From Katie Jacobs:

This recipe has become a year-round dessert that always feels appropriate for any function—snowy in the winter and light in the spring. At our wedding, in lieu of a traditional wedding cake, my husband, Brent, and I chose fourteen different 9-inch round cakes in various flavors. Each cake honored a member of our immediate family and was displayed on a tree stump or antique cake stand. The bride-and-groom’s cake was a coconut cake that was adorned with my grandparents’ antique cake topper. This cake (with cream cheese icing and a hint of almond extract) always takes me back to our wedding day.

Katie and her new cookbook!

Doesn’t this look delicious?!

Shop Katie’s new cookbook: So Much to Celebrate: Entertaining the Ones You Love the Whole Year Through

Coconut Cake

Katie Jacobs
This coconut cake is light, fluffy, and delicious. The cream cheese icing has a hint of almond extract, and is the perfect addition to the subtly tropical confection
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 14-ounce package sweetened, shredded coconut, divided


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, and mix until just incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of the coconut.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the three pans. Bake, rotating the pans halfway until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Transfer the pans to a wire rack. Once the cakes are cooled, invert them onto the racks, then reinvert, top side up. Cool completely. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing (recipe below).
  • To assemble the cake, place the first layer on a serving platter. Using an offset spatula, spread the top with a 1/4 inch of icing. Top with the second layer, another ¼ inch of icing, and then the third layer. Ice the sides and top of the cake with the remaining icing, and cover with the remaining coconut.


Make this cake the day before serving, and store it in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before serving.
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!


Cream Cheese Icing

Katie Jacobs
5 from 1 vote


  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar sifted


  • To make the cream cheese icing, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and almond extract. Add the powdered sugar, and mix until smooth.
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!