Mom’s Best Ever Coconut Cake

I have have been wanting to make this recipe forever y’all.  My mom made this cake one night when we came over to dinner, and now I fantasize about it.  

Originally, I was going to make Red Lobster Knock Off Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp for this GYCO.  But, I totally procrastinated this post.  I have some shrimp and coconut, but nothing I need for the dipping sauce.  What was I thinking?  Ugh.  

Plan B.  My favorite coconut cake.  I lucked out and had almost all the ingredients.  I got resourceful and threw together a substitute for the sweetened condensed milk – how did I not have any just waiting for me?!?!  Point being, I love this cake and I’m sure you will too.  And I totally have plans to hoard the whole things and not share with anyone.  Ha!

Coconut Cake 2

Mom's Best Ever Coconut Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • ⅔ cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¾cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 – 5 ounce can evaporated milk
  • ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1½ teapsoons vanilla
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar mixture, alternating with water, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
  5. Grease and flour a 13″ x 9″ baking pan. Spoon batter into prepared baking dish, and spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  7. Poke holes in the cake’s surface. Combine evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk; spoon evenly over warm cake and allow to soak in. Let cool to room temperture.
  8. Beat whipping cream, sugar, coconut extract, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Fold in ¾ cup coconut. Spread on cake. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup coconut.
  9. Refrigerate before serving and store in fridge.


Coconut Cake 3
Soaking in the goodness.


Cococnut Cake 1
Happy Get Your Chef On everyone!!
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  1. says

    Thanks for linking! I'm passing this on to my mom–she's crazy for coconut! I know she'd love this cake and seeing all the other coconut links.

  2. says

    Julie, This cake looks AMAZING! My mom and I are checking this out right now and are drooling over here!

    Thanks for sharing on Marvelous Mondays! I will be featuring this tomorrow so be sure to check back for the feature post. :)


  3. says

    Julie, I am SO glad you posted this- I have been in the mood for coconut cake! This would be so good for Easter! PINNING!

    I am now following you on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter!

    Joy @

  4. Jan says

    Ok so I made this cake and WOW it was absolutely a hit!! EVERYONE loved it even people who didn’t like husband took it to work he shared it with the executive chef of my husbands boss (who is a well known political figure) and the chef loved it!! I did alter a couple of things…I used part of the shortening and added EV coconut oil, I also added coconut extract to the evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk mixture before I poured it over the cake, then I toasted some macadamia nuts with shredded coconut and sprinkled that on top of my topping for a lovely end result..It was beautiful and SOOO delicious! It is a very dense cake and it was better after 24 hours in the fridge, perfect to make the day before you have people over :)

    • Julie says

      OMG Jan, the coconut extract in the eavp milk/sweetened milk mixture sounds great, and the toasted macadamia nuts…YUM! I’m so glad it was a big success. It’s one of our favorite cakes.

  5. Anissa says

    I’m a little late to the party but I have a question on the receipt. The ingredient list calls for heave cream but the instructions say “Beat whipping cream, sugar, coconut extract, and vanilla until stiff peaks form”. Are whipping cream and heavy cream the same thing???

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