Go Back
+ servings
A slice of coconut cake on a white plate. It's a light colored cake, topped with a white frosting, and sweetened coconut.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Coconut Cake

This coconut cake starts with a doctored up cake mix, topped with a homemade coconut syrup, coconut frosting, this cake is irresistible for coconut lovers all spring and summer long! 
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 16


For the Cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted, 1 stick)
  • 1 cup milk (instead of water as called for on box)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract

For the Coconut Syrup:

  • 6.5 oz coconut milk (1/2 a can)
  • 1/2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS light corn syrup
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the Coconut Frosting:

  • 6 TBS coconut milk
  • 1 cup butter (softened, 2 sticks)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt


For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (according to box directions).
  • Coat two 9 inch cake pans with cooking spray. 
  • Beat together cake mix, eggs, melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract over medium speed for 2 minutes (according to package directions).
  • Pour cake mix evenly into the two prepared pans. 
  • Tap pans against the counter several times to spread batter and eliminate air bubbles. 
  • Bake cakes for 20-25 minutes (check according to your box instructions) and bake just until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  • Cool cakes for 10-15 minutes in the pans. 
  • Run a knife around the edges of the pans and invert the pans onto a cooling rack. 
  • Cool completely on the counter, or in the fridge for rapid cooling.

For the Coconut Syrup:

  • Add coconut milk to a small pot. Stir until smooth if the coconut milk has separated. 
  • Whisk in cornstarch until smooth. 
  • Add in the sugar, light corn syrup, and salt. 
  • Heat over medium high heat until the liquid starts to boil. Continue to cook in a soft boil for 1-2 minutes until the syrup is thickened. 
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. 
  • Allow to cool until needed.

For the Coconut Frosting:

  • Add coconut milk to a small sauce pan over low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture has reduced to about half, about 3 TBS. Set aside to cool. 
  • Cream butter for about 1 minute until smooth. 
  • Add in the powdered sugar and beat together.
  • Add in the vanilla extract, coconut extract, salt, and coconut milk and mix until frosting is the right consistency. 

For Assembling the Cake:

  • Flatten tops of cakes to level if needed.
  • Put one layer of cake on a cake stand or large plate. 
  • Brush cake top with about 2-3 TBS coconut syrup.
  • Frost the top of the cake. 
  • Place second cake round on top of the first. 
  • Brush second cake with another 2-3 TBS coconut syrup. 
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake roughly to make a crumb coat.
  • Place cake in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow crumb coat to harden.
  • Continue frosting cake with remaining frosting.
  • Press shredded coconut into sides and top of the cake. 
  • Serve. 


*Total time does not include cooling time.