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A slice of coconut custard cake on a white plate.

Coconut Custard Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 47 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Coconut Custard Cake is made from moist coconut cake layers filled with silky coconut custard and frosted with tangy cream cheese frosting. Cover this cake with shredded coconut for the ultimate coconut lover’s dessert! 


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
  • 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 tablespoon (15ml) coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup (315ml) coconut milk, well stirred

For the filling:

  • 1 ¼ cup (296ml) heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 4 teaspoons  (13g) cornstarch
  • 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 and sour cream. 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, the extracts, and half the coconut milk at a time and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Repeat until all ingredients have been added. 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 preheated oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the coconut evenly on the pan. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until the desired color is reached. 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 cornstarch 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 the remaining heavy whipping cream, sugar, and shredded coconut. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally just until the mixture is nearly boiling.
  3. Lastly, add the cornstarch mixture and continue to heat over medium-high heat until the mixture is thickened, stirring constantly. Whisk in the vanilla extract last. Set the mixture aside and all it to 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. 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.
  3. Use your hands to gently pat the shredded coconut into the frosting, covering the cake as thoroughly as possible.
  4. 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 made ahead of time and refrigerated. Let them sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before using. The coconut filling might still be too firm to spread, and if so, pop it into the microwave for 15-25 seconds until it’s a spreadable consistency. Make sure to let it cool completely.
  • 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.
  • Storing: Due to the custard filling and cream cheese frosting, you’ll want to keep your finished coconut custard cake refrigerated. Store the cake in an airtight container.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 1061
  • Sugar: 83g
  • Sodium: 547mg
  • Fat: 68g
  • Carbohydrates: 109g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 9.7g
  • Cholesterol: 146mg