June 13, 2012

Coconut Cake with Berries & Cream

Do you ever look at the serving amount on a recipe AFTER you’ve made the recipe and think


REAL TALK: I never really pay attention to serving amounts when it comes to baking. Unless I HAVE to bring something to a party and wanna make sure I have enough.  Things get difficult when I make a big batch of something (ahem, COCONUT CAKE) and realize there’s only three of us actually eating it. Whhhhhyyyy are my neighbors out of town?!  If the cake wasn’t so amazingly bonkers (first post using the word bonkers!) it wouldn’t be a problem…but now I have the rest of the week to finish it.

And that’s only a problem because I can’t stop myself from eating it. It’s so bad that I have a spoon in my fridge right now so that whenever I open the fridge I can swipe a bite. I’m not sure if that’s me being plain lazy or straight up genius. I’m going with genius.

So what’s it like? Imagine a tres leche cake made with coconut milk and a heavy dose of coconut flakes up in the batter. It’s kinda wet, a little spongy, sweet, creamy and nicely berry topped. It’s super light & refreshing because it’s cold! I think I figured out what you’re making for 4th of July this year. I can assure you it most certainly makes enough for a crowd! Oof.

And we’re off!

Ingredients!!! I didn’t use that big bowl. I did use it to store my measuring stuff.

I used my favorite metal one instead. Ahh comfort. Separate the eggs. Whip up the egg whites.

Go melt the butter! Now add in the egg yolks. Beat them in. Slowly add in the coconut flakes. FOLD.

Now add in the butter. My hand is doing weird things here. Just look at the BUTTER, would ya?

Now add in the flour. 1/4 cup at a time. Fold it in!

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. I used cooking spray, not butter to grease it up. Worked perfectly!

Now the cake bakes. You have to get your three milks. HELLO TRES LECHE!

Cake is baked and it when it comes out, you pour the milk mixture on top. It all soaks in!

Let it hang out in the fridge for 5- 8 hours. You can see this is morning light in my kitchen.

Hello afternoon light! Hello BERRY PARTY.

Make some whipped cream with the remaining cup of heavy cream.

Spread the whipped cream on the cake.

Serve it up with berries…and a peach…

It’s nice & coconuty!

Yer gonna love eating all 12-14 servings. Haha. Just kidding. SHARE.

Coconut Cake with Berries & Cream

serves 12 to 14

(recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled, plus more for pan
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 can (14 oz.) light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups mixed berries for serving

Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter a 9×13 inch baking pan. Whisk together egg whites, baking soda & salt with a hand-mixer (or stand mixer) until soft peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add yolks to egg white mixture and whisk until completely combined. Gradually add sugar, and whisk until combined. Fold in the butter and coconut with a rubber spatula.

Sift 1/4 cup flour onto mixture, fold to combine. Repeat with remaining flour, folding in 1/4 cup flour at a time. Pour batter into pan; bake until golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, the coconut milk and the condensed milk. As soon as cake is removed from the oven, pour cream mixture over cake. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 5 hours and up to 8 hours.

Just before serving, wish remaining cup heaving whipping cream until soft peaks form, and spread over cake. Serve with mixed berries.

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  • Jolien

    Oh my. I need to save this one for, like, every occasion!

  • Katie

    Oh man. I wish I was your neighbour, I’d totally help you take down that cake. I guess I’ll just have to make my own (maybe half the batch since we are a house of just two?) it looks so good, and I *love* coconut! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Katrina

    This needs to appear in my kitchen….today!

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black

    Coconut cake is like, my heaven!

  • Kelsey

    Can’t even handle the delicious….

  • Sarah @ Celiac in the City

    I came out of my “Google Reader” hiding place to say hello — you can’t leave a comment from there, weird huh? Love your blog, photos, sense of humor (podcasts – you and Joy crack me up!)

    So, I’m no longer a lurker. I’m here. IRL.

    And I’m going to convert this cake to gluten-free and write a little song about it — looks amazing!

    • Sarah

      Hi Sarah,

      I would love to know your gluten-free version of this. It looks amazing and it be be great to have two versions available! Although I myself am not gluten free, I often need to accomodate for other family members.



  • anne

    “Wait, who invited the peach?” Haha, brilliant. Love the fonts, as usual. And AH-MAZING idea, my friend. I think you’re right, this is a great idea for 4th of July

  • chefroommate

    Spoon in the fridge?! Vote here for genius! Also I, too, a total serving fool whose actions constantly result in comically large amounts of baked goods overwhelming a measly two people. It’s our tasty burden to bear.

  • meg

    Thank you for attaching a warning label to this cake! I will totally be making it, and will at least attempt to gather enough people to share it (even though they’ll probably get super small servings so that there’ll be plenty of leftovers. Who are we kidding here?)

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)

    i would totally pull a Joey from Friends and carry a spoon or fork around all day just for little bites here and there!

