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12 Layer Coconut Cake Recipe

12 Layer Coconut Cake Recipe

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It tastes just as good as it looks, trust us.


  • 2 Cups coconut flakes, medium shred
  • 1 Pound unsalted butter
  • 3 Cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • sliced strawberries


  • 5 Cups heavy cream
  • 3 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Pound unsalted butter
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 Cups coconut, medium shred


  • 1 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 Pound cream cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut Crème Anglaise

  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened coconut flakes, medium shred
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Mom's Recipe Scrapbook (c.1920s)

Make an Old Fashioned Coconut Cake

Coconut Layer Cake

1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 cups pastry flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring, 3/4 cup milk.

Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly together, add flavoring beat eggs very light and gradually beat them into the butter and sugar.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt, add lightly to first mixture alternately with milk turn into greased layer cake pans and bake in moderate oven (350ºF) from 15 to 20 minutes.

Homemade Coconut Cake Recipe

Molded Coconut Cake

This recipe with its gill (1/2 cup) of cream and three eggs should be rich enough to not need icing.

4 ounces butter, 4 ounces castor sugar, 4 ounces coconut, 5 ounces flour, 3 eggs, 1 gill (1/2 cup) cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon baking powder. Cream butter and sugar.

Mix together yolks of eggs and cream, add them and flour alternately to butter and sugar, stir in the coconut, then add whites of eggs stiffly whipped, and vanilla.

Pour into well-buttered mold, and bake in moderate oven (350°F) for one hour.

Homemade Coconut Cake Recipes

Buckeye Publishing Company (1877)

After mixing, bake the following cakes in a moderate 350°F oven until they test done.

Easy Coconut Cake

One cup butter, three of sugar, one of sweet milk, four and a half of flour, four eggs with whites beat to a stiff froth, a teaspoon soda, two of cream of tartar, one grated coconut. —Mrs. J. Holland, New Castle, Ind.

Nettie's Coconut Layer Cake

To the well-beaten yolks of six eggs, add two cups powdered white sugar, three-fourth cups butter, one of sweet milk, three and a half of flour, one level teaspoon soda, and two of cream of tartar, whites of four eggs well beaten bake in jelly cake pans.

For icing, grate one coconut, beat whites of two eggs, and add one teacup powdered sugar mix thoroughly with the grated coconut, and spread evenly on the layers of cake when they are cold. —Miss Nettie Miller, Columbus

Coconut Custard Layer Cake

One cup butter, two of sugar, three of flour, four eggs, one cup sweet milk, one of cornstarch (not filling cups of butter and flour very full if eggs are small), two teaspoons cream of tartar, one of soda.

Make custard as follows: One cup thick sour cream stirred thin, one cup sugar, one grated coconut, one egg beaten separately spread between layers like jelly cake. —Mrs. Mary S. Moore, Granville

Coconut, Almond, Hickory Nut Cake

Three-fourths pound flour, half teaspoon salt, one-fourth pound butter, pound of sugar, teacup sour cream, four eggs, lemon flavor to taste, and a teaspoon soda dissolved in two teaspoons hot water.

Mix all thoroughly, grate in the white part of a coconut, or stir in a pint of chopped hickory nuts, or a pint of blanched almonds pounded. —Mrs. J. W. Grubbs of Richmond, Ind.

Aunt Babette's Homemade Coconut Cake Recipes

Aunt Babette's Cook Book (1889)

After mixing, bake the following cakes in a moderate 350°F oven until they test done.

Coconut Layer Cake No. 1

Rub to a cream half a cup of butter and a cup and a half of pulverized sugar. Add gradually four eggs, half a cup of milk, and two cups of flour, adding one teaspoonful of baking powder in last sifting. Bake in layers.

One grated coconut and all of its milk, to half of which add the beaten whites of three eggs and one cup of powdered sugar. Lay this between the layers.

Mix with the other half of the grated coconut five tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar and strew thickly on top of cake, which has been previously iced.

Coconut Layer Cake No. 2

Grandma's Tip

1 Goblet = 10 rounded tbsp of flour. 1-1/2 Goblets = Just under 2 cups (1 pound) of granulated sugar.

Take whites of ten eggs, one goblet of flour, a goblet and a half of pulverized sugar, and one teaspoonful of cream of tartar. Sift the flour five times, then sift the sugar and flour together.

