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Coconut Cake Bliss: Flavorful, Delicious, and Less Sugar!

Delicious Coconut Cake

Coconut cake is a classic dessert that is loved by people of all ages. It is moist, flavorful, and has a delicious coconut taste. This recipe is for a coconut cake that is made with less sugar and more spices to enhance the flavor. It is also made with organic sugar and flaked coconut for a more natural taste.

Ditch the sugar overload and savor a truly flavorful coconut cake! This recipe, inspired by Ina Garten, proves that less sugar doesn’t mean less indulgence. In fact, it unlocks a richer, more balanced taste that lets the coconut shine.

Delicious Coconut Cake

Why reduce sugar?

  • Healthier choice: Cutting back on sugar is a win for your well-being.
  • Flavorful balance: Less sugar allows other ingredients to sing, creating a more nuanced taste.
  • Avoid sugary overload: Enjoy the coconut, not just the sweetness.

Key tweaks for a delicious twist:

  • Organic sugar: Adds texture and a subtle grainy sweetness.
  • Spices: Nutmeg and ginger deepen the flavor profile.
  • Coconut rum: Enhances the coconut essence (optional for adults).
  • Flaked coconut: Adds delightful crunch and natural sweetness.

Substitutions and tips for the Coconut Cake:

  • Reduce sugar further: Explore your preference, the cake holds up well.
  • Fresh coconut?: Use store-bought unless it’s super fresh.
  • Flavoring: Substitute almond extract with coconut rum for a twist.


  • For an extra moist cake, you can brush the cake layers with simple syrup before frosting them.
  • You can also use shredded coconut instead of flaked coconut, but the flaked coconut will give the cake a more authentic flavor.
  • If you don’t have coconut rum, you can use rum extract or another type of alcohol.
  • This cake is best served at room temperature.

While boxed cake offers convenience, there’s a magic to crafting coconut cake from scratch. It’s more than just mixing ingredients; it’s an act of love, infusing each step with intention. Imagine the warm aroma of toasted coconut filling your kitchen, a symphony of textures – fluffy cake, crisp flakes, creamy frosting – dancing on your tongue. The reward? A taste that transcends the artificial sweetness of boxed mixes, bursting with the true essence of coconut. It’s a celebration of tradition, a testament to your culinary prowess, and a gift to your loved ones (or yourself!). So ditch the box and embrace the scratch-made journey. You deserve a coconut cake that sings, not one that whispers.

Delicious Coconut Cake
Delicious Coconut Cake


  • Baking with organic sugar might affect texture slightly.
  • Experiment and find your perfect sugar level!

Enjoy this coconut cake, bursting with flavor and minus the sugar rush!




Delicious Coconut Cake

How to make the most flavorful and delicious coconut cake

My Coconut Cake version contains less sugar and more flavor because spices were added and I used flaked coconut instead of shredded coconut.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices


  • 3/4 pound or 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 2 cups sugar or 1 ½ cup organic sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract or 1 tablespoon coconut rum
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder optional (my personal addition)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg optional (my personal addition)
  • 1 cup milk (at room temperature – better)
  • 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

For the frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound or 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut I used unsweetened Flaked coconut instead


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour. Optional, but not necessary when using good cake pans.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts (or if using coconut rum), powdered ginger and freshly grated nutmeg if using and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don’t be concerned.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
  • For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).
  • To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flaked coconut on the filling or icing. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more flaked coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.


Use a good brand of Coconut Rum if using.
The flaked coconut add more texture and crunchiness to the icing of the cake.
The original recipe is from Ina Garten. My Coconut Cake version contains less sugar and more flavor because of spices were added and I used flaked coconut instead of shredded coconut.


Serving: 1grams

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword cake recipes, coconut cake, Desserts
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

Originally published on September 21, 2016. Revised and updated.

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