Dress-up Coconut Cake

It was my mother in law’s birthday 2 days after mine, so yesterday we caught up with the family for lunch. Earlier in the week  I put the very important question to my mother in law…. “What would you like for your birthday cake?”  Her request was not the type of cake I think I would have ever chosen for my own cake, but I’m glad she chose it, as it certainly widened my eyes to other flavours. Chocolate is awesome, but I think I need to start choosing other things too… like coconut. YUM!


I had a lot of coconut cakes to choose from in Grandma’s collection, but one in particular drew my attention because it used coconut milk in the cake batter. The result was a moist and light cake with a subtle coconut flavour. The coconut was also brought to the cake by the frosting which was topped with desiccated coconut.

The good thing about this recipe is that you make it all in the mixer, which means you get the lick the beaters! First you need to beat the egg whites until they are at firm peaks. Once that is done, set it aside and start the cake mixture in another bowl.


You will need to cream the butter and then add the sugar gradually. Add the vanilla and egg yolks and beat thoroughly. The sifted flour is then added alternately with the coconut milk, in small amounts, ensuring its well combined after each addition.


You can now lick the beaters and then fold the egg whites through the mixture  until just combined. Split the mixture between two 20cm round cake tins which have been lined and greased.



The frosting is made by beating egg whites and then slowly adding the icing sugar and making sure it is fully combined. Once the cakes have cooled and the frosting is made, you can assemble the cake. Take one of the cakes and cover the top with frosting. Place the second cake on top and then cover the top and sides with frosting. Finish by covering the top with desiccated coconut.

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Dress-up Coconut Cake

Serves 10-12
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 25 minutes
Delicately flavoured and soft coconut cake with sweet and silky coconut frosting.



  • 120g Butter (Softened)
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 3 Egg Whites

Coconut Frosting

  • 3 1/2 cups Icing Sugar
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • Desiccated Coconut


Beat egg whites until firm peaks form. Set aside.
Cream butter. Add sugar gradually, followed by the vanilla and egg yolks. Beat thoroughly. Add sifted flour, alternately with the coconut milk, a small amount at a time. Beat after each addition until smooth.
Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in two greased and lined 20cm round cake tins in a moderate oven (180 degree C) for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool.
Coconut Frosting
Beat egg whites until firm peaks form, slowly add icing sugar, beating well after each addition. Spread between layers and on sides and top of cake. Sprinkle while moist with coconut.


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