Beat the whites to a very stiff froth. Stir into them when stiff the sugar and flour, and last the cream of tartar. Bake immediately in three or four layers. Use same filling as in No. 1.

Coconut Loaf

Rub one cup of butter and two cups of sugar to a cream. Add one cup of milk, whites of four eggs, three cups of flour (measure after sifting) and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder added in last sifting.

Add a grated coconut and last the stiff-beaten whites. Bake in a loaf. Line tin with buttered paper.

Homemade Coconut Cake Recipe

The Dominion Home Cook-Book (1868)

This early Canadian cookbook was published just one year after Canada's Confederation. It's a fine example of an old fashioned homemade coconut cake recipe favored by Canadian housewives of that era.

Upper Canada Coconut Cake

Take equal weights of grated coconut and powdered white sugar (the brown part of the coconut should be cut off before grating it) — add the whites of eggs beaten to a stiff froth, in the proportion of half a dozen to a pound each of coconut and sugar. There should be just eggs enough to wet up the whole still.

Drop the mixture onto buttered plates, several inches apart. Bake them immediately in a moderately warm oven (350°F) until done.

Homemade Coconut Cake Recipes

Dr. Chase's Receipt Book (1891)

After mixing, bake the following cakes in a moderate 350°F oven until they test done.

Coconut Cake, Jelly and Loaf

Ingredients: Sugar, 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup 3 eggs milk, 3/4 of a cup (if a fresh coconut is used let it be a good sized one, then the milk of the coconut may take the place of the milk) flour, 2-1/2 cups baking powder, 2 teaspoonfuls. Jelly: Whites of 2 eggs pulverized sugar, 1/2 pound coconut, 1 good sized one, grated, or desiccated (dried) coconut, 1/4 pound.

Cream sugar and butter then having beaten all the yolks of the eggs and the white of 1, stir them in and the milk (or the milk of the coconut in its place), and sift in the flour with the baking powder therein, bake in jelly cake tins.

Beat the whites of 2 eggs, saved for this purpose, to a froth, and stir in the pulverized sugar, and beat properly.

Put this between the layers having grated the coconut, strew this over the jelly in laying up the cake or, if desiccated is used, strew it in place of the fresh. In this way, the full flavor of the coconut is obtained.

If baked in loaf all the eggs are to be used in the body of the cake, and the coconut also stirred into the cake just before putting it into the oven, being careful not to jar it after putting it into the oven, as it is more likely than other cakes to fall, if jarred.

Coconut Jelly Layer Cake

Sweet milk, butter, cornstarch, each 1 cup white sugar and flour, each 2 cups whites of 5 eggs cream of tartar, 2 teaspoonfuls soda, 1 teaspoonful. Bake in 3 layers.

For the jelly filling: White sugar, 1 lb, and boil until candied when cold stir in the beaten whites of 2 eggs, and 1-1/2 cups, rounded, of grated, or 1 cup desiccated, coconut, saving some for the top.

Mrs. Goodfellow's Homemade Coconut Cake Recipes

Mrs. Goodfellow's Cookery As It Should Be (1865)

Rich Homemade Coconut Cake

Whip the whites of ten eggs, grate two nice coconuts, and add them sift one pound of white sugar into half a pound of sifted flour stir this well add a little rose water to flavor pour into pans, and bake three-fourths of an hour (350°F).

Coconut Pound Cake Recipe

Three cups flour, one cup butter, two cups sugar, whites of six eggs, one spoonful cream of tartar, half-spoonful of soda, one cup milk. Grate one small coconut, and put in two-thirds of it last. (Bake at 350°F until done.)

Homemade Coconut Cake Recipes

Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving (1876)

Beautiful Coconut Cake

One-half coffee-cupful of butter, two small teaspoonfuls of cream of tarter, two and one-half coffee-cupfuls of sugar, one small teaspoonful of soda, four and one-half coffee-cupfuls of flour, two grated coconuts, one coffee-cupful of sweet milk, the whites of seven eggs. (Bake in moderate 350°F oven about one hour.)

Reserve a large handful of the grated coconut to sprinkle on the frosting.

This coconut cake looks most beautiful mixed with fruitcake in a cake basket. —Miss Emma Witt, of Cleveland

Fancy Coconut Cone Cakes

One pound of coconut grated, half a pound of sugar, the whites of two eggs, and the yolk of one egg. Beat the yolk well add the sugar to it then the coconut and whites of the eggs beaten to a stiff froth.

