The BEST Coconut Pound Cake

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I don’t use the word “best” very often, but this cake? It is truly the BEST Coconut Pound Cake I have ever tasted! Oh my heavens. This cake. It is EVERYTHING I want in a coconut cake.

The BEST Coconut Pound Cake - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Dense enough to not fall apart when you slice it, tender and fluffy enough for the perfect crumb, sweet but not overly sweet, with just the right amount of coconut flavor in every bite.

I could quite possibly talk your ears off about how much I LOVE this Coconut Pound Cake. The crumb is spectacular, the crust has the perfect crunch, this beauty of a cake is drizzled with a sweet coconut icing, and topped with an extra sprinkling of coconut.

The BEST Coconut Pound Cake (traditional and gluten free recipes included) get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

This cake has pretty much destroyed my self-control. I sliced it after dinner a few nights ago and then I could not stop slicing slivers to taste for the rest of the night.

This is going to be in my dessert line-up for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. I am beside myself thrilled with this cake.

The BEST Coconut Pound Cake (traditional and gluten free recipes included) get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com
Kitchen Tip: I use this (perfect every time!) bundt pan and this mixer to make this recipe.
Oh! And if you do have coconut lover’s in your life, you’re going to want to save this recipe for my Grandma’s Coconut Chews as well.

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The BEST Coconut Pound Cake

4.68 from 49 votes
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Ingredients 

  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • Glaze Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Topping:
  • 2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut toasted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Thoroughly grease and lightly flour an 8 or 10-cup bundt pan. Beat the butter and sugars together, on medium speed, until fluffy crumbs form. Add the eggs, vanilla, and coconut extract, beat again until smooth. Add the milk, beat on low speed to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat again, just until combined. Stir in the coconut.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, until golden on top and light brown on the edges. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place the cooling rack on top of the cake, hold the sides firmly and invert the pan over the rack. The cake should drop smoothly out of the pan. Tap firmly on the pan with a wooden spoon, if necessary to free the cake from the pan. Let the cake cool completely before glazing.
  • To make the glaze, melt the butter in a small glass bowl. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and coconut extract. Whisk together until smooth. The glaze should pour off the spoon in a white stream. Add a teaspoon more milk to thin it, or 1-2 tablespoons more powdered sugar to thicken it, if necessary. Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Sprinkle generously with coconut. Store at room temperature, loosely covered, preferably not airtight. This cake will keep nicely and stay very moist for 3-4 days. Enjoy!

Notes

COOK’S NOTE: I’m not an advocate for buying a slew of specialty ingredients, but the coconut extract is key to the lovely flavor in this cake. While I would typically not use an imitation "vanilla" extract, I used an imitation coconut extract (because it was the only option at the store) for this recipe and it worked beautifully.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{originally published 11/20/15 – recipe notes and photos updated 5/2/17}
The BEST Coconut Pound Cake (traditional and gluten free recipes included) get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Katherine says

    This looks SO good. I love coconut, but no one else in my family likes it. I suppose I could be persuaded to eat the whole thing by myself…slowly… 🙂

  2. Lori says

    I made this cake last weekend. If you are even considering it, don’t delay, start baking… you won’t be disappointed in the slightest! It was fantastic….exactly as you described it…not overly sweet, could be eaten for bfast or dessert. The toasted coconut was perfect. I’ll definitely be making this over & over again! This was my first BITK recipe … I’ll be back & I’ll recommend without hesitation!!!5 stars

    • Mary says

      Yes, that is correct. Sugar is often in equal or slightly higher portions for pound cakes. I promise that this cake is not overly sweet. Enjoy!

  3. Julie says

    Tastes great but mine stuck to the pan pretty bad. Luckily I took it to friends who don’t care so much about looks, but taste!! Will try again.

  4. Dedric says

    I made it, but unlike others, mine was relatively sweet. Next time I will use Unsweetened Shredded Coconut instead of Sweetened. Otherwise, the cake and Glaze are really good!

  5. Sarah says

    I made this tonight and sprayed the bunny pan heavily with Pam. It stuck so much to the pan! I recommend teocloaf pans lined with parchment paper instead.

    • Mary says

      I buy mine at a local grocery store, it’s their brand. I have no idea where you might find it in Germany. I’ve asked a baker friend who lives there though and I will let you know what I hear back from her.

