Coconut Vanilla Cake, “The Good Cake”

Years ago my brother dubbed this “The Good Cake.” I was nervous when he first tried it because he was so quiet. He took a bite. Then another. And another. I was nervous. I asked what he thought. He said, “I think this is the best cake I’ve ever had.”

Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake

Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake

Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake

This cake tastes like a high-end wedding cake. Unlike most coconut cakes, the base of this cake is actually a vanilla cake that’s slathered with a delicious coconut frosting. It’s such an ethereal combination. The frosting is like a fluffy cloud of coconut goodness!

Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake

Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake

Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake

I came up with this cake years ago for an Easter dessert. I wanted something coconut-y but not TOO coconut-y. Just a kiss of coconut. I’ve made it many times since then and I *finally* thought to do a photo shoot with it so I could post the recipe.

Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake

Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake
2 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups King Arthur Flour all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
4 large farm fresh eggs
Coconut frosting, recipe follows

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add butter to the mixer and beat until it looks sandy.
  4. Combine the milk and vanilla and add to the mixer. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Don’t forget to scrape the bowl as you go!
  5. Crack eggs into a bowl. This way, you won’t accidentally get egg shells in your cake batter. With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time. Make sure each is incorporated before adding the next.
  6. Pour batter into your prepared cake pans. Softly bang the bottom of the pans against the countertop to help settle the batter evenly in the pan.
  7. Bake for  25 minutes for 9″ layers or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven. Cool for five minutes before removing it from the pan. Let cool completely.
  9. Frost with Coconut Frosting (recipe follows). Carefully pat the reserved coconut onto the top and sides of the frosted cake. (I like to add a bit of edible glitter to my coconut beforehand to make it extra pretty, but this isn’t necessary.)

Coconut Frosting
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3 teaspoons coconut extract
3 tablespoons milk
1 bag sweetened, shredded coconut

  1. Beat softened butter until fluffy.
  2. Slowly incorporate powdered sugar.
  3. Beat in coconut extract and milk. Always make sure frosting is the consistency of your liking! Add more milk if needed.
  4. Stir in about 2/3 of the bag of coconut. Reserve the rest to pat on the cake for garnish.

This recipe was featured in an episode of The Rose Table. Watch it now:

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Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake

Happy baking,

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Debbe Baker says:

    Thank You So Much for sharing your recipes! They all sound GREAT! I can’t wait to get started making them! I can tell that you love to cook and bake like I do. Thanks again! I’m a new follower of you. I hope you have a most wonderful and Blessed day today “! HAPPY KITCHEN TIME ! “Debbe’ 💞💞

    1. Katie-Rose Watson says:

      Welcome to The Rose Table! Thank you for your kind words. I hope you find some recipes you like on here. 🙂

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