Fresh Coconut Cake for Matt’s Birthday

fresh coconut cake ready to serve, made with freshly grated coconut

Fresh Coconut Cake

A fresh coconut cake was on Matt’s birthday list. And you know how it is with grandchildren….if they ask, we provide if at all possible)) So I made plans to make him a fresh coconut cake, and planned to even grate the coconut myself! Now, it had been a while since I had grated fresh coconut.

Making this cake was an entire afternoon affair. Next time, I would advise grating the coconut one day and making the cake the next. It takes a lot of stamina! Sort of the same way with this blog post….it was so much information I decided to break it down into two posts. So you can see the process for grating fresh coconut in the blog post below.

that homemade touch

How to Grate Fresh Coconut

Sometimes there is a need for freshly-grated coconut. Now I know most of the time you can use frozen shredded coconut, but for that special occasion, you might want to take the time to grate one for yourself. 

show me how!

Fresh Coconut Cake Recipe

The recipe I used for this cake came from the website Home Made Interest. It’s a blog written by Kate and Melinda who are friends and love to cook and craft together. I always try to give credit where credit is due so I’ll give you the link to their coconut cake recipe and you can review it there.

What I did Differently

The only couple of things I did differently from Kate and Melinda’s recipe was to use vanilla flavoring instead of coconut simply because I didn’t have any. And I used a different frosting recipe.

It had been a while since I had made a fluffy white frosting with simple syrup and since I had freshly grated coconut, this is what I wanted.

Their recipe called for frozen coconut with a cream cheese frosting and honestly, the next time I make this cake I will probably go with their frosting recipe))) Their frosting looks like it held up well between the layers and mine sort of melted away into the cake, but it was still good))) Maybe not just as pretty))

slice of fresh coconut layer, three layers, topped with whole strawberries

Other than those couple of things, I followed their cake recipe. The cake layers turned out well, more yellow than I would have preferred, but they had whole eggs in them. The cake was delicious. I think the sour cream, cream cheese, and Cream of Coconut really made the difference. It was dense but moist and tender.

The few slices I had left have frozen well, and taste just like fresh when you thaw them out.

Fluffy White Frosting

Just a few ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 cups of freshly grated coconut


Step 1

Separate the 4 yolks from the whites (store the yolks in the refrigerator and make an omelet the next day.) Go ahead and beat the egg whites in a mixer until peaks are formed.

Step 2

Make the simple syrup by adding the water and sugar to a medium-sized saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Cover without stirring for one minute. Remove the cover and stir frequently. Occasionally stir down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar crystals that form. Gently boil until the temperature reaches 230°

If you don’t have a candy thermometer you can cook until the syrup “spins a thread.” This is harder for me to judge, so I depend on a candy thermometer. Using a candy thermometer was something I learned from my mother. And when you place it in your pan, you can hook it on the side most of the time, but don’t let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan.

Step 3

Start beating the egg whites again and pour a small stream of the sugar syrup into the egg whites until you have poured it all in. Continue beating the egg whites until nice peaks form.

There are many variations of fluffy white frosting. Sometimes it is called boiled frosting, or seven-minute frosting.

Frosting the Fresh Coconut Cake

I added two cups of freshly grated coconut to the fluffy white frosting and frosted between the layers, top, and sides of the cake.

Once it was covered in frosting, I took about four cups of the freshly grated coconut and sprinkled on the top and sides You have to gently press the coconut in a bit and it is a messy job!

Special Cake for Special Times

I’m not gonna lie….this cake took me all afternoon to prepare, but that was from start to finish and included grating the fresh coconut. Next time, I would break it up into two days. Plus, the cake really needs to sit in the refrigerator for a day or two before you eat it. It just gets moister that way.

As far as three-layer cakes go, they are really pretty, but one slice is a lot of cake! Kate and Melinda’s recipe includes adjustments in the ingredients if you just want a two-layer cake. Their recipe also includes adjustments for frosting a two-layer cake.

Matt loved the cake and we celebrated his birthday with family and friends. The cake was worth the effort and I’m glad he enjoyed it)))

fresh coconut cake for matt's birthday
more from my blog


  1. I don’t celebrate any holidays because I am one of Jehovah’s witnesses. But I do love your idea of the coffee beans vase for a fall look. I will start those this week and even give as gifts. I’ll keep looking for more ideas on your site. Thank you

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