Fresh Coconut Cake

Meaty coconut adds a lovely texture to this light and tender cake. This recipe comes from a long line of coconut lovers. The original handwritten recipe followed me home from Fiji many years ago. The ink is smeared and the page is torn, but the content is still legible if I squint my eyes just the right way. I thought I’d post it along with a couple of photos from the good old days. Coconut harvesting with these beautiful kids remains one of my fondest memories of island life.

How you get up there?

I hope you take the time to make this cake for you and your family of friends. Bula!

Fresh Coconut Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 servings
  • 1 fresh coconut
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1½ cups ultra fine sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour two 9-inch round pans. Remove the meat from the coconut and ground with a food processor. You should have about 3 cups. Cream the shortening and slowly add the sugar. Beat until light and smooth. Add the egg yolk one at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the dry ingredients alternately in three parts with the milk, beating until well blended. Stir in 1 cup of coconut. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir a third of the whites into the batter, and gently fold in the remainder. Spoon the batter into the cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until done. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn onto a cake rack and allow to cool. Finish it off with coconut frosting. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining freshly grated coconut.

I’ll gladly pay you one cake on Tuesday for four coconuts today.