    • Mary says

      I heard back from my friend Erin (HERE is the ingredient page on her blog – if you scroll to the bottom there’s an entire guide to finding baking ingredients in Germany) and she said that unfortunately, coconut extract isn’t available in Germany. If you google Kokos Backaroma, you can find it online – HERE Erin orders all of her extracts from iHerb and Vitacost. I hope that helps!

  6. Kelly says

    I made this cake and read some of the comments whole it was in the oven and got so nervous but…it was perfect and a bug hit at my Aunts b day party!! So easy to make and delicious!5 stars

    • Kelly says

      Oh…I also couldn’t find coconut extract so instead I used almond and vanilla burbon extract from Trader Joes and it was great!

    • Mary says

      It works fine in a loaf pan, you’ll want to watch it as it bakes and adjust the time accordingly for a different pan size. This does freeze nicely. I typically thaw either in the refrigerator or on the counter at room temperature.

  7. Penny says

    No exaggeration here. Everything you said about it is true. It is absolutely the best. I baked it exactly as directed and let it bake for 65 minutes. Perfection. I almost hesitated about making the frosting because my husband loves plain coconut pound cake, but I wanted to try it true to the recipe. It was worth it. This is our Easter Weekend Cake, but we might be naming it for every holiday from now on.5 stars

  8. Deb says

    I followed recipe to the letter, cooked for 65min. Looked perfect. I gotta say it didn’t have much flavor and didn’t taste coconut at all. I was so disappointed. That being said it didn’t last long at all
    I don’t live at high elevations or anything, I didn’t substitute any of the ingredients. I wish I knew what went wrong. I’m going to give it another try though. Fingers crossed.

    • Mary says

      That is absolutely bizarre. Did you use the coconut extract? Any chance the extract was old? I honestly don’t know if that would affect it, but this cake typically gets rave reviews and it is loaded with coconut flavor.

    • Mary says

      There is already shredded coconut in this recipe. The cake will still be tasty, but not nearly as coconut flavored without the extract.

  9. CLAUDIA DAVIS says

    I made this tonight and it did not come out right. First it did not release well and what did, was undercooked and heavy. If Probably needed about 15 or more minutes on the bottom but looked golden on top and light brown on the edges. I followed everything to a T and my oven temps are correct.

    Was so looking forward to this. 🙁 I wonder what happened.

  10. Suzan says

    I made this last night and it’s delicious. The only issue I had is mine developed a crunchy crust on top. I didn’t make the glaze because the cake by itself is good as is.5 stars

  11. Martha says

    I followed this recipe carefully,; but, after I took it out of the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes, the cake had sunk & crusty. Even though I had really buttered the pan & floured it.

    • Mary says

      It’s possible that it hadn’t cooked through completely, as all ovens are a little different. Did you test with a toothpick for just crumbs at the center before removing it from the oven?

  12. Rhonda says

    My boyfriend and I buy a “signature coconut” cake from a local bakery and it is to die for!! Im hoping this recipe is just as good or even a close second. 😊Trying it tonight… will let you know tomorrow how it compares. 🤞

  13. Mai says

    This recipe is fantastic!! I am making it for the 2nd time right now. look no further it has tons of flavor it is moist n very delicous5 stars

    • Mary says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake. You can certainly try reducing the sugar a bit, however, not having tested that myself I can’t say for certain how it might affect the end result.

  14. Shrimpy says

    Was looking for a recipe like this. I made this recently for the first time for a dinner party and it was a huge hit. People were having seconds and you don’t always see that! You have to use a minimum of a 10 cup bundt pan or it will overflow. I saw the comment by someone asking about cutting the sweetness. I think the sweetness (for me) was more about the glaze than the cake (which is to be expected for a powdered sugar glaze). So my trick is to add a pinch of salt and/or a squeeze of lemon juice to the glaze to cut the sweetness a bit. But, really, a truly BEST cake, as described. I will make this often. Many thanks – so happy to find this recipe.5 stars

  15. Allison Adams says

    I am going to try this cake, however, I was reading the comments about the “sweetness” of the cake. I am wondering, if people are using the sweeten coconut flakes instead of unsweetened coconut flakes or fresh shredded coconut. The recipe is not specify if the coconut should be sweeten or unsweetened, it only states “1 cup shredded coconut.” Most people tend to pick up Baker’s Sweetened Angel Flake Coconut.

