A wide shot of a coconut cake on a marble cake stand draped with a vintage stripe napkin

Coconut Custard Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices


This Coconut Custard Cake is a coconut cake flavored with coconut and layered with a decadent creamy coconut custard and frosted with cream cheese frosting. Cover this cake with shredded coconut for the ultimate coconut cake.


For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg
  • 2 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon (7.5g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4.5g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1 1/3 cup (315ml) coconut milk, well stirred

For the filling:

  • 1 ¼ cup (296ml) heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 4 teaspoons  (13g) corn starch
  • 1/2 cup (114g) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (142g) granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups (170g) shredded coconut, sweetened
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup (114g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 oz (339g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (390g) powdered sugar
  • 2 cups (151g) shredded sweetened coconut, toasted


For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Prepare your bake even stripes if desired.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, butter, eggs sour cream and extracts. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Alternate adding half the dry ingredients and half the coconut milk at a time and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans, about 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes and rotate your pans in the oven halfway through.
  5. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  6. Toast the coconut in the preheat oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread the coconut evenly on the pan. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until desired color is reach. Transfer to a bowl or plate to stop the cooking process. Cool completely.

For the filling:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and corn starch and whisk until thickened. Add additional heavy cream if necessary to get a liquid consistency.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add remaining heavy whipping cream, sugar and shredded coconut. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally just until the mixture is nearly boiling.
  3. Lastly, add the corn starch mixture and continuing to heat over medium high heat until the mixture is thickened, stirring constantly. Whisk in the vanilla extract last.
  4. Set the mixture aside and all it too cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Once the cake and filling has cooled, prepare the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat on medium-high speed using the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. As the mixture thickens, add the vanilla extract.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Divide the coconut filling in half. Place the bottom layer of cake on an 8 or 10-inch cake board. Pipe a dam of frosting around the outside edge of the cake using a large round piping tip.
  2. Fill the center with the coconut filling and gently spread evenly. Place the second layer of cake and repeat the above steps.
  3. Place the final layer of cake on top. Ice the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese icing, you don’t need a very thick layer.
  4. Use your hands to gently pat the shredded coconut into the frosting, covering the cake as thoroughly as possible.
  5. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Keep covered in an airtight container to prevent the cake from drying out.


  • Recipe adapted from Bonjour Y’all. If you are looking for the original recipe you can download it here.
  • Both the frosting and the filling can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. The cream cheese frosting was still very much spreadable even after sitting the fridge overnight.
  • If you find your cream cheese is still too thick, just let it sit out with filling for 30 minutes before using.
  • You will have a little bit of leftover frosting and filling since this was originally a 4-layer cake and I turned it into a 3-layer cake. Don’t overfill your layers.
  • If you prepared the coconut filling ahead of time and refrigerated it, it might be a little too firm to spread. So, pop it in the microwave for 15-25 seconds until it’s a spreadable consistency. It should not be warm when you spread it.
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cake, Coconut Cake, Coconut Custard, Coconut Cream Cake