World's Best Coconut Cake Recipe

Thomas is an award-winning chef known for his barbecue and chili. In 1998, he was named 3rd best chef in Florida.

Here is the recipe for what I truly believe is the world's best coconut cake. I love coconut. This cake is simply wonderful and if you can make it and leave it alone in the refrigerator for three days without cutting, you will be rewarded with the best-flavored cake you will ever eat. And that's saying a lot but this cake is just that good.

I remember the first time I ever tasted this cake at a cake party in Miami, Florida. They had made the cake very much like the recipe here and they had put toasted coconut on the outside. I like it both ways—toasted and untoasted. No matter how you make it, you'll find that this cake has a great flavor.

Sour Cream Coconut Cake Recipe


  • Two cups of sour cream
  • Two cups of granulated sugar
  • Six ounces of frozen coconut, thawed
  • One box yellow cake mix
  • Two cups of Cool Whip topping


  • Make your yellow cake mix by the package directions on the back of the cake box and bake in two 9-inch cake pans.
  • Once your cake layers are cool, split your layers in half, so you end up with four cake layers.
  • Mix the sour cream, Cool Whip and 2/3 of the coconut in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Once you have it mixed well, spread a layer of the mixed topping between each cake layer and then using a knife or spatula, spread the remaining mixed topping all over the outside of your cake, being sure to cover the whole cake. Now you have a decision to make.

To Toast or Not to Toast

You can take your hands and apply the remaining coconut you have all over the outside of your cake, or you can toast it in the oven and then apply it. My family likes it both ways, so I make it both ways from time to time.

If you choose the toasted method, it does change the flavor of the cake a bit. When you toast your coconut, you only want it to brown slightly, not burn.

The finished cake is beautiful if you toast the coconut or not.

Let It Sit

Now comes the really hard part. And be prepared to guard the refrigerator. You want to cover your cake and place it in the refrigerator for three days before you cut it.

If you make the cake, please let us know how it turned out for you.

Neat Idea for a Party

Purchase a small glass doll or something similar that will stand the heat of the oven and put it into the cake batter when you're making the cake. If you wish, you can use a brightly colored marble. Purchase a large nice gift and set it out on the table at your party. Whoever gets the marble or miniature statue wins the prize. I guarantee that people will love this.

Whatever item you use in your cake must be very clean and it must stand the heat of the oven. It also needs to be as small as possible. Be sure to let everyone know how the big prize is going to be given away and tell them to be sure to look for the prize marker in their cake.

© 2009 Thomas Byers


Linda on May 13, 2019:

What about the sugar

AP on March 28, 2019:

The frosting was super runny for me as well. I refrigerated it overnite, and it thickened slightly, but runny enough i could still just pour it over. Is it supposed to be spreadable like normal frosting? Frosting tasted great though.

Lin Head on October 27, 2017:

My mom made this cake for years, it's really good. The only thing she did different was mix sour cream,coconut and sugar together tissue mixture goes between the layers,then add the cool whip to the left over icing to ice the top and sides. This cake is awesome,so moist.( can add more coconut,unfrozen will thicken the icing.

In the cake recipe what do you do with the 2 cups of granulated sugar? You do no tells us. on April 28, 2017:

Tell us what to do with the sugar.

carol on March 24, 2016:

Why don't the recipe say to add the sugar to the frosting......it only says sour cream, cool whip, and coconut.....

Cindy on November 24, 2015:

I haven't tasted it yet, but the frosting is incredibly runny. :(

Lee on October 25, 2015:

Can you use sweetened coconut from a bag instead of frozen?

Michelle on September 26, 2015:

Can I use fresh coconut, or do I have to freeze it after processing? Also, does this recipe call for young coconut or mature coconut flesh? I ask because the two taste very different. Mature coconut is very firm and have that nutty flavor when toasted whereas young coconut has a very delicate sweet flavor and has a texture almost like firm gelatin (where you can use a spoon it out of the shell) and becomes more firm as it ages.

