This post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar! I’ve used Imperial Sugar for years and I am thrilled to be partnering with them. Thank you for supporting the partners that keep the bake offs coming!
With its fluffy vanilla layers and fragrant coconut flakes, coconut cake is a popular treat that I hadn’t tried before moving to Texas. In this bake off, I was on the quest to find my best coconut cake recipe: tender cake, a sweet but not over-the-top frosting, and the perfect balance of coconut flavor and texture. After testing nine popular recipes, we found a wide -variety of cakes–from the decadently rich to the mostly-just-a-vanilla-cake type. Let’s dive in!
METHODOLOGY // RESULTS // FACTORS // ANALYSIS // RECOMMENDATIONS
- 32 total tasters
- All 9 cakes were baked fresh the day of tasting
- All tasters ranked each cake on a scale from 0-10 for flavor, texture, frosting and overall as a whole
- All cakes were baked in a parchment-lined 8 or 9″ cake pan
- Gold Medal bleached all-purpose flour
- Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
- King Arthur cake flour
- Trader Joe’s butter
- Trader Joe’s coconut milk
- Spectrum virgin coconut oil
- Baker’s sweetened shredded coconut
- Bob’s Red Mill baking powder and soda
- Daisy sour cream
- Kate’s buttermilk
- Philadelphia cream cheese
- Hellmann’s mayo
- McCormick coconut extract
- Heilala vanilla extract
- Diamond kosher salt
- Imperial granulated and powdered sugar
PARTNER NOTE: I’m delighted to be partnering with Imperial Sugar on this bake off as I’ve consistently used their consistent, high-quality pure cane sugar products throughout my bake offs. Imperial Sugar is non-GMO verified, allergen free and gluten-free!
For more sweet inspiration, you can visit Imperial Sugar to find more than 4,000 expert-tested recipes, free downloadable vintage cookbooks, sugar scrubs and bath products at the Sugar Spa, and lots of helpful guides on their blog. You can also check out their Pinterest, You Tube, Instagram for even more recipe inspiration!
Coconut Cake FAQ
Coconut cake is typically a white or yellow cake with white frosting covered in sweetened coconut flakes. It’s a popular dessert that originated in the South. Interestingly, coconut cake doesn’t necessarily have to include coconut flavor in the cake or frosting (though most do). The main hallmark of coconut cake is the covering of shredded coconut.
Both coconut cream and coconut milk are made from coconut meat and water. Coconut cream simply has a lower percentage of water for a thicker, creamier consistency.
Meanwhile, cream of coconut has added sugar and water to achieve a syrupy texture. It’s a popular ingredient in pina coladas or other tropical drinks. Think of cream of coconut as sweetened condensed milk (a sugary, syrupy version of milk) while coconut cream is equivalent to heavy cream (the unsweetened, undiluted version of full-fat cream).
Coconut milk from a can has a much higher fat content and thicker consistency. Coconut milk from a carton is essentially coconut milk that has been thinned with water to get to a consistency closer to cow or almond milk. Always use canned coconut milk when baking unless otherwise specified!
Historically, I’ve always been partial to Aroy-D coconut milk because they reliably offer a thick layer of coconut cream. (This means high fat content which is helpful when you want to make whipped coconut cream). However, I think Thai Kitchen coconut milk is a great brand for cake baking because it’s usually very emulsified and doesn’t tend to separate in the can. To be transparent, I regretted using Trader Joe’s coconut milk in this bake off. The coconut cream remained separated from the coconut water even after sitting at room temperature for days–so I had to dump out each can and microwave it to get it to emulsify. When baking with coconut milk, you should always melt down the cream into the coconut water for an even consistency before measuring out the coconut milk.
Sweetened shredded coconut is pretty much the universal choice for garnishing coconut cake. This is not to be confused with desiccated unsweetened coconut, which is typically shredded finer and not sweet at all!