    As such, please advise if you are using fresh coconut (unsweetened) or sweetened coconut for this recipe.

    Thank you.

    • Mary says

      I use regular sweetened angel flake coconut. Personally, I don’t find it to be too sweet. It isn’t a cake I’d sit down and eat a large portion of though.

    • Mary says

      I have no idea how that might work, as I haven’t tried that myself. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out for you, Mina.

  16. Tracy C. says

    I made this, but I had trouble with it coming out of the bundt pan in one piece. Yes, I greased and floured the pan. Yes, I let it cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. It tastes delicious, but it’s not in good enough shape for the icing drizzle and toasted coconut.

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m sorry to hear that it stuck for you, Tracy. I’m glad you like the flavor though. I replaced my original bundt pan last year and haven’t had a cake stick since then. Is it possible that you are using an older pan?

    • SC says

      Hi, Tracy C. Did you use salted butter? You must always use unsalted or your baked goods will stick.

    • Phyllis says

      My Bundt pan also sticks but solved by spraying with Pam Baking Spray that contains flour. It’s easier to get all the indents on a Bundt pan with a spray.

  17. Missi Carrico says

    I made this cake but the icing did harden and I thought it may stay soft like when you first put it on? Otherwise it is very good!

  18. Rosalinda Trevathan says

    Thank you for your time and talented. I enjoy the food made from your recipes as does my family.5 stars

  19. Shawna says

    I made this cake for Thanksgiving and there were only crumbs left, and they ate those as well. I’ve still been getting requests. I am making the cake right now for friends. Thanks for sharing.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I do not have a GF version of this recipe that I am thrilled with. I only share GF recipes when they are truly as good or better than the original. I’m pretty fussy like that, Lori. Sorry I don’t have one yet!

  20. M says

    Made this for a family friend with a strong liking for coconut. He loved it! I was giving instructions to save/use this version of a pound cake. I don’t use imitation extract. I didn’t make the glaze because he is on a gluten free diet and obviously cheated. I think fresh strawberries 🍓 would have been a nice topping. ALSO, I used cake flour. It is my personal opinion to use regular flour for a pound cake is a “sin”.5 stars

  21. Susan Hulett says

    Tastes almost like my mom’s recipe. Only difference is she used vanilla, butter & nut flavoring rather than vanilla extract. Still a great cake.5 stars

  22. Cathy says

    Ooohhh my goodness gracious! This is absolute deliciousness! We are a family of foodies who are accustomed to great tasting well prepared dishes. We all agree that your recipe has passed our test with an A+! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  23. Nicki cornett says

    No doubt, the best pound cake I have ever eaten. My mother used to make a coconut layer cake for Christmas every year which the whole family enjoyed, but I really prefer this recipe. I am 77 yrs old, believe me, I have tasted a lot of cakes. Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  24. DeNece says

    Saturday, Oct 12th was my 56th birthday, and while it was a lovely day, I missed having a birthday cake. Yesterday, I decided to make myself one and stumbled on this recipe after deciding I wanted a coconut cake.

    Something has to be phenomenal for me to leave a review so, can I just say that this was the most delicious and tender and moist cake I have EVER made! EVER! I didn’t
    make the glaze, nor any glaze, as I felt it would be sweet enough on its own, and I’m not a fan of frosting/glaze
    anyway. Trust me when I say it doesn’t need it! The only
    thing that might have made it better (if even possible)
    would have been a dollop of fresh whipped cream and
    some berries. Also, the grocery store only had ”imitation coconut flavoring”, and not “extract”, so I’m very excited to try it again with the real stuff!

    I will take it to work tomorrow as I fear that if it’s not out of my house I will eat the entire cake!!

    This recipe is going to be kept VERY handy for any event that I may need to bring a dish to…. I CANNOT WAIT to make it for the holidays! Thank you for sharing such a phenomenal recipe! I LOVE IT!5 stars

    • DeNece says

      Thank you, so much, Mary… I’m actually making this again, right now, for Thanksgiving today at my mom’s house… Sure hope it doesn’t upstage the pumpkin pie! 😉5 stars

  25. Joanna Lau says

    I made this on a flat pan because I didn’t have a Bundt pan and my husband and his whole office gave kudos to the chef. Thank you!! I read some comments and I agree that this can be made with less sugar and with it without frosting. I also didn’t have milk handy so I used Cinnabon creamer (so maybe that’s why I can do with less sugar). My husband said this is his favorite cake now!5 stars

  26. Thom says

    Two questions:

    1. Ingredients: Did you use sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut?

    2. Technique: You day to beat the butter and sugar until fluffy crumbs form. When making a cake I usually cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 5-6 minutes, at which time it’s a light yellow and fluffy but not “crumbs.” Why is your technique different? What difference does it make in the texture of the cake?

