Coconut Sponge Cake Recipe


This Coconut Sponge Cake recipe is a spin-off from my original Vanilla Sponge cake.

Packed with coconutty goodness, the added coconut extract and coconut milk really take this cake over the top!

The building on recipes ideas are endless with this one!

Be sure to check out what I did with this recipe~ I turned it into a Lemon Coconut Layer Cake!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Coconut Sponge Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Preheat oven to 350° F
Serves: 2 - 8" Layers or 24 Cupcakes
  • Eggs large 4 (200g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Cake Flour 1½ cups (180g)
  • All Purpose Flour ½ cup (65g)
  • Baking Powder 2 teaspoons (10g)
  • Salt 1 teaspoon (6g)
  • Unsalted Butter 1 stick (113g)
  • Canned Coconut Milk 1 cup (237ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Coconut Extract 2 teaspoons (10ml)
  • Sweetened Flake Coconut 1¼ cup (112g)
  1. Whip the warmed eggs on high speed and gradually add the granulated sugar until ribbon stage (about 5 minutes)
  2. Melt the butter then add the coconut milk and extract, keep warm (or reheat to 120°F before adding to the recipe as follows)
  3. Add the sifted flour, baking powder and salt all at once to the ribbon stage eggs and sugar and blend on low speed to combine.
  4. Prepare a liaison with about 1½ cups of the batter and the melted butter and coconut milk as shown on the video, then add it back to the main batter with the coconut and fold to combine well.
  5. Bake in preheated 350° oven for approximately 35-45 minutes or until it is springy to the touch when gently pressed in the center
Cupcakes and cake Layers can be frozen (wrapped well) for up to 1 month


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  1. Yessss!!!!thank you so much Gretchen for this recipe again cos I saw it on your blog a while ago but didn’t write it down plus your blog was shutdown for a while and now its here againthank uuuuuuuuuuu
    P.S-have saved it now

  2. I saw your video just before I head to work and I’ve been thinking about it all day!! I think I must make it
    What brand do you recommend for the flavorings?

  3. Hi Gretchen,
    I just watched the video for this cake recipe and saw that you added vanilla extract but it’s not listed here on the recipe. How much vanilla is added to the batter? Thanks!

  4. Yaaayyy!!! I found this in early May (or was it late April) for my Grandma’s birthday! Which was how I found your blog & videos, of course.

  5. Gretchen~ I noticed from the photo that your layers are about 1″ think. Is this recipe appropriate to bake say, a 3″ layer as well or is the batter to delicate and I’d be looking at a fallen cake if I try that?? I love my 3″ cake layers to that I can tort to any thickness! 🙂 Thanks so much for ALL you do!!

  6. gretchen! Thank you for sharing your amazing gift and recipes! Your pumpkin puree and pumpkin bread recipe are a hit by all who I share them with. Thank you!

  7. Hi there! Thank you for the awesome recipes. 🙂

    I can’t bake 2 pans at the same time so I was wondering if I can cut all the ingredients in half..?


    1. yes you can, that would be the best way since this batter is not great to sit out and wait. Or if you have a taller 3″ pan you can bake it all together, just be careful not to over-brown the top and edges (adjust temp down towards end of baking) and it will take much longer to bake too

  8. Love all ur posts !!! Plz i’m searching for ur best moist chocolat recipe and don’t find it can u plz post it or send an email plzzz
    Thnk u

    1. Hi Thanks! there is search bar on the top right column of the page and you can search for anything there, its pretty “spelling” friendly too! So if I have made it and you are looking for it, it should come up- but HERE IT IS!


  10. I like that you gave us a twist with this lemin coconut cake recipe, which I will try in the near future, but I would love to see the classic coconut cake assembled, also.

        1. I have the ingredients to the almond joy coconut filling but I don’t know how to prepare it.. Could you pls teach me?
          Thank you

  11. Hi Gretchen,
    Thank you so much for the help and advise you give it to as. All the recipes you give it to as are the best, and I don’t know how to thank you. You are a brilliant!! And I wish you all the success in the future.
    Is there any chance you could possibly send me the recipe of Rainbow Cake cake please? I would be much appreciated. With many thanks.