This marks another bake off where my personal favorite was ranked close to the bottom by the overall taster group. As always, I think it’s worth a thorough read of the blog post to understand the profile of each cake recipe rather than just assuming the top recipe will be the best. And please always take the results with a grain of salt as I am an enthusiastic home baker! Any subpar results could be due to baker’s error rather than the recipe (though I always try to disclose when I think error occurred).
I do truly think most of these recipes are delicious and are worth a try, so I encourage you to read through the descriptions of each!
Interestingly, if you’re a frosting person–the top results change when you filter the recipes based on frosting ratings (left, below) compared to average rating as a whole (right, below).
When it came down to choosing coconut cake recipes to include in this bake off, I tried to choose a diverse set of recipes. This included recipes made with different fats (butter, oil, coconut oil, mayo), eggs (whipped egg whites, whole eggs, un-whipped whites, etc.), types of dairy (sour cream, heavy cream, buttermilk) and more. Below we’ll discuss some of the different factors and the ones that I think made the biggest difference.
- Fat type:
- Oil and butter: Historically, this combination of fat tends to perform well among the bake offs. However, the 3 recipes that used oil and butter (Sugar Geek Show, Bravetart and Cooking Classy) were quite divisive among tasters. I think Cooking Classy was generally marked down for its artificial coconut flavor rather than cake texture while Sugar Geek Show.
- Butter: I was surprised to see butter-based cakes tend to triumph in this bake off over the oil + butter cakes. However, I think the added richness from coconut milk helped contribute to a more moist texture than a standalone butter cake. I also think the shredded coconut distracted from the pure crumb texture in several butter-based cake. Basically, I think a butter cake will serve you very well in a coconut cake bake off–especially if there’s another fat source like coconut milk!
- Mayo: Mayonnaise is basically emulsified oil, egg whites and vinegar. So it’s really not that outlandish of a product to use in cake! Thomas Keller’s mayo-based cake had many other confounding factors so it’s hard to say the exact effect mayo had. But I do think it contributed to the more moist texture as oil-based cakes will always be more moist than butter-based cakes.
- Coconut flavor:
- Coconut extract: While popular among the recipes, coconut extract was generally condemned by tasters for having an artificial flavor. I do agree that you can easily end up with a sunscreen-esque flavored cake. I’d generally prefer getting coconut flavor elsewhere.
- Coconut flour: Bravetart’s recipe was the only one to use coconut flour. I think it worked in tandem with the unrefined coconut oil to provide a floral but not over-the-top coconut flavor. However, coconut flour works very differently than AP flour, so I’d be wary of swapping it into recipes casually.
- Unrefined coconut oil: See above. I think swapping out half butter for coconut oil in your favorite recipe could be a great way to maintain the texture while adding more coconut flavor.
- Shredded coconut: Adding shredded coconut to the cake batter is a great way to get a subtle kick of coconut flavor (it’s really not that strong!). However, I don’t enjoy the bumpy texture that coconut adds to cake, so it’s a trade off if you feel similarly. Some people do enjoy the heartier texture though!
- Dairy type:
- Sour cream: Over the course of conducting more than 40 bake offs, sour cream has become one of my favorite dairy types to use in cake because of the moisture it brings. Sally’s (the top-rated) was the only one to use sour cream in this batch of cakes. Coincidence? Could be, but I think sour cream truly does contribute to a delightfully moist crumb.
- Heavy cream: I was hopeful that the heavy cream in Peninsula Grill’s recipe would turn out a dreamily rich crumb, but unfortunately there were too many other factors to really taste the difference. And using the heavy cream in conjunction with all-purpose flour didn’t lead to the fine crumb I’d hoped for.
- Buttermilk: Both Sugar Geek Show and Thomas Keller used buttermilk, which I think serves as a paler imitation of sour cream in cakes. Still good, but won’t lead to as moist a crumb.
- Coconut milk: Most recipes used coconut milk as a moistener, which is an excellent way to both moisten a cake and provide more fat. (Sally’s uses coconut milk + sour cream, a great combination). Note that the flavor of the coconut milk is so subtle that most people couldn’t detect it when it was the only coconut product used in a cake.
