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Slice of coconut cake being cut from a three layer coconut cake

The Best Coconut Cake You'll Ever Make

This is hands down the BEST Coconut Cake recipe you'll ever make. This classic coconut cake recipe uses fresh coconut and a secret ingredient to make the coconut cake extra moist!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword best coconut cake recipe, coconut cake recipe, coconut cake with cake mix, how to make coconut cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 20
Calories 566kcal
Author Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell



  • 2 (15.25 oz) boxes White cake mix
  • 16 ounces Sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
  • 6 Eggs
  • 15 ounces Cream of coconut (such as Coco López)


  • 16 ounces Cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons Milk
  • 2 pounds Powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 4 bags Fresh frozen coconut (about 24 oz)



  • Heat oven to 350°F
  • Mix cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, and cream of coconut in a large bowl.
  • Divide cake batter into evenly between 3 9” pans that have been greased and floured. Each pan should be filled to slightly higher than 1/2 to ensure that the cake does not overflow as it bakes. You may have extra batter.
  • Bake approximately 30 minutes at 350°F or until you can put a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.


  • Whisk powdered sugar and cream cheese together in the bowl of your mixer. 
  • Add vanilla and keep whisking. Add milk as needed to reach a spreadable texture (this may not take all 4 tablespoons of milk).

Assemble Cake

  • Place 1 9 inch round cake on a cake board (this will make it easier to move cake to the freezer. If you are not freezing it you can skip this step). Frost the top of the layer and place the next cake round on top. Frost the top of that round and place the final round on top. 
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake.
  • Press coconut into sides and onto top of cake.
  • Once cake is frosted wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and place in the freezer. Take it out to thaw at least 4 hours before you are ready to serve.



NOTE: By Popular request I have included the ingredient amounts for the 2 layer version of this cake below. The instructions for making the cake are the same you'll just be using 2 9-inch round cake pans rather than 3. Enjoy!
15.25 ounces box White cake mix
8 ounces Sour cream
1/4 cup Vegetable oil
3 Eggs
7.5 ounces Cream of coconut such as Coco López
8 ounces Cream cheese
2 tablespoons Milk
1 pound Powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 bags Fresh frozen coconut about 12 oz


Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Calcium: 270mg | Iron: 0.9mg