Celebrate the Easter holiday with this light and fluffy Easter coconut cake! Coconut lovers will obsess over the coconut flavor, moist crumb, coconut frosting, and cute thyme bunny ears on top!

easter coconut cake with slices cut out to show the texture of the cake.

This coconut layer cake is a family recipe passed down from my mom and it is the BEST.

It is incredibly light, fluffy, and super soft, with the perfect coconut flavor.

It’s a perfect Easter cake, but can easily be made without the bunny ears for any occasion!

Coconut recipes are big winners on Cambrea Bakes, just check out my coconut lemon raspberry muffins!

pink easter coconut cake covered in shredded coconut.

why you’ll love this recipe

  • Best coconut flavor: This cake is super light and airy and is packed with coconut flavor!
  • Perfect for Easter: This coconut cake is so cute with bunny ears on top so it was made for Easter!

ingredient notes & substitutions

Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below!

ingredients needed to make the easter cake.

Milk: Whole milk is preferred for the best results. You can also substitute full-fat coconut milk!

Egg whites: Do not use carton egg whites, they will not whip into a meringue. Use fresh, room temperature egg whites for the best result! You can use leftover egg yolks for scrambled eggs, or add one to your next batch of cookie dough!

Shredded coconut: Sweetened shredded coconut is used to decorate the sides and top. I don’t recommend substituting it for unsweetened coconut or any other variety.

Cake flour: I don’t recommend using all-purpose flour for this recipe or the texture will be dry and tough.

recipe instructions

Before you start, line the bottoms of four, 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180C.

STEP ONE: Cream the butter, sugar, and oil. In a large bowl, use the paddle attachment to cream the unsalted butter, canola oil, granulated sugar, coconut extract, and vanilla extract for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

STEP TWO: Fold in half of the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to fold in half of the dry ingredients until almost combined.

STEP THREE: Mix in the wet ingredients. Pour the milk into the bowl and fold it into the batter until almost combined.

a process collage of the steps for making easter coconut cake.

STEP FOUR: Fold in the remaining dry ingredients. Fold the other half of the dry ingredients into the batter until just combined. Set aside.

STEP FIVE: Make the meringue. In a stand mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Then with the mixer running, sprinkle in the granulated sugar one spoonful at a time.

Keep mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form.

STEP SIX: Fold in the meringue. Fold the meringue into the batter, until there are no more white streaks and everything is well combined.

a process collage of the steps for making coconut cloud cake.

STEP SEVEN: Bake! Evenly distribute the batter into the prepped pans. Bake on the middle oven rack for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

STEP EIGHT: Cool the layers. Let the pans cool on a wire rack until they are completely cooled, then remove them from the pans.

STEP NINE: Make the coconut buttercream. In a stand mixing bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar on low until combined. Then mix in the heavy cream, pink food coloring, coconut extract, and vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high and mix for 3-5 minutes, or until it looks very light and fluffy.

a process collage of the steps for decorating the easter coconut cake.

STEP TEN: Fill the cake. Pipe a dollop of buttercream on a cake platter or serving plate. Place the first layer on top, then evenly spread a thin layer of buttercream. Continue these steps until it is assembled. Then use the rest of the buttercream to frost the sides.

STEP ELEVEN: Decorate! Use a large offset spatula to smooth the buttercream.

STEP TWELVE: Cap the sides of the cake. Then use your hands to press the coconut flakes on the outside of the cake. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve and enjoy!

expert baking tips

  • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the “metric” button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
  • Cool completely. Let the layers cool completely before removing them from the pan. They are very fragile and will collapse or break if not handled properly.
  • Serve it plain! Other than the ears on top, this recipe is not entirely catered to just Easter! You can serve this cake to any coconut-lover and they will love it!

storage & freezing

Cut the cake into slices, then wrap each one individually in plastic wrap. You can store them in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 1 month!

If you make it the day before, it can be stored in the fridge loosely wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight cake carrier. Let it come to room temperature for 30-60 minutes before slicing.

faqs

Can I make a larger cake instead of a 6-inch?

Yes! You can bake the batter in three, 8-inch or 9-inch pans. 8-inch cakes will bake for roughly 16-19 minutes. 9-inch cakes will bake for roughly 15-17 minutes.

