Coconut Layer Cake

Minette Rushing’s Coconut Layer Cake is a ‘must try’ recipe.

12 to 16
Prep Time
40 Min
plus chilling
Cook Time
25 min
Recipe by
Minette Rushing
Minette Rushing Cakes
Savannah, GA


3 cups (350g) cake flour
1 tbsp. (14.4g) baking powder
½ tsp. (3g) salt
8 oz. (227g) Plugrá® Premium Butter, unsalted, softened
2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
4 lg. (200g) eggs, room temperature
1 cup (242g) milk, room temperature
1 tsp. (5g) vanilla extract
½ tsp. (3g) coconut extract


1 lb. (454g) cream cheese, softened
8 oz. (227g) Plugrá® Premium Butter, unsalted, softened
2 lb. (900g) powdered sugar
½ tsp. (3g) coconut extract
½ tsp. (3g) vanilla extract
14 oz. (397g) sweetened, shredded coconute
Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8” or 9” round pans. Line pans with parchment and spray with pan release or grease and flour pans.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Beat in vanilla and coconut extracts.
Add flour mixture alternately with milk, starting and finishing with flour. Beat on high speed for 15 seconds.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Let cool for 10 minutes in the pans then transfer to a wire rack. Cool until just warm then cover in 2 layers plastic wrap and cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
Gradually add the powdered sugar on low speed. When sugar is well blended, increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, occasionally scraping down the bowl. Beat in the coconut and vanilla extracts.
Decrease speed to low and mix in the shredded coconut.
Assembly: Remove parchment paper and place one layer of the cake, bottom side down, on a serving plate, spread with frosting. Top with a second layer of cake, parchment removed and spread with additional frosting. Top with the third layer, bottom side up with parchment removed. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the sides of the cake to seal in any loose crumbs then spread the remaining frosting onto the top and sides of the cake.
This cake freezes beautifully. Wrap well and freeze for up to one month. To defrost, allow to come to room temperature before unwrapping. The cake is easiest to frost when chilled. Cream cheese frosting must always be kept under refrigeration. Once the cake is frosted, place in the refrigerator and bring it out an hour prior to serving. Leftovers should be returned to the fridge.