Almond and coconut are the perfect pair in this fluffy, flavorful layer cake recipe! We just love coconut desserts, and this latest cake recipe is no exception.
The layers are moist and loaded with almond and coconut flavor. Keep this recipe in mind for birthdays, holidays, or just because.
This almond coconut cake is sure to please a crowd, we're excited to share it with you!
How to Make an Almond Coconut Cake
You can find our full, printable recipe further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps!
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside
- Combine the Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and almond extract. Set aside..
- Cream Butter and Sugar.Add Eggs: In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
- Alternating between Dry and Wet: Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid).
- Fold in the sweetened coconut and finely chopped almonds
- Pour Batter into Pans: Do not mix above medium speed or over mix the cake batter. Divide batter between the three 8 inch round cake pans. (we use 8 inch x 2 inch pans)
- Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Let cool 10 minutes and turn out.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
We filled and frosted our coconut almond cake layers with a rich and creamy Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting! This easy recipe is SO delicious and can be whipped up in no time.
It is a simple combination of softened cream cheese, coconut flavoring, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
Tips for Working with Cream Cheese Frosting
- We love cream cheese frostings and use them all the time on our cakes and cupcakes, however, it is a bit softer than buttercream.
- If you need a thicker consistency, you can add additional powdered sugar in small amounts, however I prefer to refrigerate the bowl of frosting for a few minutes right after mixing up the batch, or anytime you notice it getting a little too soft.
- If your Cream Cheese Buttercream becomes increasingly soft as you pipe, to the point that it no longer holds it’s shape, just pop the piping bag(s) in the refrigerator as needed. This could be caused by a super warm kitchen, or warm hands against the piping bag. Either way, a few minutes in the fridge will work wonders. (Just not too long or it’ll become too firm!)
Decorating the Cake
To decorate the cake, I placed the first cake layer on the cake pedestal and spread with coconut cream cheese frosting. I repeated for the second and third cake layers and then crumb coated the cake (thin coat) with more frosting.
At this point, I like to freeze the cake for about 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. I finished with another layer of frosting and covered the cake with coconut, lightly pressing it all over the cake.
I topped the cake off with a sprinkling of sliced almonds.
We just love the look of coconut-covered cakes, not to mention that it is just about the easiest way to decorate a cake!
Sweetened Coconut vs. Unsweetened Coconut
We use sweetened coconut rather than unsweetened in our coconut cake recipes because it is softer and moister.
Unsweetened coconut has no added ingredients and is a bit dry and chewy. The added sugar in sweetened coconut gives is a softer texture, making it the best choice for cake recipes.
There are many good brands of sweetened coconut- our favorite is Baker's Angel Flake Coconut.
Can the Cake Layers be Frozen?
Yes! We freeze our cake layers all the time. Not only does it allow for baking well in advance, but we also find that it makes them even more moist.
We like to wrap and freeze our cake layers when they are still slightly warm. We place each cake layer onto it's own foil-wrapped cake cardboard, wrap with plastic wrap and then tightly with foil.
The layers can be frozen for up to three months and will taste as fresh as the day that they were frozen.
Thawing the Cake Layers: When it is time to thaw the cake layers, remove them from the freezer and leave them wrapped on the kitchen counter until ready. The condensation will form on the foil rather than the cake.
*You can thaw completely, or remove the foil when just partially frozen if you'd like. Some decorators find it easier to assemble their cakes with when the layers are still partially frozen because they are less fragile.
Other Favorite Coconut Cakes
We've made lots of great coconut cakes over the years that we would love for you to try! We have fruity cake combinations, cocktail inspired cakes, chocolate cakes and more!
Here are just a few of our favorites from the Recipes section. You can find our full collection of favorite coconut cakes here: 25+ Favorite Coconut Cake Recipes!
For the Almond Coconut Cake
- 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, softened ( holds it shape but dents when pressed)
- 2 cups (400g) white sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups (342g) cake flour (spooned into measuring cup and leveled off) If you do not have cake flour see substitution in Notes below.
- 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 ¼ cups (296g) buttermilk — if you do not have buttermilk, see substitution below
- ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) almond extract
- 1 cup (85g) sliced almonds, finely chopped
- 1 cup (78g) sweetened coconut (we used Bakers Angel Flake Coconut)
For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 sticks (1 cup) (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened - do not microwave
- 2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese (452g. is the total gram weight) use full fat cream cheese, slightly softened. Using reduced fat will cause the frosting to be too soft
- 1 ½ teaspoons (6g) coconut extract (adjust to your liking)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
- 6 to 6 ½ cups ( 747g) powdered sugar
- pinch salt
For decorating the cake
- We used additional coconut for the outside of the cake. (For the coconut in the batter plus coconut for decoration, we used a 14 oz bag of Baker's Angel Flake Coconut)
- Sliced almonds for sprinkling over top of cake.
For the Almond Coconut Cake
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside
- In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and almond extract. Set aside..
- In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid). Do not mix above medium speed or over mix the cake batter.
- Fold in the almonds and coconut.
- Divide batter between the three cake pans and bake at 325 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Let cool 10 minutes and turn out.
For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the butter to the mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
- Add the cream cheese that has been cut into small to medium size pieces, beating with the butter until well blended and smooth.
- Add the coconut and vanilla extracts
- Slowly add the powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Do not beat above medium speed or for too long. The longer you beat the softer the frosting becomes. If it becomes too soft to pipe, just refrigerate for a short while.
- Use the frosting while it is still chilled. If it becomes too soft, refrigerate until it firms up a bit or put in the freezer for 5 minutes or so to return it to a good piping consistency.
Substitute for Buttermilk: No Buttermilk? Here is a substitution: To a measuring cup, add 1 Tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice. Add milk to the 1 ¼ mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use.
Substitution for Cake Flour: Using all purpose flour (plain in UK) to make Cake Flour: For each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK). This recipe has 3 cups of flour so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend
Recipe makes approximately 8 cups of batter