Drop by the teaspoonful on sheets of buttered paper placed on tins. Form each little cake into the shape of a cone, and bake in a moderate oven (350°F) about half an hour.

About the Homemade Coconut Cake Recipes

Old Time Chocolate Layer Cake with Coconut Icing
(Source: Don Bell)

Coconut cakes have long been popular, especially during the latter half of the 19th century when many of these recipes were written.

Coconuts have been an available ingredient to cooks for centuries, as they were easy to transport and inexpensive to buy compared to other more perishable fruits. They often added a touch of the exotic to an often mundane life.

The cakes featured on this page are all-time favorites, and they taste especially good when made the traditional way using freshly grated coconut meat.

Choose one of the homemade coconut cake recipes and get ready to enjoy a delicious treat. These dessert cakes were some of Grandma's favorites, and they should continue to delight today's cake lovers.

Coconut can add a chewy, exotic taste to almost any icing or cake filling to create a coconut cake out of any homemade cake recipe. Doesn't the chocolate layer cake pictured above look tempting with its white icing adorned with shredded coconut?

And, be sure to experience the fun of cracking open a coconut and extracting the white meat. It's educational and entertaining for the kids too.

Freshly grated coconut is the perfect ingredient for these homemade coconut cake recipes. You will love the freshness of its flavor.

How to Open a Coconut in Seconds


Did you know that the coconut is a fruit (botanically a drup), not a true nut?

Shredded coconut meat prepared from scratch tastes so much better than the store-bought kind, and you get to drink the ambrosial coconut water too.

Watch a short video that reveals How to Open a Coconut in seconds. It's so easy when you know the secret!

After you have watched the short how-to video, return to this page, and choose one of the homemade coconut cake recipes so you can prepare a special homemade treat for your loved ones.

5 Reasons to Love This Coconut Cake Recipe

  1. Not Dry: This coconut cake is mega moist. There’s no point wasting your time (or calories!) on dry cakes.
  2. Intensely Flavorful: Using coconut milk, shredded coconut, and coconut extract, you are guaranteed an intensely flavorful coconut cake.
  3. Soft & Fluffy: Following the recipe carefully, as well as using the power ingredients described below, you are guaranteed a soft-as-silk coconut cake crumb.
  4. Any Shape: Use this cake batter for coconut bundt cake, coconut cupcakes, a 2 layer cake, 3 layer cake, or a coconut sheet cake.
  5. Gets Along With Everyone: Use the frosting recipe below or try strawberry frosting, lemon frosting, brown butter cream cheese frosting, champagne frosting, chocolate buttercream. And don’t forget to drizzle salted caramel on top!

Recipe Summary

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour, not self-rising, plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Coconut Cream Filling
  • 11 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) sweetened angel-flake coconut
  • Seven-Minute Frosting for Coconut Layer Cake

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in the center of the oven. Line the bottom of three 6-by-2-inch buttered round cake pans with parchment paper. Dust the bottom and the sides of the cake pans with flour, and tap out any excess. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set the bowl aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-low speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, and keep beating until the mixture is fluffy and light in color, about 3 minutes. Gradually drizzle in egg yolks, beating on medium-low speed between each addition until the batter is no longer slick. Beat until the mixture is fluffy again, about another 3 minutes.

Alternate adding flour mixture and sour cream to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in vanilla. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans in the oven, if needed, for even browning. Transfer cake pans to wire racks to cool, about 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, and let cool completely on racks, tops up.

To assemble, remove parchment paper from the bottoms of cakes. Split each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Set aside the prettiest dome it will be used for the final layer. Place another domed layer, dome side down, on the serving platter. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of flaked coconut over the cake. Spread a generous 1/2 cup coconut-cream filling over coconut flakes. Repeat sprinkling and spreading process on the remaining layers until all but the reserved domed layer are used. Top cake with the reserved domed layer. Transfer cake to the refrigerator to firm for 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator, and frost the outside of cake with seven-minute frosting. Sprinkle remaining coconut flakes all over cake while frosting is soft do not refrigerate. Cake can be left out at room temperature for several days.

Related Video

I forgot to mention that I substituted Coco Lopez for the Whipping Cream. 1 Can did the trick!