Sharon on September 24, 2015:

This is definitely the best coconut cake I have ever made. It is delicious. Thanks for posting it.

karlastamey on June 11, 2015:

My Mom made this cake for years, and it is truly the Best coconut cake ever !! She also made it as Glenda does, a day ahead she prepared sugar,coconut, sour cream, then next day she made cake.... So it took 4 days total.... My husband loves it, so I'm going to surprise him with one.. Hope I can wait 4 days.. That's the hard part... Lol..

flour power on April 04, 2015:

One cake has lemon filling, the other has the white filling, what gives ?

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on August 24, 2014:

No it is the same thing as what is on the cake.

parsleygurl on August 24, 2014:

In the picture with the 3 layers, it looks like there is a different filling. What did you use?

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on September 12, 2013:

Most supermarkets have several brands of frozen coconut but you can use other coconut if you can't find the frozen.

Darlene on September 12, 2013:

where do you fine frozen coconut - I live in a small town -could I use coconut in a bag I get from the grocery store --The cake sounds wonderful _-want to make today

glenda on July 08, 2013:

I have been making this cake for years. However, a little differently but just as delicious. I mix 2 cups of sugar, 2c. of sour cream & 2c. of coconut and refrigerate overnight. Next day, make cake, fold a large Cool Whip into mixture, split layers and ice cake. Pat on extra coconut over cake and refrigerate 3 days.

I have been making this cake for years.However, a little differently. I mix 2c. sour cream, 2c. sugar & 2c frozen coconut thawed. Refrigerate overnight. Next day, make cake, split layers and fold a large Cool Whip into reserved mixture. Ice cake and cover with more coconut. Refrigerate 3 days. Delicious!!!

Jessainia on June 01, 2012:

Relly good

Mary C. on May 11, 2012:

I want to make this cake for my Daughters birthday and Mother's day can i make this cake in an oblong pan? 11x13

Erica on March 04, 2012:

Yum! So I just made this cake. The frosting was a little runny. Will it thicken up once I leave the cake in the fridge for 3 days? Thanks for posting this recipe :)

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on February 12, 2012:

Yellow Cake Mix is Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix. I say there in the directions to make the cake by the direction on the box. That is where you will find the eggs. And yes making it with a cake mix I still say it is the best Coconut Cake in the world. You won't find a better coconut cake.

Lee-anne on February 12, 2012:

Hi... I was very excited to find a recipe for the world's best coconut cake, because I love coconut more than even chocolate! But I don't understand this recipe, what on earth is yellow cake mix???!!! Where are the eggs? And the flour etc?


Audrey on November 23, 2011:

I LOVE THIS CAKE! It was easy to follow and easy to make AND it tastes GREAT!!!

IF the frosting is runny.....try putting it in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes before frosting your cake; thickens it right up and allows the sugar a few extra minutes to dissolve into the ingredients!!

Love2Cook1954 on November 05, 2011:

Oh booy these cakes looks so darn yummy, I am like a child in a toy store. I don't know which ones to make for the holiday...lol

Christian Louboutin Sale on May 31, 2011:


6hotfingers3 on January 18, 2011:

Great and to the point. I will try this cake recipe. Good Hub and easy to follow!

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on October 05, 2010:

Yes sorry the sugar is mixed with the sour cream

Joyce Kroll on October 05, 2010:

I would like to try this recipe, and assuming the sugar is mixed with sour cream, etc. but there are no directions saying this.

Jackie on March 05, 2010:

Wow!!! It had a sumblime taste- just excellent!!! one tip is that the frosting is a bit runny, so what I did was apply the runny frosting in the layers so it could soak in, But to the remaining frosting, I added a thickener for the outside coat. What I did was put 1 cup milk with 4 tablespoons of flour over the stovetop on low heat until the consistency was like mashed potatoes. Then I let it cool and I beat it in with the runny frosting. It did nothing to the taste, so I recommend doing that change. Overall, I loved the cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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