This creamy Coconut Cake is a triple coconut treat! Buttery cake is infused with a luscious cream of coconut and condensed milk mixture, then covered in coconut whipped topping and toasted coconut.
Craving more coconut desserts? You must make our Coconut Macaroons, Coconut Cream Lush, and Coconut Cream Pie Dip!
This coconut cake is what’s considered a poke cake, where you poke holes in the top, so the frosting oozes into each nook and cranny, making every bite dreamy.
Why We Love this Coconut Cake Recipe
Truly a wonderful cake, especially for coconut lovers like us! Here’s why we love it:
- Moist: Nothing dry or crumbly here! Instead, every bite is melt-in-your-mouth moist and creamy.
- Easy: The combination of some fresh goods and boxed cake mix makes this dessert super easy to make.
- Flavor: Coconut cream is infused throughout the cake, then coated with coconut whipped topping, and finished with toasted coconut. So delish!
- Great anytime: This coconut cake recipe is great no matter what the season is or occasion.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cake Mix – Either white or butter boxed cake mix works. If you have a favorite homemade recipe you’d prefer to use instead of a box, go for it!
- Eggs, Vegetable oil, and Water – These ingredients get blended with the cake mix to make the batter.
- Sweetened coconut flakes – We like the sticky, sweet coconut flakes (this is a dessert after all!), but you can use unsweetened, if you prefer.
- Cool Whip topping – We use this instead of frosting. It’s so light and airy.
- Sweetened condensed milk – Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk are not the same thing. Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk.
- Cream of Coconut – This is not canned coconut milk. Cream of Coconut is sweet and creamy, usually found in the liquor aisle in most common grocery stores (although doesn’t contain alcohol.) Coco Lopez is a popular brand.
- Toasted coconut flakes – These finish off the cake for a pop of color and taste. Learn how to toast coconut, if you don’t already know. It’s super easy!
- To poke the holes: you can use a skewer, fork tines, or the handle of a small wooden spoon. I prefer a wooden spoon so the holes are big enough to really soak up the liquid.
- Let the cake rest: I think this cake tastes even better the longer it sits (like overnight), which gives the milk mixture more time to soak in. Sort of like a Tres Leches Cake!
Leftover cake should be tightly covered and stored in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing it.
Coconut Cake Video
Other Cake Recipes
I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Creamy Coconut Cake
- 15 ounce package butter or white cake mix
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 12 ounce container Cool Whip topping , thawed
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup cream of coconut
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, oil, and water together with an electric mixer until blended and thickened, about 1 minute. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
- In medium bowl, fold together the 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes and Cool Whip. Set aside.
- In another bowl whisk together the condensed milk and cream of coconut.
- Using the end of a small wooden spoon, poke holes about 1-inch apart, all over the top of cake. Drizzle the milk mixture all over the top of the cake, making sure it goes into all the holes. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Spread Cool Whip mixture over cake.
- Sprinkle with the toasted coconut.
- You can serve right away, but for optimal flavor let sit in the refrigerator for several hours, ideally overnight.
Reader Questions and Reviews
Definitely trying this recipe. Have you ever tried using coconut milk in place of the water in the cake? I might have to try that.
This recipe looks yummy and i really cant wait to eat the cake.
One question though…Can i use coconut milk instead of coconut cream as i can’t seem to find the cream anywhere. (I live in Nigeria)
Hi Kachi – Unfortunately it won’t produce the same results, both in texture and taste, but you can try it…maybe you’ll end up liking it.
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was wonderful…My husband loved it as well (a picky eater)…I did make it the day before and served it cold…it was so good…making it again for Christmas! I also found the cream of coconut in the hispanic food section of our Walmart…
I made this for a baby shower I hosted – prepped it the night before and waited until just before serving to add the toasted coconut so they would still have a little texture. Not a slice left and everyone asked for the recipe. So good!
Is cream of coconut in most grocery stores? I’ve never seen it.
Yes! Comes in a can or squeeze bottle or can, sometimes found in the liquor aisle.
I made this cake over the weekend and it’s unbelievably delicious.
Great coconut cake! I made it for a mother/son banquet in March 2011. The theme was surf”s up/hang ten! Did it all luau style! Everyone LOVED the cake! Thanks for the recipe!
This was fabulous! My new favorite coconut cake…and possibly any cake!
love your blog and just found it through foodgawkers. now following so i don’t miss a yummy, delicious recipe! this coconut cake looks incredible!!!
So happy I found your blog – it is fantastic. Esp this post–I am *huge* coconut cake lover. ..this one looks amazingly easy and delicious. Cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk? ::swoon::
I love this recipe so much.
I converted this recipe to cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday. Big hit!
I am a coconut lover!
I’m so making this!
Thanks, can’t wait for the other recipes!!
I’m happy cause of you!
This coconut cake sounds really amazing, I love coconut and must make that very soon!
Oh my goodness – Nothing makes me as happy as a good coconut cake and this was AMAZING!