I made this for Christmas this year and everyone is still talking about this cake! After reviewing others comments I made the following modifications. To the filling I added a teaspoon of coconut extract. For the cake I folded in 3 egg whites which were whipped to a firm peak. Everything else was done as written except I didn't toast the coconut since I wanted a pure white cake for christmas. Next time I might try the simple syrup prior to applying the filling. Overall 4 forks for sure!!

This cake was awesome. Time consuming and expensive, but my husband is in the food industry and VERY picky. He really liked it. I will make it again for a special opinion.

Now I love Epicurious, but out of respect for the true glorious cake that gives anyone one more reason to visit Charleston, I must point out that this is NOT Chef Carter's Peninsula Grille Coconut Cake. A quick scan of the ingredients will tell anyone who's had the cake that there is simply not enough volume of ingredients to turn out that cake. For those who want the true recipe for this one, Martha Stewart has it on her website. Happy Baking!

Great cake!! Have beeen making it for years. Not neccesarily dense but stury enough to stand up to the filling without turning to mush. Is a little crumbly and would definately recommend using wax paper your cake pans.

This is an absolute favorite, especially the filling. I have been making this cake for 9 years. Being a purist, I always use a seven minute icing instead of the cream cheese as listed here. I also use a can of coconut milk for the cake. A practice I use on all cakes, following Julia Child, simple syrup is added to each layer before assembling. Beautiful and deeeeelicious.

The cake fell apart when I tried to cut it into layers. It has a cornbread-like texture that crumbles to the touch. Taste great but, I will probably look for a different cake recipe.

This cake is the best coconut layer cake ever!! I lost the recipe and am so glad to have found it again. It's a Christmas Eve dessert staple every year. Can't wait to make it again.

I have been making this cake for six years now. It is totally awesome. I take it to all occasions and never have any left to bring home! I make the filling a day ahead, it makes the process go a little faster.I noticed one reviewer said they didn't like it because it was so dense, it's not a Betty Crocker box!

AMAZING! Love this cake! Not only is is Beautiful, it tastes great and is a spectacular presentation. I have made this cake for my father's birthday as well as for other family celebrations. Followed the recipe almost to the T - unusual for me! If you love coconut, you'll love this cake! ENJOY!

I used the recipe at Martha Stewart's site. It was awesome. I received many rave reviews on the cake. Other then whipping the filling in two batches (my 5 qt KA couldn't handle the load) the recipe went as stated. The cake resembled corn bread..a large crumb and very yellow but the final product was very tasty. I highly recommend the recipe on Martha's site. http://www.marthaste /mslo/menuitem.fc77a 0dbc44dd1611e3bf410b 5900aa0/? vgnextoid=a95264c02a 752110VgnVCM1000003d 370a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt =default&rsc=also_tr y

This is not the recipe for the Peninsula Grill coconut cake. The measurements are incorrect for example: filling should be 9 cup shredded coconut 3 cups of sugar 5 cups heavy cream 1 lb butter +++ others the layers must be assembled using symple sugar.

my thanks to the previous reviewer who mentioned the martha stewart site. i recently was in charleston and had the coconut cake at the peninsula grill. very good. the martha stewart version is, or at least appears to be, the real deal. i actually made both recently and much prefer the stewart version. the cake is tastier includes coconut extract. the frosting is better. 2 to 1 butter to cream cheese as opposed to this version which is 2 to 1 cream cheese to butter. one could certainly apply the techniques shown in the video to this cake which would improve this cake. if nothing else, watching the video was very educational.

I made this cake twice. I read all the reviews before making it. The first time, the cake was very crumbly and would have been incredibly dry had I not used simple syrup to moisten the cake layers. So, the second time, I reduced the butter in the cake batter by one stick as one reviewer suggested and folded in 3 egg whites into the cake batter as another reviewer suggested. The second time, the cake was a bit better but still pretty dense and somewhat crumbly. After searching on the internet for some other reviews of this recipe, I found a video on Martha Stewart's website of Peninsula Grill's Chef Robert Carter making this cake. The recipe was completely different. I think some recipe editor edited the recipe along the way with the end result being multiple reviewers complaining that the cake is too crumbly and dense. The recipe on Martha' website is materially different. The butter and sugar is creamed for 5-6 minutes until light and fluffly as opposed to just blended as this recipe suggests. The butter used is a European butter (Plugra) that has a higher butterfat content. The coconut for the filling is pulverized in a food processor before being added to the cream and butter custard. This recipe misses that step. Also, the cake is baked in two 10-inch pans and each cake is split into thirds for a combined 6- layer cake where the layers are moistened with simple syrup. All of these things make a difference. I will bake once again using the recipe on Martha's website and report back.

This was one of the best coconut cakes ever--the only change I made was to whip 3 of the egg whites and then when the batter was done I folded the whipped egg whites in the batter. This made the cake very light. Very good

I just gobbled down a slice of this cake that I made this weekend for my husband's birthday and I had to write a review. This is a great cake for special occasions! It is a bit of work, but well worth it. I made the icing and the filling the night before. I followed the advice of others and I reduced the amount of sugar in the frosting to 1 cup. It was plenty sweet for my taste. In addition, I used low-fat cream cheese and the frosting tasted great. You won't be able to taste the difference. For the cake, I also reduced the sugar to 2 cups and it tasted great. I was feeling ambitious so I decided to split the three layers and make a six layer cake. If you double the filling recipe, you will have plenty for the extra layers. One piece of advice that I could have used while baking was to rotate my cake pans halfway through the cooking time. My cakes were a bit lopsided, and the unevenness is exaggerated when you are piling up six layers. One major important tip - check the cake as early as 25 minutes in the oven. I followed the advice of a review and checked at 28 minutes. The cakes were a little dry around the edges, but I wish I would have taken them out a little bit sooner. Overall, this cake was a huge hit at our party. Out of 15 guests, not one person refused to have a slice and they didn't leave much on their plates when we cleaned up!

I have made this recipe several times. I would recommend letting the cake sit overnight in room temperature (not in the frig) allowing the filling flavors to penetrate the layers a little more. I have made this cake in a three and four layer tower. It is always a favorite.

It was a hit! Many guests commented on the beautiful presentation. I cut the sugar, - granulated and powdered - just added less than called for. Also, I did not use sweetened flaked coconut, but simply flaked coconut from the bin at Whole Foods. Sweetened coconut is too sweet. Excellent recipe.

This is one of my FAVORITE cake recipes.I dont change a thing, other than cooking the cakes 5-10 min less. It's not too hard and it is delicious. I make it several times a year.

Swooned over this cake at the Peninsula Grill a few years back. I added 1 tsp. of pure coconut extract (from La Cuisine in Alexandria, VA) in addition to the vanilla to the batter, and took the cake out a full 10 minutes earlier. PERFECT. Not just a keeper, but THE recipe for Father's Day and my husband's birthday. An artery- buster, so slice it thinly!

This cake turned out very well. I made a few changes. I used 2 ten inch cake pans and torted the cakes. I doubled the filling recipe. I did not toast the coconut. This cake got me some serious raves from family and people I didn't know. At first they thought it was from a bakery. The next time I make it I am going to substitute some of thecream in the cake with coconut milk and see how it turns out. The cake batter is pretty thick. Cake was very moist. I will be making this again. It is a real diet buster.

Cakes are dry because they are overbaked! Use the cooking time as a SUGGESTION. I always start checking for doneness (with a cake tester) about 10 minutes before the state time. My cakes are moist!

Just came back from South Carolina and order this at the Peninsula Grill. Previously, I had made the cake and found it dry. Anxious to try the 'real deal', I questioned the waiter who informed me that the layers are sprinkled liberally with simple syrup before the cake is assembled. They use a squirt bottle to do it. This recipe omits that step. The results? Certainly not dry but the sugar syrup soak made this original cloyingly sweet. Iɽ never want to add that step. Still, a great filling and frosting. I'll now make this with a different cake recipe. Sorry for the long winded review.

I think this is a great recipe. I've made it twice now, and it was great both times. I've had it in the restaurant as well. This recipe produces similar results. I split the cake layers in half. This might the solve the problem for anyone who found the cake dry.

Can you toast the coconut?

When I was working on this cake, I was debating on whether to toast the coconut.

Toasting the coconut brings out more flavor and color. In most cases I probably would have toasted it.

However, I wanted it to be a white non-toasted cake.

You can certainly toast the coconut if you want. Spread the coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet then bake at 350F for about 5-10 minutes.