- Creaming method: Preppy Kitchen was the only recipe to deviate from the traditional creaming cake method with the reverse creaming method. Preppy’s recipe was extremely similar to Sally’s (scaled up but with less egg whites) with reverse creaming as the main difference. I thin the technique is less noticeable in this case because of the coconut flakes mixed into the batter. The finer details of the cake crumb gets lost with the consistency of the coconut. So while I typically prefer a reverse creamed cake, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it if you are planning to add coconut in the batter.
VIDEO TASTING REVIEW
If you’d rather listen or watch rather than read, here’s my review of all 9 cakes from my New York apartment. You can get even more up close and personal with each cake!
Analysis of the Best Coconut Cakes
Thomas Keller: a light and spongy cake with a cloud-like meringue
Thomas Keller’s recipe was possibly the most unique–he omits butter or oil in favor of mayonnaise as the primary fat source. His recipe also includes coconut milk, buttermilk, coconut and vanilla extract, and whipped egg whites that get folded into the batter. (Note: he specifies that desiccated coconut gets added to the batter. I used sweetened shredded coconut but wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be unsweetened). The frosting is also unique–a simple meringue made from whipped egg whites cooked with a hot sugar syrup.
This cake had the most amazing light, fluffy, sponge cake-like texture. It’s moist and airy without being chewy and feels like a great textural match for the delicate meringue frosting. However, I didn’t care for the sour flavor that permeated the cake. The combination of the buttermilk, mayo and coconut extract simply didn’t work well together–the pervading flavor felt mostly eggy with sour notes. I also didn’t love the flavor of the meringue with the cake–it feels like foamy sugar on top of the cake. This cake does get more moist as it sits (possibly absorbing moisture from the meringue??), which could be a plus for some. Overall, I probably wouldn’t make this again.
- I like the texture of this one, very light. Doesn’t taste like coconut. I really like the meringue frosting. This is yummy but no part of this tastes like a coconut cake
- This one felt the most “tropical” in a way. Maybe bc the frosting was more like a meringue. I liked that is was different than the others but overall it was middle of the road for me.
- I think I prefer the drier cakes to the splodgier ones for coconut cake, so I didn’t like the texture of the cake here. It also paired strangely with the frosting
- Cake was overly moist and had a very overpowering taste that wasn’t initially screaming coconut, just artificial. By far my least favorite of the cakes. The frosting was okay but didn’t have much flavor on my own.
- Cake was too spongy. Definitely did not like the meringue topping/frosting. Might be my least favorite.
Cooking Classy: a fine-crumbed, tender but slightly drier cake with artificial coconut flavor
Jaclyn’s recipe had a few hallmarks of my ideal cake recipe: cake flour for a fine crumb and a mix of butter and oil for flavor and a moist texture. I also like that she uses coconut milk to moisten the cake (adding flavor and more fat in one swoop). She calls for a mix of yolks with a higher proportion of egg whites that get whipped and folded into the batter. The frosting is a typical cream cheese buttercream with a bit of coconut extract for flavor.
I was shocked that this cake scored as low as it did among the tasters. To me, this was my ideal light, tight-crumbed cake texture that remained soft and tender. I think some found this cake too dry, but I think it rides the line of just-moist-enough. The crumb felt very similar to Bravetart but spiked with artificial coconut flavor (not my favorite) instead of Bravetart’s more natural coconut flavor. I do think an off-putting aftertaste from the coconut extract put many tasters off. The cream cheese buttercream is a bit sugary with a mild tang–a winning pair for me personally! This is one of my favorites and I’ve already made again. (I’ll likely omit the coconut extract for white cake applications in the future!)
- The texture on this one is really nice, it’s very fluffy and soft. However, I can taste the coconut extract in it. It has a bit of an artificial, almost sunscreen taste to it. The frosting tastes like a regular cream cheese frosting, so it didn’t stand out to me.
- This cake is very light and airy, the frosting really pops in this cake because its tangy and balances the cake as a whole. very light not too sweet and not too heavy on the coconut flavor. Great for a snacking cake.
- Not a lot of flavor overall, favorite part was the cream cheese in the frosting. Didn’t get much coconut and the cake texture was a bit dry.
- Very light cake but maybe wish there was more fat in it? Frosting is again delish (cream cheese?) but coconut flavor is very mild, would love stronger coconut. A little artificial tasting.
- Way too sweet and vanilla-y too. Cake texture is more powdery, dry and a little crumbly. Icing is a litle grainy
Cheryl Day: a sweet, moist, coarsely crumbed cake with a decadent filling
Cheryl’s recipe stood out from the crowd for two reasons: she uses cream of coconut and water as the main moisturizing ingredients and a pinch of cardamom for flavor. Her recipe also had one of the highest ratios of egg. I was curious to see how cream of coconut (a syrup made from coconut milk with additional sugar) would affect the texture and sweetness of the cake. Cheryl also adds a coconut milk soak to the cake along with a coconut-studded filling with heavy cream and butter.
Ultimately, I didn’t notice the cream of coconut contributing to a notably different texture of this cake. It did have a moist, coarse crumb that was more open than others. The flavor is significantly more eggy and not very coconutty–the pinch of cardamom actually adds a warming note that’s surprisingly noticeable compared to others (but would be quite subtle on its own). This cake was slightly drier than the similar Peninsula Grill recipe. But with the added cake soak and decadent coconut-stuffed filling, the overall effect is quite moist, decadent and sweet.
- Wow! This one is my favorite of the bunch. It has a great coconut flavor that’s strong but not overpowering or artificial. I love the filling in the middle and all of the shredded coconut. This one has the best taste and texture.
- Really liked this one. Felt like there was a more interesting layer of flavor or spice in the cake that adds a nice warmness–maybe nutmeg or cardamom? The tiered aspect made it feel more moist and complete as a bite. Icing was a bit too sweet though
- Crumb is light but a touch dry. The cake flavor wasn’t pure coconut for me and almost had a hint of artificial tropical or even slight banana flavor? The frosting tastes (in a good way) like Betty Crocker – almost a vanilla-ish frosting base with the added shredded coconut. I liked that it was two layers as both layers of frosting really saved the cake for me and gave it a stronger and good overall coconut taste.
- This cake had an odd flavor to it, but I could not figure out why (maybe some sort of extract or flavoring) but it did not pair well. The filling of the cake + the very sweet frosting make this cake overbearingly sweet and did not pair well with the flavor and texture of the cake.
- Tasted very very artificial as soon as it hit my mouth and that was the overwhelming taste…it didn’t even taste like artificial coconut but I can’t pinpoint what else it could be. also much too sweet for my liking!
- The frosting tasted like pure icing sugar. Too sweet.
Peninsula Grill: an over-the-top moist, eggy and sweet cake with a macaroon-like filling
This recipe comes from Peninsula Grill, a restaurant in Charleston with a renowned coconut cake. It’s somewhat similar to Cheryl Day but uses heavy cream instead of cream of coconut. I was excited to see how the extra fat from the heavy cream tenderized the crumb. It also uses an oddly small amount of coconut oil (1 tsp) to 2 cups of butter. (I used the unrefined virgin coconut oil I already had on hand for Bravetart’s cake as the recipe doesn’t specify whether it should be refined or unrefined.) The cake as served in the restaurant uses a cake soak, filling and creme anglaise–I omitted the latter for the purposes of the bake off.
This had a very similar texture to Cheryl Day–just more moist. The cake itself is sweet, moist and coarse-crumbed with a decently eggy flavor. Some people liked the cornbread-y, open crumb while others felt it was too crumbly (I found it too coarse for my liking). This cake almost gives the air of a German chocolate cake with the very sweet, coconutty filling that overflows from between the cake layers. I’m a huge fan of the caramelized flavors that toasted coconut provides, so I liked the contrast of the toasted topping against the macaroon-like coconut filling. Overall, this cake would be great for a really sweet, decadent showstopper for those who like a lot of texture in a cake.
- Cake has a good taste and texture. This cake was the most interesting with the toasted coconut topping and the filling-like layer. Strong coconut flavor without being too overpowering. On its own frosting is very sweet but as a whole the cake is balanced nicely and doesn’t taste overly sweet. Enjoyed the texture the toasted coconut added
- The cake is very dense and decadent, the coconut filling was great but pretty sweet. The frosting was very nice. It’s a pretty heavy cake, but a great coconut flavor.
- I really like this one, especially the filling inside the cake, which makes the cake moist. It’s a great bite with the combination of the frosting, cake, and filling. The flavor is strongly coconut but doesn’t taste artificial.
- Cake texture is like cornbread: a little dry, crumbly, and coarse. I’m not a huge fan of the macaroon-like filling. ghlight of the cake is the frosting which has a silky smooth texture and a balanced sweetness
- Cake was too crumbly and dry. Didn’t have any coconut flavor but did have toastiness. The texture of frosting was good but a little too sweet. Wouldn’t be able to tell it was coconut cake if not for the shaved coconut
- Had taste and texture of a olive oil cake. Not at all what you’d want a coconut cake to be.
Sugar Geek Show: a shaggy, textured, slightly drier toasted coconut-filled cake
Sugar Geek Show is another oil and butter-based cake. Unlike Bravetart and Cooking Classy which use coconut milk, Sugar Geek Show pairs the oil and butter base with buttermilk. Similarly to Cooking Classy, this recipe also calls for whipped egg whites that get folded into the batter–but Liz uses the same amount of yolks. This recipe also uses all-purpose flour and sweetened shredded coconut that gets folded into the batter. The cream cheese frosting uses a 2:1 ratio of cream cheese to butter.
This cake had a uniquely, shaggy crumb perfumed with coconut! It felt simultaneously dense but airy with a very slight eggy flavor to match the golden hue of the crumb. The crumb felt a little drier, akin to King Arthur–if I made this again, I might try increasing the oil or swapping buttermilk for sour cream for more moisture. For all the toasted coconut in the batter and on top of this cake, I expected the toasty flavor to come through a little more strongly. This did have one of my favorite coconut flavors, but it’s still quite subtle. The cream cheese frosting is quite creamy with a subtle tang and pairs quite well with the cake. Great for toasted coconut lovers!
- Best coconut flavor! Couldn’t tell if there was cream cheese in the frosting but whatever was in there I was here for it. Also the toasted coconut in the cake and the frosting is a bold move that was a joy to eat.
- My favorite cake!! The cream cheese frosting was SO delicious and the toasted coconut flakes gave it another layer of texture, While the cake itself was a little dry, the frosting saved it
- I liked the coconut flavor in this one but expected it to taste more toasty because of the toasted coconut flakes. Still really good texture though! Not as dry as some of the others.
- The flavor of the cake on its own was a bit so-so for me, not very flavorful but fine. Crumb was on the drier side. The frosting was one of the richest but overall with the cake made a really nice bite that had good coconut flavor. Cake as a whole is in my top 3
- a very dense cake with a very unique toasted coconut flavor. the frosting so far has been my second favorite, not too sweet and pairs nicely with the cake. if the cake was a bit less dense it would be perfect. loved the very toasted coconut flavor.
- Much too sweet. The coconut shreds have an almost candy-like flavor which I did not enjoy. The cake itself is a little dense and coarsely crumbed.
Preppy Kitchen: a tender, slightly coarse-crumbed vanilla cake that leans slightly drier than Sally’s
Preppy Kitchen is a butter-based cake that uses egg whites, milk (I used coconut milk), cake flour and shredded coconut in the batter. Notably, John calls for the reverse creaming method, which typically results in a finer, more delicate crumb. The cream cheese frosting uses a 1:1 ratio of cream cheese to butter with coconut extract for flavor.
This recipe is extremely similar to Sally’s Baking Addiction and also looks and tastes very similar. The crumb is maybe slightly finer than Sally’s, but it’s hard to distinguish among the coconut flakes. This tastes mostly like a tender vanilla cake with shreds of coconut. It’s well-balanced with delightfully sweet and creamy buttercream with a subtle tang. While I wouldn’t say this crumb is dry, it is ever-so-slightly drier compared to Sally’s Baking Addiction. Most tasters noted there wasn’t much coconut flavor in this and I agree–it feels like a vanilla cake with coconut mixed in. (I don’t prefer this texture, but it’s a great option if you like that!)
- This tasted the best all together — nice cake that wasn’t too dense and held together. The frosting was nice and flavorful and the right balance of sweetness. Deliciosu and well-balanced.
- A solid coconut cake a non polarizing option that I’m sure would please a lot of people’s palettes. Moist cake with a slight crumble. Coconut tasting without too many coconut flakes
- The cake had an amazing texture and a nice but mild coconut flavor. the frosting was very sweet but was nice with the cake since the cake itself was not too sweet. The frosting could use some more coconut flavor.
- The cake is solid white cake but nothing to make it feel coconutty at all. Good crumb though. Frosting was fine.
- The cake seemed to have more shredded coconut mixed in than others and this for me ruined the texture. Cake taste was not my favorite. The frosting was nice and light with a good coconut taste, but it wasn’t enough to save the cake’s overall taste for me.
King Arthur: a subtly-flavored vanilla cake with a cornbread-like crumb
King Arthur’s recipe stood out for its unusual use of coconut milk powder. (This was not as hard to find as I expected!) The recipe says the powder gives “just the right amount of coconut flavor,” though it does give an option to sub coconut milk for a more subtle flvavor. This butter-based cake also uses cake flour, egg whites (NOT whipped), milk and optional coconut extract. The nearly 1:1 ratio frosting (slightly more cream cheese than butter) also calls for coconut milk powder and optional coconut extract.
Sadly, I didn’t find this cake to have “just the right amount” of coconut flavor–unless just the right amount is…none. However, the lack of egg yolks in this allows the vanilla to shine through–so it’s another really good vanilla cake. The crumb is on the coarser side in a way that’s reminiscent of cornbread–but a really soft, fluffy one. It also has subtle but distinctively sweet flavor notes from the cake flour. As much as I searched for it, I also didn’t get much coconut flavor from the frosting, but it’s nicely creamy and not as grainy as some others. This is a great option if you’re really looking for a solid vanilla cake wrapped in coconut flakes.
- Cake was light and moist with a good crumb. Overall it wasn’t too sweet or artificial tasting. The cake was not as coconut forward which made for a more light coconut flavor overall, which personally I really liked.
- The cake itself was really good and had a great crumb but it lacked coconut flavor. The frosting was pretty sweet and but apart from the flakey coconut it also lacked coconut flavor. Overall a nice vanilla-y cake with a hint of coconut.
- This one was really moist and flavorful. It has a good coconut flavor and it’s not too sweet. The cake reminds me of a fluffy pancake and has pound cake-like qualities, in a good way!
- Dense but moist, crumbly. Frosting is nice–not overly sweet. Not an amazing flavor to it, somewhat artificial tasting
- Cake was slightly dry, somewhat bland. Frosting was creamy with a little tang–loved that.
Bravetart: a plush, tight-crumbed, moist cake packed with natural coconut flavor
I have to admit that I was skeptical about Stella’s triple coconut cake. She incorporates coconut in three ways within the cake: virgin coconut oil, coconut flour and coconut milk. Unrefined coconut oil has proven very divisive in past bake offs, but I was curious to see if it would work here. She pairs the cake with her creamy coconut frosting (essentially a Swiss meringue buttercream), a caramelized white chocolate coconut ganache (optional, so I skipped it) and toasted coconut.