    Thanks.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Thom, I use sweetened coconut. All I can really say with regards to the method is that it works well as written. Feel free to stick with whatever method you prefer for cake baking. While I’ve never seen the need to cream the butter and sugar for this cake for that long, it’s not likely to hurt anything. Happy baking!

  27. JoAnn Taylor says

    This recipe sounds fabulous! I live alone and would like to make a coconut pound cake in a loaf pan (8″ x 4″). If I cut this recipe in half would that be appropriate? Thank you.

    • Peso says

      I just asked that question so that the slices could be grilled. Did you try cutting the recipe in half ? I would like to keep the ingredient amount and make two loaf pans of cake. If you tried this, did you adjust oven time? Thanks.

  28. Jennifer says

    This truly is the BEST coconut pound cake EVER!!!! I’ve made it twice and it was a HUGE HIT!! Amazing with a cup of coffee, glass of milk or glass of wine! Thank you for this amazing recipe!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      You can absolutely make this without the coconut extract, Diane. It simply won’t have as deep a coconut flavor. If you happen to have coconut milk in the house, you could swap that in for the regular milk and up the coconut flavor a bit that way. Happy baking!

  29. Laurie Burgess says

    Excellent recipe! Very moist and full of coconut flavor. It didn’t even need the glaze. My family love it.5 stars

  30. Evelyn Timmons says

    I made this coconut pound cake and it was simply delicious I had to share with my neighbors and grand children I’ll be baking another in about a week Thanks for sharing5 stars

  31. Patsy says

    I don’t have any coconut on hand and just wanted to make the cake. Can I add more flavoring and no icing?

    • Mary Younkin says

      Unfortunately, I don’t think that will work very well, Patsy. You’ll get a coconut flavor with a bit more extract, but the cake definitely won’t be quite the same without the texture and added flavor of the actual coconut.

  32. Sharon says

    I’m going to say this cake was so OVERLY sweet that I just couldn’t eat more than the first slice, same for the others in my house. It ended up in the trash cause there was nothing I could turn it into.1 star

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy it, Sharon. Apparently it’s not for everyone. For what it’s worth, you can reduce the sugar in this cake by a third without any issues. We enjoy it as a sweet cake, so we typically bake it exactly as written.

    • Nurse Toi says

      Wow, well this was rude. Sharon, you can always decrease the sugar and sodium(salt) in any recipe. As they are truly only optional for taste.. Next time if you know you dont like things to overly sweet. Try this trick dear! 🙂

    • Angelene says

      Absolutely moist and delicious cake. Took alot of will power not to finish it in a day.
      Based on other comments, I reduced my quantity of sugar as I don’t like over sweet cakes. I also did not bother to glaze my cake. I also substituted sour cream for the milk.
      Also the instructions said to add the milk and mix, and then add the flour, salt and baking powder. I decided to add my salt and baking powder to the flour and then alternate the flour mixture and milk as I normally do in other cakes.
      This is definitely my new coconut cake recipe. Thank you.5 stars

  33. Suzanne says

    Thank you for not requiring my information in order to print a recipe. The coconut pound cake sounds delicious plus I learned something – I need to get coconut extract – never knew it existed and I love coconut! BTW – great job on te site!5 stars

  34. Glends says

    Hi Mary, I like your take on using coconut milk with this recipe?! Also I read a reply that cake recipe is awfully sweet? Should I only use 2 cups of sugar will there be any other adjustment to recipe to get best results? Plan to bake cake soon, pls respond ASAP, thanks Glenda

    • Mary Younkin says

      I like the recipe exactly as written, Glends. I have no idea how reducing the sugar might change the final result. It should work the same with coconut milk.

