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a slice of coconut cake on a black plate with strawberries on top

Easy Coconut Cake

Easy Coconut Cake - a moist and flavorful coconut cake topped with a sweet and creamy coconut buttercream frosting. This easy to make cake is perfect for spring and summer, or any time you need a coconut fix!  
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 532kcal



  • 1 (15.9 oz) box of white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Coconut Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1/3 cup cream of coconut


To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, eggs, water, coconut extract, and vegetable oil until moistened, then beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for two minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until top of cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from the oven and place on a wire rack. While cake is still warm, poke holes over the entire surface of the cake with a toothpick or fork.  Whisk 1 cup cream of coconut and 1/2 cup milk together in a small bowl and pour evenly over the warm cake. Allow cake to cool completely.
  • After cake is completely cool, top with coconut buttercream frosting and sprinkle with coconut (toasted or not). Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

To make the frosting:

  • Beat the softened butter over medium speed with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Continue to beat over medium speed as you gradually add the powdered sugar. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed to fully incorporate all of the sugar.
  • Once butter and sugar have come together, gradually beat in the remaining cream of coconut (about 1/3 cup). Add the coconut extract 1 teaspoon at a time and taste in between for desired flavor. 1 teaspoon is plenty for me.

To make the toasted coconut:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread coconut flakes in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking. Toast until lightly browned all over, then remove from the oven.


  • Where to find the Cream of Coconut: Cream of Coconut can usually be found with the mixers for alcoholic beverages.
  • How to Store: store the frosted cake, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Making ahead of time: This can be made 1-2 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. I do recommend removing it from the refrigerator and allowing it to come closer to room temperature about 1-2 hours before serving, but that's just personal preference. It tastes delicious cold as well!


Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 313IU | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg