to prepare a recipe by Tyler that isn't a complete success. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this cake during the Christmas holidays to serve at at party. I followed the recipe EXACTLY and it turned out perfectly! Everyone loved it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I actually made this cake TWICE. I baked the cake exactly per the instructions. The cake fell. So I immediately baked the cake again. Followed the instructions exactly as listed. The cake fell AGAIN. My bakeware is excellent (from Williams Sonoma) and I have a Viking wall oven. I think that the recipe is greatly flawed. I used cake flour as directed but there is something missing from the recipe which is needed to make the cake rise instead of turning out like a lead brick item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake was AMAZING! I made it for Thanksgiving 2009 and everyone LOVED it and RAVED over it! I followed the recipe almost to a "T" (I couldn't fine superfine sugar, so used regular granulated instead and ran it through my sifter). It was a beautiful, elegant cake to present after dinner! I told all my friends about it and it was highly requested for Christmas 2009! I can't wait to make it again! Also, I couldn't find the shaved coconut like in the recipe and picture, so I used grated instead and toasted it a little in the oven. PERFECTION! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Thanksgiving Desserts: Pies and Beyond