  35. Joan Simpson says

    I love this cake. It’s super moist and I make it all the time. I have made it with the icing and without for anyone who may feel it is too sweet, simply leave off the icing.5 stars

  36. Nurse Toi says

    This pound cake was truly tasty and delicious. A new household favorite! It does go great with a hot beverage of your choice. Thank you for sharing this recipe. 😀5 stars

  37. Karen says

    Followed directions perfectly. Opened oven when timer went off at 60 min. and cake had fallen more than half way down the pan. Total disaster.
    Is 2 1/2 cups flour enough for this recipe? Had to get off the bottom with a spoon. Was supposed to be a birthday cake tomorrow. Not now!1 star

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m very sorry to hear that the cake didn’t work out for you, Karen. It sounds like it might not have been cooked through. I can’t imagine what caused the cake to fall like that. Did you by chance substitute any ingredients?

  38. Jeanette Rumsey says

    This is an exquisite cake that is so flavorful and easy to make. I have used this recipe without fail more than a dozen times and will continue to do so for every special event we celebrate. Thank you so much!5 stars

  39. Warning says

    This recipe is great, except for one thing… It’s simply wrong. Your recipe includes half pound of butter, flour and eggs, but 1 pound of sugar. Please stop ignoring wake-up calls and fix your recipe. I’m guessing that the positive comments come from people who know what a pound cake is and rightly used half the amount of sugar (like I did). I can’t imagine the frustration after baking a cake for the first time, putting double the amount of sugar than everything else in a cake, and then glazing it with more sugar… Forget the frustration, your teeth would fall out.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Awe, Senor Warning, I’m pretty sure that in today’s age of internet kindness that is exactly what’s happening here. People are quietly fixing a recipe that doesn’t work without complaining about it a bit. Ha – thanks for that laugh. This is a much loved, very sweet pound cake recipe, that gets rave reviews from most people who bake it. Luckily, with your infinite pound cake wisdom, you knew better than to make such a subpar cake. The cake does work beautifully as written. Yes, it’s a sweet pound cake. Traditional pound cakes are often topped with sweetened whipped cream, fruit sauces, or other sweet toppings, this coconut cake proudly stands alone. Sometimes we glaze it, other times we do not. It’s terrific with a cup of coffee and luckily, none of our teeth have fallen out yet.

  40. Arlene Clouatre says

    Don’t know what happened. Double checked every ingredient. Cooked 1 1/2 hr. Would not get done. Then fell in Went exactly by recipe. Sound so delicious. Now will go buy for my son’s birthday. He always gets home made 🙃🙃🙃😐1 star

  41. Mark says

    Wow
    You need to work on this. Followed exactly, but way too dense and a under baked texture even though I cooked 15 minutes longer.
    Disappointing1 star

    • Mary Younkin says

      Sorry to hear that you didn’t love the cake. I adore this recipe (as do many others) exactly as written, Mark. It is a fairly dense pound cake (as most pound cakes are) but it certainly should’ve been cooked through – especially with an additional 15 minutes. Do you by any chance keep a thermometer in your oven? It sounds like it may not have been fully to temperature.

  42. Cheryl says

    Can’t wait to make this! I don’t have a Bundt pan… can I use a round cake pan or a loaf pan? How long should I adjust the baking time to?
    Thanks!,

    • Mary Younkin says

      I don’t have all the times, but yes you can bake this in all pan. You’ll want to watch for it to turn golden and then be sure to test with a toothpick for doneness.

  43. Kevin S says

    This is now one of my favorite recipes can’t wait to try it with other flavors. Although I did make adjustments to recipe after reviewing comments I decided to decrease the sugar amount I added 1 and 3/4 cup of sugar, add it 3 teaspoons coconut extract and substituted regular milk for coconut milk. Cake was extremely moist with lots of coconut flavor.5 stars

  44. Peso says

    I made this cake and got rave reviews. Served with whipped cream and blueberries/strawberries mix. Has anyone tried putting this into two loaf pans to make? I was wondering about trying that(if someone has the time in the oven info) so that it could be sliced and grilled. Then served with ice cream and a fruit sauce. I don;t know if it is possible to improve on this but would like to try the loaf pan idea. Thanks if anyone has done this.5 stars

  45. Patricia Ling says

    I tried this recipe yesterday and didn’t use icing. Love this cake. Delicious and personally I’d reduce the sugar slightly. Thank you5 stars

  46. Ava Caliendo says

    This cake turned out perfect and everyone loved it. It’s so moist that it hardly needs a glaze. Next time I may cut the glaze in half.5 stars