The Legendary 12-Layer Ultimate Coconut Cake®

Lucky guests who scored a table on Peninsula Grill&rsquos second ever night of service&mdashFebruary 14, 1997&mdashwitnessed history in the making during the dessert course: A towering 12-layer coconut cake that caused heads to turn as it was paraded through the dining room at the end of the evening. Delicious to taste and spectacular to behold, the Ultimate Coconut Cake® was an instant sensation, and it has appeared on Peninsula Grill's menu ever since its Valentine&rsquos Day debut.

Today, Peninsula Grill is famous for its signature 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake®, one of the South&rsquos most celebrated desserts. Slices of the cake are served to guests at the restaurant nightly, and entire cakes are shipped across the United States via overnight delivery. The show-stopping Ultimate Coconut Cake® weighs approximately 12 pounds and may be delivered directly to your doorstep.

Treat yourself or surprise someone you love with this beloved cake that has earned praise from AFAR, Bon Appétit, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Southern Living, The Food Network, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, TODAY Show, USA TODAY, and Vogue, among others.


&ldquoA little slice of heaven&hellip&rdquo
&mdash The New York Times

&ldquoDo not forget to order the Ultimate Coconut Cake for dessert!&rdquo
​ &mdash Conde Nast Traveler

&ldquoThe Ultimate Coconut Cake, with loads of buttery frosting and coconut, is so popular that it&rsquos available through mail order.&rdquo
​ &mdash Food & Wine

&ldquoWhen we finally cut ourselves some slices of the cake from Peninsula Grill, we agreed that it was close to the best we&rsquod ever tasted. The Peninsula Grill is deservedly famous for its scrumptious coconut cake.&rdquo
​ &mdash Vogue

&ldquoDon&rsquot miss the decadent coconut cake served at the hotel&rsquos Peninsula Grill restaurant&hellip so beloved that it's shipped across the country.
​ &mdash AFAR

&ldquoThe richest filling, and the best ingredients&hellip&rdquo
&mdash Martha Stewart

As seen on Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Food Finds
&mdash The Food Network

As seen on Unique Sweets
​​ &mdash The Cooking Channel

&ldquoBest Dessert Cake in the South&rdquo
​​ &mdash Turner South

As seen on Good Morning America
​​ &mdash ABC

&ldquoThis romantic restaurant is as beautiful inside as it is outside, with palmetto-lined, shaded outdoor courtyard dining and flickering lantern lighting. Peninsula Grill is an ideal date night destination, even if you've already dined elsewhere in the area and are looking only for dessert.

The famous Ultimate Coconut Cake is certainly Peninsula Grill's most popular menu item, dessert or otherwise, and it is certainly worth the hype (and worth ordering). The 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake is so well loved that it carries its own trademark, and is even available for online ordering.&rdquo

Coconut Cake

This delicious coconut cake recipe is courtesy of Robert Carter from the Peninsula Grill, in Charleston, South Carolina. Layer with Coconut Filling and top with Coconut Cake Frosting to create our Ultimate Coconut Cake.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 10-inch round cake pans with cooking spray set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until creamy, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl using a spatula.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix together cream, vanilla, and coconut extract. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour beat until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing cakes from pans.

Recipe Summary

  • Cake:
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Frosting:
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅔ cups sweetened flaked coconut (1 7-oz. bag)

Make cake: Place a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low beat in half of flour mixture. Beat in coconut milk and extract, then beat in remaining flour mixture until just combined. Divide batter between cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Make frosting: Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until light, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in extracts. Chill 15 minutes.

Assemble cake: Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread with 1 1/2 cups frosting. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides. Sprinkle remaining coconut over top and sides of cake, pressing to adhere. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to a day. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

To grate fresh coconut, crack open a whole coconut discard the liquid. Place the coconut pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 5 minutes to loosen the flesh from the shell let cool. Peel the brown skin from the coconut meat, then shred the pieces in a food processor using the fine grating disk.

Be sure the cakes are completely cool before cutting them into layers. To help reassemble the cake halves evenly after cutting and spreading them with jam, place two toothpicks on top of each other on the side of the cakes, one near the top and the other near the bottom. Slice the cakes in half between the toothpicks and spread the bottom layers with jam as directed by the recipe. To reassemble, simply replace the top layers, lining up the toothpicks.


  1. Deagan

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  2. Ricker

    It agree, rather useful piece

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