  • Winter

    I am LOVING the light in your kitchen! Seriously, the cake looks amazing and I’m going to have to check this cake sitch out myself.

  • jenny

    omg, so bad yet so very good. I love coconut, and with the pile of summer fruit on top it’s at least kinda healthy, right? 😉

  • Jen

    oh if only I wasnt allergic to coconut :( this looks SO good!

  • Hallie

    I have made a recipe very similar to this adding a little dark rum to the milk mixture and the whipped cream, then topping with toasted coconut. My husband’s absolute favorite. I can’t wait to try some fresh berries next time. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sacha

    I’m totally with you on serving sizes – they shouldn’t measure them by calories but by the size of the piece you’re actually going to shove in your face. Recipes for brownies that are like 24 servings in a 8×8 inch pan kill me. Cakes should be 8 servings, 9×13 pans are 12, and those 8×8 pans? Yeah, that’s only 4 servings, people. That’s my rules!

  • Susan

    Ok – you just made my day with this. I have been thinking about coconut cake for days. Add the berries and you have created perfection in my mind! Making this for sure, this weekend, no matter how busy I am!

  • Mandy

    OMG. I’m kinda drooling all over my keyboard right now.

  • Amy

    You crack me up — “Just look at the butter!”

    Also, this looks amazing. Mmm.

  • wesley @ the way home

    Totally making this for the 4th! Coconut cake was my FAVORITE when I was little, but my mom hasn’t made it in forever! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Katherine

    Oh holy mother… This is what Iwill make my husband for Father’s Day!

  • erin @ from city to farm

    I’m in love. And also quite amused by the blueberries calling the peaches out… 😉

  • Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen

    Oooh, this looks too good. Bonkers good!

  • brandi

    i…don’t see this as a problem.

    milk = dairy. dairy = healthy.
    fruit = healthy.
    fruit + dairy = breakfast, so…
    cake = breakfast

    i’ll take your extras!

  • Sonia

    lovely photos! and love da font.

  • Marilyn


  • Pat Thomas

    I love this fresh take on coco cake – chilling the cake is very original thinking. I’m looking forward to making this on a hot summer day.

  • IdaBaker

    OMG, this looks so good. And I love coconut, too, plus with the addition of the fresh berries, it doesn’t get any better.

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    wow. just, wow. I think it’s the combination of sweetened condensed milk AND coconut milk AND cream. I can completely imagine how amazing this would taste. Spoon in fridge is clearly genius.
    Heidi xo

  • Susannah Woodbury

    I totally earmarked this recipe in my Martha Stewart magazine. That woman I tell ya!

  • Michelle

    Looks so good! Problem is, I’m the only one in my house who likes coconut. Wait, maybe that’s not a problem….

  • Colleen

    Oh wow, this looks amazing. And as for the spoon – Genius for sure!!!

  • Katherine from Australia

    Oh wow…you take my breath away! And you know, I think a bit of lemon zest in the cake could be a new addition.

  • fusilliamy

    I’m drooling. This is just silly. No. Bonkers was the correct word. My Dad is coconut’s biggest fan, so guess what Dad…this is your Father’s Day cake! Why is berries with moist cake with whipped cream so goooood?!

  • Kristen

    oh mah god that looks delish…I wish this was in my fridge whenever I felt like a spoonful yumm!

  • Julie

    I want this for my birthday!

  • Wilma

    This has happened more than once to me. I’m on pinterest, see a food pinned, debate repinning, then don’t because really, how many coconut cake recipe does a person need? Then I check your blog & there it is! I read the post, decide I must make this ASAP, and immediately pin it. Job well done! :)

  • perber

    this cake looks delicious!!!! your pictures look awesome. I must make this asap!

  • hena tayeb

    This looks amazing.. i can just taste the coconut and fruit.. yum

  • aida mollenkamp

    Tracy – Anything with coconut and tres leches-like flavors and I’m there!

  • Mary

    Is your last name pants? Beeecause I am assuming your full name is Tracy Genius Pants! Hello 4th of July cake!

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  • Jen

    Your food looks so pretty on the white dishes. Where are your dishes from. Do you like the square plates? Are they easier to fit in the dishwasher and cabinet because they are square? I was thinking about getting some but wanted reviews.

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  • Missy

    making this tonight for tomorrow (father’s day) should be a hit!

  • Cookie and Kate

    This cake is truly bonkers, Tracy!

  • laura k

    Whoa. This looks super. If I had not already vowed to make a layer cake (my first attempt) for my birthday in July…this cake would be the one.

  • Sarah @ Celiac in the City

    Boom. Done. Made it. Heaven. Nice work!

  • Ashlee F.

    Hi Mrs. ShutterBean, Just stopping on by to say, “Hello!” I am your newest follower! Love your recipes, in fact, I made this one tonight and I can’t wait to dig in tomorrow! Such restraint right? I am making this for a girls night out treat. Do you think my friends would be disgusted with a piece missing? Thanks for the great recipe!
    Ashlee in Utah!