    Kind regards

  12. I just made this recipe with plans to assemble a classic coconut cake and I must say that the cake smells wonderful and they came out beautiful. This might be my new go to coconut cake. Thanks!

  13. Hello
    thank u for the amazing recipe. I can already smell the coconut :p
    but I have one question am planning to make a 3 tier birthday cake for my son and I was wondering if this recipe is gd for it? And can it stand the layering and tiering?

  14. Baked three of ur recipes today. Yellow butter cake , coconut sponge and christmas fruit can
    Alllll r yumm and amazing .baked coconut cake for d first time .awesome taste.
    Thankyou Gretchen
    Wish u a merry Christmas and a happy new yr ahead

  15. I have tried your recipies including hot milk cake n Chocolate cake n coconut cake. they r awesome My coconut cake is not giving good result. I dont know where I was wrong. I used fresh coconut n home made coconut milk plus I felt that eggs become very hot at double boiler.

    1. Thank you for the reply. Could you suggest one of your oil based cakes that could be turned into a coconut bundt cake please?

    2. Wonderful! Thank you. So how do I adjust that to make it coconut-ey? I presume replace the milk for coconut milk and vanilla for coconut extract? What about sugar quantity and salt to adjust for the flaked sweetened coconut?
      Thank you so much for helping me with this! 🙂

  16. Hi, Gretchen. I’m making the coconut cake, but I’m going to use a coconut pastry cream for the filling and going to frost with your Swiss buttercream. How do I flavor the buttercream? Extract or a little coconut milk, or both. Thanks for your help.

  17. What would you say to swapping some or all of the butter in this recipe for coconut oil? The butter is melted, not creamed, so I think it might work.

  18. Hi. My niece get married in June she asked me to make her a coconut cake with a pineapple and coconut filling. The wedding will be outdoor. For being the outdoor activity the cake is no risk of damage.

  19. Hi gretchen. Made your coconut cake tdy. Smells amazing….but after i took it out of the oven n test for doneness….its quite hard….n after cooling…its same ..i mean bit rubbery..not hw a sponge shud be….I am ur avid follower and hv nvr substituted or played with ur proportions. Followed ur recipe exactly this time too…wot cud be wrong? The only thing i cud guess is that , i didnt keep the temp of butter n melted butter warm as u mentioned. Cud this make such a difference in the texture.? *sorry.. i meant the temperature of coconut milk n melted butter…

  20. Hi,

    Just wondering where you place the cake in the oven when it is cooking. Is it closer to the bottom rack or mid way. Most recipes never say.

  21. Hi Gretchen,

    What is best? To eat the cake right away or leave it for a day. I don’t know why but somehow I think that eating cake the day after tastes better.

    All of your recipes here looking SO YUMMY. Now I want to open my own bakery, I blame you 🙂 🙂

    Lots of love from The Netherlands!

  22. Hi Gretchen!
    Planning on making this recipe very soon!! I know you mentioned that the amount of sugar would not need to be adjusted if i didn’t use sweetened coconut flakes but i just wanted to double check as there is 350g sugar in this version if the vanilla cake and only 200g here. Just seems like such a difference?
    Also does it make any difference to how the cake turns out if i add the sugar to the eggs when over the double boiler compared with adding gradually to whipped eggs?
    Thank you so much. Love your videos and blog! And so many of your recipes are my go to recipes!! Thank you xx

    1. HI Thanks! I started heating the sugar and eggs together to help dissolve the sugar since many people had trouble with their sugar floating to the top making it a crust on top

      1. Thank you for replying!
        And regarding the sugar? If i’m using unsweetened coconut the 200g is really enough sugar? Since the vanilla cake has 350?
        Thank you

  23. This was a great recipe as usual! thank you! I know you said no substitutions, but I used coco lopez instead of just coconut milk and reduced the coconut extract because the coco lopez has so much more flavor than the coconut milk.. It was really good.

