Coconut Cake – A Southern Tradition

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
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In celebration of Spring, we often think of southern traditions, such as coconut cake. Coconut cakes have been a part of southern living for more than 100 years. Please try this delicious recipe shared by Southern Home.

Coconut Cake

Favorite Coconut Cake  

Cake Ingredients
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
Frosting Ingredients
5 large egg whites
1-2/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes


  1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Line bottoms of three greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy; beat in extracts. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
  3. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold into batter.
  4. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 13-17 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  5. For frosting, in a large heatproof bowl, whisk egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar until blended. Place over simmering water in a large saucepan over medium heat; whisking constantly, heat mixture until a thermometer reads 160°, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes.
  6. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Cover with coconut. Store, uncovered, in refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 400 calories, 16g fat (11g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 341mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

Originally published as Coconut Cake Supreme in Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2009.