  • Amanda

    SO, I’ve beaten, mixed, sifted and finally baked…now here is my issue or hopefully non-issue! This seems like TONS of liquid that I’ve just poured over the top of my still piping hot cake?!? Does the milk mixture typically seep right in or does it take its time over the next 5 hours in the fridge?

    <3 Thanks in advance for any reassurance lol

    • Tracy

      it’s a wet cake! it’s supposed to soak it all up like a sponge. you’ll see! it’s SOOO GOOD.

      • Stephanie

        Mine has been in the fridge for about 6 hours now and there is still a LOT of liquid. I’m hoping it will soak up even more overnight. Regardless, I’ve already snuck a few bites and it’s SO EFFING DELICIOUS so I’m okay with any amount of extra liquid.
        Thanks for yet another winning recipe Tracy!

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  • Andrea H

    Made this for company this weekend. It was a hit! My guests created multiple reasons to have dessert. Thanks!

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  • Shelley

    Hi Tracy!

    I cannot have milk. do you think it would be possible to substitute the one can of sweetened condensed milk for another can of coconut milk and perhaps up the sugar? I think there’s a way to make “sweetened condensed milk” out of coconut milk but I would rather make it a little bit easier. Thank you! :)

    • Tracy

      Add more sugar and sub in the coconut milk! Maybe you could add a little brown sugar?

  • Kristan

    Question for you – how long do you think this cake will be good for in the fridge? i.e. – I want to make it on Sunday to bring it on a beach trip that we’re going to Tuesday night through Saturday. Think it will stay good that long?? That is if it lasts that long :)

    • Tracy

      It should be good til Tuesday. We had it in our fridge for about 4 days. The whipped cream still held up! I think by Thursday TOPS it should work- get people to eat it all! (that wont be hard)

  • ashley

    i haven’t been into baking as much recently but seeing this cake makes me need to find an excuse to bake it asap!!

    • Tracy

      get back in the kitchen! unless it’s like 100 degrees where you live. Then eat popsicles!

  • Mel@TheDizzyMom

    I made this for my family and they loved it! Thanks for the inspiration. It was awesome because it’s COLD. We need that here in the southwest.

    Check it out: http://thedizzymom.blogspot.com/2012/07/4th-of-july-treat.html

  • Nealey @ Dixie Caviar

    Whoa baby… so this is basically like a tres leches cake on coconut crack, right? I just spent almost a month developing a Southern style coconut layer cake that about damn killed me. This looks like an amazing breath of fresh air! Yummmmmmmm….

    • Tracy

      Oh snap! This cake was the death of me…bathing suit wise! I ate SOOO much of this cake, it’s not even funny!

  • Sandra

    Omg .. this was seriously amazing. Had my parents over for brunch and made this for dessert. So, so good! I just wanted to put it out there that that I totes made the cake the last night around 10 pm-ish, and it was still quite amazing at noon today. Not sure if I’m missing out on something even BETTER by having it in the fridge longer than 8 hours? It’s hard to believe – it was so good! So, it worked out well for me as a make-ahead item for brunch!

    • Tracy

      YES!!!!!! I found it to be just as good if not better a day later. Amazing! So glad you loved it!

  • Stephanie

    Such a perfect summer cake!! I just made it today and served it to my fam tonight and it was so. so. GOOD.

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  • Dawn

    I have some Cream of coconut (Coco Lopez) – what do you think about me using that instead of the sweetened condensed milk??

    • Tracy

      sounds great! it might be TOO sweet though. If my memory is correct, it’s a bit thicker than the condensed milk so maybe just add a little more regular milk to balance it out? Lemme know how that works!

  • Dawn

    So, me being the baking fanatic, HAD to make one of each…HAHA…and I have to say the one with the Cream of Coconut in place of the sweetened condensed milk was A-MAZING ! So much more flavor, and not too sweet,either!

    Thank you so much, because this recipe is my big answer to to looking for an authentic Mexican coconut cake for a Friend of mine from Acapulco, and it’s his favorite. Each year I make a different version of it, to get it right, cuz he says ” in Mexico, they make it with the coconut IN the cake” and this one is the bestest !

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  • dana

    I think I just cried a little. OMG

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  • Nanna

    I’m making this for our goodbye party (we are leaving the States and I’m oh-so-sad). But with all the condensed milk in the recipe I’m kind of tempted to skip the sugar or reduce the amount quite a bit. Do you thing I’m way off the mark here?

    • Tracy

      If it’s not sugary enough, you can always make up for it in the whipped cream!

  • Litia

    omg! awesome..thank you

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  • christina

    I finally got around to making this, and it was fantastic! I omitted the heavy cream and condensed milk, and instead used whole milk and almond milk. I also used coconut whipped cream instead of regular whipped cream.

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