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Coconut Cream Cake

This dreamy Coconut Cream Cake is a coconut lovers dream. A white sheet cake is baked then holes are poked all over the top forming edible bowls to collect the coconut cream to be poured on over the cake while it’s still warm. It’s frosted with whipped cream and a combination of both fresh and sweetened flaked coconut for it’s crowning glory. It’s a cake that’s almost angelic and completely irresistible for the coconut fans in your life.

Coconut Cream Cake

Easy Coconut Cream Cake Recipe

I’m a fan of all things coconut and it’s sheer decadence. Coconut cakes have a unique ability to become better and better the longer they sit. The same is true with this coconut cream sheet cake it gets better and better the longer it sits making it perfect for make ahead entertaining and holiday events. I can only make this cake when entertaining as it tempts me beyond my control. The very first version of this cake that I tasted was many years ago when my Mom made it to take to a church dinner. One bite and from that day on, I was a lover of all things coconut. The ease of being able to prepare this in advance makes it an all-time favorite in my Southern kitchen.

Coconut Cream Cake

How to Make the Best Coconut Cream Cake Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Coconut Cream Cake: One box of coconut or white cake mix, self rising flour, sweetened flaked coconut, cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and frozen coconut.
  • Please note, cream of coconut and coconut milk are not the same thing. This recipe uses cream of coconut and it can typically be found with the drink mixers or the Asian foods section.
  • If you prefer to make this cake completely from scratch, you may like use my white buttermilk cake recipe.
  • When using a homemade cake, follow the recipe from the step of poking holes on the top with a skewer or the handle of a wooden spoon after baking.
  • It may seem unusual, but poke cakes are filled as soon as they come out of the oven while hot. In doing so the creamy coconut goodness can fully saturate the cake. That’s what makes this coconut cream cake so very delicious.
  • After pouring the rich filling onto the cake, it’s important to allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  • I frost this cake with a cream cheese frosting, but if you prefer a shortcut you can use fresh whipped cream or frozen whipped topping that’s been thawed, instead.
  • Where do you buy fresh coconut? Fresh coconut is unsweetened and lends a real homemade flavor to the topping for this cake. It’s usually located with the other frozen fruits in the freezer section of most grocery stores. If you’re unable to find it, substitute sweetened flaked coconut in its place.
  • This cake can be made up to 3 days in advance. The flavor of coconut cake seems to get better and better with each passing day.
  • Store leftover Southern Coconut Cream Cake in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Coconut Cream Cake

Special Note for Making Easy Coconut Cream Cake

Since I began making this cake years ago, cake mixes have become increasingly less in volume. To counter this, I’ve updated the recipe to add 1/2 cup of self-rising flour to the cake batter. There’s no need, in this instance, to add any more sugar as the coconut cream filling is quite sweet. Add the flour along with the ingredients called for on the cake mix package and bake accordingly.


More Southern Style Cake Recipes to Make

Sheet cakes are one that bakers of all skill levels can make with success. They store easily and if they have a hard cover, you can even stack things on top of them to save space in the refrigerator. More sheet cake recipes you may like to try:

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Coconut Cream Cake
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4.98 from 41 votes

Coconut Cream Cake

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut-cream-cake
Servings: 16 pieces
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 15.25 oz box of coconut cake or white cake mix plus ingredients to prepare
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 7 oz package sweetened flaked coconut, divided
  • 1 15 oz can cream of coconut
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 6 oz package frozen fresh coconut, thawed


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 x 2 inch non stick metal pan or spray with baking spray.
  • For the cake: Prepare the cake per the directions on the box, plus 1/2 cup self-rising flour. Mix in ½ of the 7 oz bag of sweetened flaked coconut into the batter by hand.
  • Bake per the directions until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean.
  • For the coconut cream filling: After removing the cake from the oven use a fork or bamboo skewer to poke holes over the top of the hot cake.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cream of coconut with the sweetened condensed milk. Slowly pour over the hot cake, spreading the coconut milk into the holes as you go. Allow the cake to cool completely. Chill overnight.
  • For the frosting: beat together the heavy cream, powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and vanilla extract. until light and fluffy. Spread over the top of the cake..
  • Toss together the remaining sweetened flaked coconut with the thawed fresh coconut. Sprinkle evenly over the frosting.
  • Chill for 1 more day before serving.


  • Use one can Cream of Coconut sometimes referred to as Coconut Cream in this cake. The name may vary by brand. NOT coconut milk.
  • Since I first began making this cake years ago, cake mixes have decreased in volume. To counter this, I’ve added self rising flour to the ingredients. Add the flour along with the ingredients called for on the cake mix package and bake accordingly.
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


    1. Hi Peggy, I haven’t tested it but you may be able to. Yes, I would wait to frost after thawing and before serving. If you try it, let us know how it goes.

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this for a few years now the only complaint was I only made one lol. One question could I covert this to mini cupcakes. I’m putting on a tea just wanted a smaller version.

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