Christmas Coconut Cake

  • Yield 12 servings
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Cook 35 mins

Giving the holidays a tropical twist.


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut cream (such as Coco Lopez)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut (optional)
2 large eggs whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini-marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust with flour; knock out excess.
  2. To prepare cake, combine butter and sugar and beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together milk, coconut milk and coconut cream. Add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating on low speed after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Divide batter among cake pans. Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks to cool.
  5. To prepare filling, beat heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in coconut cream and fresh coconut, if using.
  6. To prepare frosting, whisk egg whites, sugar, water, cream of tartar and salt in a large stainless-steel bowl until thoroughly combined. Place bowl over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of barely simmering water. Using a hand-held mixer, beat 4 minutes. Add half the marshmallows while continuing to beat until marshmallows melt. Repeat with remaining marshmallows. Continue beating 2 to 3 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla; beat until frosting is thick enough to spread.
  7. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread top with half the filling. Repeat with second layer and remaining filling. Stack third layer on top and spread frosting on top and sides. Sprinkle coconut on top and side. Cover cake loosely with plastic wrap and store one day at room temperature or three days in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe adapted with permission from The Pastry Queen Christmas: Big-Hearted Holiday Entertaining, Texas Style by Rebecca Rather with Alison Oresman, © 2007. Published by Ten Speed Press.



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