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Coconut Cream Cake – a reader favourite!

Coconut Cream Cake. A light tender homemade sponge cake gets filled with multiple layers of rich coconut cream filling. Then, it’s covered completely in vanilla whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Coconut Cream Cake showing a cut slice.

Coconut Cream Cake

Our Coconut Cream Pie recipe has always been very popular in our family for 30 years. More recently, many of our regular readers who have tried it and loved it too.

I’ve always wanted to try using that creamy, fabulous filling in a homemade sponge cake to make a tempting dessert cake.

With a covering of vanilla whipped cream and the sponge soaked in a little coconut rum, I definitely was not disappointed in the result. This would make an amazing birthday cake for any coconut cream pie lover.

Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake

If you loved this recipe be sure to check out our most popular pie recipe ever, Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie, which uses the same filling!

Coconut Cream Pie Image with title text for Pinterest 
If you are a big pie lover like me, be sure to check our collection of Rock Recipes Best Pies.

Top Ten Pie Recipes by Rock Recipes photo collage with title text for PinterestLike this Coconut Cream Cake recipe?

You’ll find hundreds of other sweet ideas in our Cakes & Pies Category and even more in our Desserts Category.

It’s easy to keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes. Be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram

Plus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too. 

Coconut Cream Cake

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Coconut Cream Cake showing a cut slice.
Yield: 12 servings

Coconut Cream Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Coconut Cream Cake - a light tender homemade sponge cake gets filled with multiple layers of rich coconut cream filling before being covered completely in vanilla whipped cream and toasted coconut.


For the Sponge Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs separated, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 cup sugar, separated in 2 half cups
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon flavoring, optional

For the coconut cream filling

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened fine coconut
  • 3 slightly beaten extra large egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 2 oz coconut rum, optional

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp icing sugar, i.e. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup additional dried coconut to toast for garnish


For the Sponge Cake

  1. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper circles for easy release.
  2. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  3. For the meringue base of the batter, beat egg whites and cream of tarter until foamy.
  4. Add ½ cup sugar gradually until egg whites are stiff.
  5. Beat egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until foamy and thickened. Fold beaten egg yolks into the beaten egg whites along with the vanilla (and lemon) for only a few turns before slowly and gradually folding in the flour and baking powder mixture very gently BY HAND using a rubber spatula until just incorporated into the meringue mixture. I mix in the dry ingredients in 3 equal portions. Do not over mix, you just want the flour to be incorporated; over mixing will deflate the egg whites and result in a tough textured final product.
  6. Pour into greased and parchment paper lined 9 inch round cake pans and bake at 325 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until center springs back when touched. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. When completely cool use a serrated knife to cut the two layers into four.

To prepare the coconut cream filling

  1. Scald the milk in the microwave or on the stove top to just below boiling point. Microwave works best as there is no chance of burning the milk.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the flour, sugar, salt and coconut.
  3. Over medium low flame slowly add 1 cup of the scalded milk tot he flour and sugar mixture, whisking constantly.
  4. As you notice the filling beginning to thicken, add another cup of the scalded milk continuing to stir constantly until it begins to thicken again. Add the final cup of scalded milk, stirring constantly. Continue to cook over medium low heat until mixture begins to slightly thicken.
  5. At this point remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto the beaten egg yolks whisking constantly.
  6. Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to constantly stir. Cook for an additional two or three until the filling reaches pudding consistency and remove from the flame. The mixture should just be beginning to boil at this point.
  7. Stir in the butter vanilla and almond extracts.
  8. Chill for about 3 hours or until completely cooled before splitting the layers of cake in half as instructed above and filling the inside 3 layers of the cake with the coconut cream filling.Optionally, you can sprinkle some coconut rum over each of the cake layers before adding the filling. I use about 1/2 ounce of coconut rum per layer of cake.Frost the entire outside of the cake with vanilla whipped cream.

To prepare the Vanilla Whipped Cream

  1. Combine the whipping cream, vanilla and icing sugar and beat to soft peaks and spread on top and sides of the filled cake. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.
  2. I bake about 1/2 cup of dried coconut in a cake pan for about 5-10 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, tossing at least a couple of times every few minutes until the proper toasted colour is achieved.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

12 servings

Amount Per Serving Calories 491Saturated Fat 18gCholesterol 201mgSodium 112mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 2gSugar 36gProtein 8g

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Saturday 19th of January 2019

Could you use a combination of full fat coconut milk and regular milk for the cream filling??

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 28th of March 2019

Can't advise you there. I've never tried that.


Thursday 3rd of January 2019

Hi Barry, My cake turned out perfect . The filling however I did exactly like the recipe stated but it didn’t set & came out more like a sauce. The last step when adding the milk I let it thicken until almost boiling , if I left it any longer it would have burned . I was able to spread it on the layers of cake. Everything else was ok.

Laura payne

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018

Simlpy DElicious ! . We are addicted to the pie and cake. Laura


Saturday 15th of July 2017


Melissa Gilson

Saturday 7th of January 2017

Hi Barry!

I am making the cake today and don't have the cream of tartar for the recipe. Do you think that I could substitute something else?

Thank you!

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 8th of January 2017

Don't know of a substitute. It just helps keep the egg whites stable.

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