Friday Night Coconut Cake

This cake was inspired by a brand of cream of coconut I just discovered called Coco Real. Unlike the canned cream of coconut I usually buy, Coco Real comes in a 21 ounce squeeze bottle and cost less than $3.00. The convenience of being able to use small amounts plus the price reeled me in, and I’ve been experimenting with it for the past week. So far, I really love how it works in cake and have made a couple of different recipes.

Coconut Cake

My favorite was this one, which is an offshoot of a layer cake attributed to The Shubox Café in New Jersey. Because that cake is gigantic and more suited for a party, I halved the recipe, baked it in an 8 inch square pan, made a few other adjustments (more cream of coconut, more flour, no baking soda, regular milk), then covered the top with my favorite whipped cream cheese icing.  It baked up fairly level and had a very dense, moist, texture people liked.  It also tasted good on Day 2 and 3, so if you need to make it ahead, it will be fine.
As for the new cream of coconut, I’m still looking for ways to use it. If you have any ideas, let me know.

coconut cake


Coconut Layer Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A very dense, rich coconut cake made with Coco Real brand cream of coconut.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 9
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream of coconut (Coco Real)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup shredded or flaked sweetened coconut, lightly toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Thoroughly grease and flour an 8 inch square metal pan.
  3. Crack the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Put the whites in metal mixing bowl and beat with a hand held electric mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg yolks and the vanilla, then beat in the cream of coconut.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add the flour mixture and the milk to the batter alternately, stirring by hand just until flour is incorporated. Stir in the coconut.
  7. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
  8. Pour the batter into the pan and bake on center rack for about 40 minutes or until it appears set and springs back when touched. Let cool completely on a rack and frost with Cream Cheese Icing.
  9. To make the icing, beat the cream until stiff peaks form and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar. Beat in the vanilla, then fold in the whipped cream. Spread over cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
To toast the coconut, lay it on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes or until the edges of the coconut are brown (the coconut in the center should still be white). Toss it all together (toasted edges and less toasted center). If you'd prefer using buttermilk, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the batter. You can serve this cake straight out of the pan, but if you want to lift it from the pan and frost the sides, line the pan with foil and grease (or spray) the foil. That way you can just bake, cool, and lift!


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  1. says

    Despite living in NJ, I’ve never heard of that restaurant! The most famous bakery in NJ I know of is the B&W crumb cake (which is more crumb than cake).

  2. says

    I have a bottle of that cream of coconut in the fridge. Used it for pina coladas (virgin, of course). 😉 Mmm, CAKE! Can you tell I want something sweet? 😉

  3. says

    Hi Anna, what type/brand of flaked coconut do you use? I’ve used the “Let’s Do Organic” brand shredded unsweetened, and I always feel the coconut flavor is really weak. So many recipes call for unsweetened now, but I don’t know if it is adding anything. Thoughts?

  4. says

    Julia, I usually use store brand flaked, sweetened coconut or Baker’s. If I’m making something where the coconut has to be unsweetened, then I buy the type they sell in the produce section that comes in a clear bag. I’ll have to check the name of the brand, because I couldn’t even tell you! But lately I’ve been using sweetened because it’s so easy to find.

  5. says

    I get it now. I thought you were calling for unsweetened in the cake, but not the frosting. I’d rather use sweetened because at least it’s tasty!

  6. T. Martin says


    Is Coco Real a pulp like consistency? You mentioned squeezing it out of a tube thus there has to be some substance to it vs. a liquid/cream.

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