    1. Great! I agree about the coco lopez with more flavor however I also feel it is super sweet! Glad it worked and you loved it!

  24. Hi Gretchen,
    Love this cake. Adding to my all time favorites!
    I have a question unrelated to the cake. I notice in other videos that you have a large “balloon” whisk. I love it and am having a hard time finding one just like it. Would you please let me know where you purchased yours so can add it to my kitchen.
    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  25. I want to use this as the base for a mango mousse cake. If I omit the coconut flakes, do I need to adjust the recipe elesewhere?

  26. Hi Gretchen,

    Thanks for all the new Vegan recipes. I have tried a few and they have turned out great. My question is do you have a butter coconut cake recipe? I am not big on Sponge Cake. I was thinking about turning your white cake into a coconut cake, but I was not sure if I could do that.

    Please let me know


    1. Thank YOU too! You can absolutely add coconut flavor and toasted (or not toasted) coconut to the batter for the white cake sure

  27. Can this recipe be good for a sheet cake 11x15x2? If so how much of this recipe do I make? Thanks! I’m a new follower and loving it!

  28. Hello ma’am this is Sabrina. U came accords your YouTube and I baked almost all your cakes and whoever has it just always praised your cake and I even told my friends about your blog they not only follow u on Instagram but also bake your recipes! Thankyou for your effort and kindness.
    Just. Quick question can I turn all your recipe into a cake loaf recipe ? Or do I need to make some adjustments

    1. Hi thankyou! Im not sure what you mane by “cake loaf” but Im assuming you mean baking in a loaf pan? Sure you can, may want to lower temperature after first 20 minutes to be sure you dont over brown before the center is done

  29. Hi Gretchen,
    I love this cake and so does everyone who tastes it.
    I need to make it for a wedding shower and will be assembling it 2 days in advance. How much simple syrup should be used on each layer to help keep it moist for those 2 days? Will the syrup make the cake too sweet?
    Thanks so much!

  30. Love the recipe, I was a little intimidated when I was doing the liaison but thanks for the tips.
    I used it as a base for pastel de las tres leches with coconut milk. Thank you!

  31. Hi Gretchen,
    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I love to try this coconut sponge cake. What quantity of materials will I need to achieve the texture as it is looking in yours for a size 12, 5 inch height cake? Then if I don’t have a larger mixer for the eggs and a blender to blend the flour and ribboned eggs, how would I go about it and not have problems with my cake?
    Thank you

    1. For 1 12″ layer (2″ in height) I would do 3X the recipe. You will need a mixer that is capable of whipping the eggs to full volume though for this to work out

      1. Thank you for your response Gretchen. I assume I should not try a larger recipe if I don’t have a mixer that can contain the eggs and rather go for the creaming method if I must use a tripled recipe.

  32. I made this for my partners birthday cake. It was the first occasion cake I’ve made and it turned out fabulous. I made two lots for a 4 layer cake and both turned out the same. Instructions were easy to follow and the end result tasted amazing! Will definitely make again.

  33. Hi… by mistake I purchased coconut cream instead of canned coconut milk.. what should I do now?? How to use it for this recipe??

      1. Hello..just thought id share the outcome…i ended up using 4 x 6″ filled 3/4 and had a tiny bit left probably 2 cupcakes worth. The flavour was perfect very only thing is it was little more dense then id like, i do like cakes very light and fluffy. I am assuming because im squeezing the batter in smaller tins this is whats made it more dense where as if i used 2 x 8″ like you have it would of been more lighter. Is there anything i can change that will make it light if i wish to use 6″ tins again but wont reduce the amount of batter? Less flour maybe?


        1. The size wouldn’t affect the density of the cake, what is more crucial is the whipping of the eggs to ribbon stage and the gentle folding in of the flour to maintain the lightness of that batter, if the foam gets too deflated OR additionally if the liaison does not get folded in properly as well, this will cause a dense cake

          1. Many thanks. I’ll be sure to fold in properly next time to keep the air locked in. Thank you very much for replying and sharing your recipe.

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