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Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake
This coconut cream cake recipe comes to us courtesy of Jimmy Bannos and John DeMers from their cookbook, The Heaven on Seven Cookbook. Where It's Mardi Gras All the Time!

Submitted by: Jimmy from Chicago, IL, USA
Yield: Serves 12


Featured in this Recipe


  • 1 15 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut, finely shredded
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation Instructions:

To prepare the filling, mix 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk with the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the remaining coconut milk, half-and half, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
Whisk together 4 egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl; slowly pour in the coconut-milk mixture, whisking continously.

Return the liquid to the saucepan; whisk continuously while the cream simmers over low heat until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, cook for 2 minutes, and add 1 tablespoon butter. Stir until melted. Remove from the heat and blend in 1/2 cup toasted coconut.

Transfer to a bowl and lay a piece of platic wrap on top of the cream filling to prevent a skin from accumulating on the surface. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until set.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 10-inch cake pans.

For the cake, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 pound butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Add 2 1/2 cups sugar, and 7 egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla and beat until mixture is fluffy, about 3 minutes. Lower the speed and mix in half the dry ingredients. Add the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whip the 7 egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold some of the whites into the cake batter to loosen up the batter and prevent the whites from breaking down. Add the remaining whites, folding in gently until incorported. Divide batter among the three prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool.

To assemble the cake, place one layer on a plate and spread with half of the coconut-cream filling. Place the second layer on top the filling and spread with the remaining filling. Place the third layer on top.

To make the frosting, beat together 4 ounces butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. On low speed, add the confectioners' sugar, heavy whipping cream , 2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt and beat for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Immediately spead the frosting in a thin layer on the top and sides of the cake. Press the toasted coconut all over into the frosting.

More About This Recipe

Nobody I know seems to eat cake anymore. But cakes always reminds me of Sunday church socials in the South, where people's generosity can be found in the foods they serve. Those thoughts inspired this cake. With its toasted coconut, it's sweet, chunky, and nutty all at the same time. Amen!


Based on 5 reviews

Customer Reviews

Hilda J

I was looking for something just a bit different.
When I came upon this recipe and read the reviews.
I tried it. My grandughter needed a cake for a special occasion at our church. A couple of her friends who ordinarily don’t like coconut, they feel in love with this cake. Everyone that tasted this cake really liked it.

Wonderful recipe. I will use it again.


Is it possible to make a whipped cream frosting instead of butter and cream cheese? Looking forward to making this for Easter.

Ruby B

I’m thinking of making this cake for my husbands birthday, but he’s requested a chocolate frosting. Has anyone baked it this way or suggest a frosting that would work? Thanks!

debra m

Wow It is great my husband loves it he is so hard to please He only used to like his mothers coconut cream cake until I found this recipe, Now he tells everyone about how wonderful it taste, His mother even said it was good.This is my new recipe for coconut cream cake, I will be making it for Easter and bringing it to my sister in law’s home. Thank You for the recipe you saved my marriasge no more fighting about the old recipe I had…..

Cathy B

This cake is very moist, with a light texture and a gentle, enticing flavor that makes you want seconds and thirds! I made 2 cakes by using the same measurements but dividing the cake batter between four pans (two were 8 in, two were 9 in). No other adjustments were needed. Someone will have to figure out how much coconut to prepare for the topping, as that is not listed. I used half of a 14 oz bag for the filling and topping, but it was too much unless you really want a lot on top.

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