Can I use gluten-free flour?

I have not tested this recipe with gluten-free flour but would love to hear how it turns out if you do!

more cakes you’ll love!

If you tried this or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments below, I love hearing from you! Also, please leave a star rating while you’re there! You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can check it out!

pink easter coconut cake covered in shredded coconut.

Easter Coconut Cake

5 from 3 votes

Celebrate the Easter holiday with this light and fluffy Easter coconut cake! Coconut lovers will obsess over the coconut flavor, moist crumb, coconut frosting, and cute thyme bunny ears on top!
Print Recipe Save Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 slices

Equipment

Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

For the Coconut Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites

For the Coconut Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 drops pink gel food coloring

For Decorating

  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • Floral Wire, I used gold
  • Fresh Thyme

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Line the bottoms of four 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter, oil, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut extract, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
    1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, ¼ cup (45 g) canola oil, 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar, 1 tsp coconut extract, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    2 ½ cups (315 g) cake flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, ¾ tsp salt
  • Fold half of the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar.
  • Then fold in the milk.
    1 cup (208 g) whole milk
  • Fold in the remaining dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, about 6-7 minutes.
    4 (127 g) large egg whites
  • Whisk in the remaining ½ cup of sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking on high speed after each addition.
  • Beat until glossy stiff peaks form, about 2-4 minutes longer.
  • Then fold the egg whites into the batter. Make sure there are NO white streaks of the meringue in the batter or they will collapse while baking.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into the cake pans. This is best done with a kitchen scale for accuracy. They should each hold roughly 280 grams of batter.
  • Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Do not rely on the tops of the cakes to spring back when touched, you must use a toothpick).
  • Let them cool on a wire rack until completely cool before removing them from the pan.
  • To make the buttercream, cream the butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixing bowl on low speed until combined.
    2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups (150 g) powdered sugar
  • Then mix in the cream, pink food coloring, coconut extract, and vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high and beat until the buttercream is super light and fluffy.
    3 tbsp heavy cream, 1 tbsp coconut extract, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1-2 drops pink gel food coloring
  • When the cakes are completely cool, pipe a dollop of buttercream onto a cake round or serving platter.
  • Alternate stacking a layer of cake and a thin layer of buttercream, with the last layer flipped upside down so that the top of the cake is flat.
  • Cover the entire cake with the rest of the buttercream.
  • Gently press the coconut shreds onto the sides of the cake and the top.
    2 cups (136 g) sweetened coconut flakes
  • Chill in the fridge while you make the thyme ears.
  • Cut two roughly 15-inch pieces of gold floral wire. Twist both of the bottoms together to form an oval ear shape.
    Floral Wire
  • Use the fresh thyme to gently twist and wrap it around the wire.
    Fresh Thyme
  • Stick both ears on top of the cake and enjoy!

Notes

Step-by-step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.
 
  • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the “metric” button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
  • Cool completely. Let the cake layers cool completely before removing them from the pan. They are very fragile and will collapse or break if not handled properly.
  • Serve it plain! Other than the ears on top, this cake is not entirely catered to just Easter! You can serve this cake to any coconut-lover and they will love it!
 
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 1048kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 1906IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 1mg

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

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6 Comments

  1. I would like to do this in 2 or 3 8 inch pans. Will it convert to that? Also, I typically like all butter in my yellow or white cakes thoughts on using 1 1/2 sticks of butter? Also, I noticed there isn’t a lot of sugar in the cake itself, is this recipe not very sweet? Thanks

    1. Hi Nikki, I think it should be fine in 2 8 inch pans, you may get thin layer if split in 3 pans. All butter should work just fine! I think the cake has the perfect amount of sweetness.

  2. Jeanne Woodard says:

    Just wondering….why would you want a 6 in cake???
    It makes me think about the size of cake I once baked in my “easy bake oven” as a child??
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jeanne, a 6-inch cake is just a smaller cake that is perfect to serve 6-8 people. Not everyone wants a 8 or 9″ cake that serves more than 10 people!

  3. Soo fluffy and perfect! The buttercream was DIVINE I will never make another coconut cake again after trying this one!5 stars