I’m happy to say all of my skepticism went out the window with the first bite! This cake is plush and moist with a close yet light crumb and a subtle but present coconut flavor. This was the only cake where I felt there was a good amount of coconut flavor in the cake in a non-artificial way (without adding actual coconut flakes). The frosting is where most people felt divided–the light, silky, buttery Swiss meringue isn’t my personal favorite frosting and many found it too buttery. However, I loved the addition of the toasted coconut. This was a close tie with Cooking Classy for my favorite cake, and I’d love to try this with the coconut ganache next time.
- Delicious! The cake has a great texture (buttery, soft, fluffy but not overly so to the point of being dry), and the frosting is silky with brown butter (?) notes.
- The frosting was “wow!” Love the toasted coconut flavor. Not traditional but delicious! The cake itself was very tender and creamy. Decadent.
- Really good coconut flavor in the cake and I like how toasty it was! The toasted coconut flakes make a huge difference. Didn’t like the frosting in this one–tasted too buttery
- It tastes like a good yellow cake but it doesn’t strike me as a coconut cake. The frosting is really flavorful and it tastes and looks like it has brown butter in it. I like the coconut flakes on top a lot!
- I don’t love SMBC generally so the frosting is not my fav. I like the toasted coconut but wish there was a mix of toasted and raw coconut. Cake tastes like very standard yellow cake with a denser crumb.
- The frosting was too buttery and had a slightly oily feel in my mouth. Very solid pound-cake texture to the crumb.
Sally’s Baking Addiction: a rich vanilla cake with a moist crumb and subtle coconut flavor
Sally’s recipe is quite similar to Preppy Kitchen’s but adds sour cream and uses a regular creaming method. With cake flour, egg whites (not whipped!!), coconut milk, coconut extract and shredded coconut in the batter, this had all the makings of a great cake. Like Preppy Kitchen, Sally uses a 1:1 ratio of cream cheese to butter with just a little coconut milk and coconut extract for flavor.
Indeed, this had a great moisture level with a slightly coarser-crumbed but tender cake. This crumb felt less coarse than King Arthur, but does have more texture with coconut mixed into the batter. The coconut flavor was quite light, but comes through in the silky whipped buttercream, which isn’t overly tangy. This felt like the right balance of a tender and subtly flavored vanilla cake with a lightly coconutty buttercream and a perfect finishing of coconut flakes for a crowd-pleasing cake!
- The cake was packed with coconut flakes and had a great light and airy texture with a moist crumb. Frosting was on the sweet side but it balances well with the cake since its not too sweet.
- I like the coconut in the cake, it definitely had the coconut flavor instead of just being a vanillaish cake but the texture of the cake was heavy and course and was kind of greasy tasting. The frosting was a let down but the cake was good enough that it was fine.
- This one is similar to [King Arthur] for me, but the texture isn’t as plush. This is sort of a standard coconut cake, what I would think of and expect a coconut cake to taste like. There’s nothing wow about it, but it’s solid.
- Loved the coconut flavor! Texture was slightly dry and frosting slightly too sweet.
- The cake texture was very chewy and bread-like, which I wasn’t expecting. The frosting was a bit basic but good, liked the whipped texture of it.
Best Coconut Cake Recommendations
Erika’s picks: Cooking Classy, Bravetart
Best traditional coconut cake: Sally’s Baking Addiction, Preppy Kitchen, King Arthur
Best sweet and decadent coconut cake: Peninsula Grill, Cheryl Day
Best coconut flavor: Bravetart
For toasted coconut lovers: Sugar Geek Show
where are the recipes?
It’s interesting that the top cake still ranks so low – 6.71 out of 10 overall. Do people just not like coconut cakes? Or is there just not a standout winner?
I LOVE Bravetart’s cake; I’ve probably made it 6 times! I was so curious to know how others would stack up. Thank you for another informative and fun bake off!