Mom's Best Ever Coconut Cake

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1:00
Serves 12

My Mom's Best Ever Coconut Cake is dessert heaven! Creamy, dreamy, tender cake topped with whipped cream is so easy to make and is loaded with coconut flavor!



  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • One 5-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, coconut oil, and sugar. Beat in vanilla and coconut extract.
  5. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, alternating with water, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold egg whites into the batter until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared baking dish, and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan.
  8. Poke holes in the cake’s surface using the back end of a wooden spoon.
  9. Whisk together the evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk; pour evenly over the cooled cake and allow to soak in.


  1. Beat together whipping cream, sugar, coconut extract, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
  2. Spread whipped cream over the evenly over the entire cake. Sprinkle evenly with coconut. If desired, refrigerate before serving (at least 30 minutes) and store covered in fridge.


Recipe Notes

You can substitute all shortening instead of shortening + coconut oil. Just be sure to add 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract of you make this swap.
If you want, you can make dairy-free coconut whipped cream by substituting coconut cream for the heavy cream and removing the coconut extract.
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