Easy Coconut Sheet Cake

I have always been intimidated by coconut cake recipes.  I honestly don’t know why.  So I started with a really easy coconut sheet cake recipe.

Easy Coconut Sheet Cake slice on a red plate.

I’m not against using a box cake mix, I just don’t normally have them in my cupboards.  

You will never know this recipe is not completely from scratch, replacing the oil with butter makes a big difference.  If you like really moist cake give this recipe a go.

Ingredients

There are very few ingredients needed for this cake. It’s really simple!

  • Box of yellow cake mix – Or you can choose to use a white cake mix.
  • Unsalted butter – We are using butter to replace the oil called for in the cake mix.
  • Sweetened coconut flakes – Flaked coconut gives a bigger grind and chewier texture. You could use desiccated coconut for a finer grind.
  • Sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut – These two ingredients are what take the moisture of this cake over the top!
  • Frozen whipped topping (thawed) – This is the only ingredient (Cool Whip) used for the frosting. It’s really all you need because the cake is so moist and sweet.

Tips

  • Choose your favorite brand of boxed cake mix.
  • Don’t undertake the cake. Since this is a very moist cake be sure it’s baked fully. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake – if it comes out clean, it’s done.
  • If your cream of coconut comes from the can and it seems to be solid chunks in a liquid put it in a microwave-safe bowl and zap at five-second intervals stirring between each one. It will combine back together.
  • If you want a stronger coconut flavor you can add a little coconut extract or even vanilla extract.
  • Be sure to thaw the whipped cream in the refrigerator.
  • You can also top it with a homemade whipped cream if you don’t like Cool Whip.
Cake batter in a large glass mixing bowl.

How to Make a Sheet Cake From a Box

In a large bowl, prepare the cake mix as directed, replacing the oil with melted butter.

Bake the cake in a 9×13 prepared baking pan as directed on the box until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

While the cake bakes mix the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk until combined.

While the cake is still hot from the oven poke it all over with the end of a wooden spoon that is rounded.

Coconut sheet cake with holes poked into it with the coconut cream mixture poured over.

Pour the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk mixture over the top of the cake. If it pools a bit on the edges no big deal, just spread it around a bit. The cake with soak up all of the mixture.

Let it cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cake is cooling toast the coconut if desired.  We prefer it toasted, the coconut flavor really comes through.  

I toast it in a dry sheet pan at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes watching CLOSELY. It will burn very fast. Ask me how I know!

Coconut Sheet Cake in a baking pan.

Once cooled, spread the thawed whipped cream all over and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.

Slice of the coconut cake on a red plate.

Easy dreamy, moist coconut sheet cake. No-fuss, no muss box cake mix into a fabulous dessert. A perfect cake for any time of the year.

FAQ

Is cream of coconut the same as coconut cream?

No. Cream of coconut is sweetened and similar to sweetened condensed milk. It has a strong sweet coconut flavor. That’s what we want for this cake recipe.

Can I make this cake ahead?

This cake is better when made ahead. It’s similar to a tres leches cake. Bake the cake, soak it in advance and leave off the whipped topping. Allow it to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days. When ready to serve frost the cake with the Cool Whip and shredded coconut flakes.

Storage

Store covered in the refrigerator for about one week.

Freezing

This cake is best frozen without the topping. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil or in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then top with the Cool Whip when ready to serve.

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More Cake Recipes

Easy Coconut Sheet Cake slice on a red plate.

Easy Coconut Sheet Cake Recipe

Easy dreamy, moist coconut sheet cake. No-fuss, no muss box cake mix into a fabulous dessert. A perfect cake for any time of the year.
4.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, coconut, coconut cream, sheet cake, shredded coconut, spring, summer
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 523kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

  • 15.25 oz yellow cake mix 1 box of yellow cake mix and all ingredients listed on the back of the box minus the oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter to replace the oil in the mix
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • 15 oz cream of coconut (1 can)
  • 14 oz sweetened flake coconut 1 – 14oz bag divided
  • 8 oz frozen whipped topping 1 tub of cool whip thawed

Instructions

  • Measure out about 1/3 to 1 cup of coconut, set aside for later. This is for the top of the cake so it’s really up to you. (I used about 1 cup)
  • Prepare the cake as instructed on the box. Replace the oil with melted butter, slightly cooled.
  • Mix in the rest of the bag of coconut until the mixture is uniform.
  • Bake the cake in a 9×13 pan according to the package instructions until done or a cake tester comes out clean.
  • While the cake bakes mix the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk until combined. (HINT: if your cream of coconut comes out of the can and it seems to be solid chunks in a liquid put it in a microwave safe bowl and zap on five-second intervals stirring between each one. It will combine back together.)
  • When the cake is done remove from the oven. While the cake is still hot from the oven poke it all over with the end of a wooden spoon that is rounded.
  • Once you’ve poked holes and while the cake is still hot, pour the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk mixture over the cake. If it pools a bit on the edges no big deal, just spread it around a bit. The cake with soak up all of the mixture.
  • Now cool your cake.
  • Once your cake is cool, spread all over with the whipped topping and sprinkle the remaining coconut on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 271IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg

Recipe from itsavol

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31 Comments

  1. This looks very tempting. Will definitely have to try it out.
    Greetings from Dubai and have a great day!!

    Shantana

  2. Yum! I actually don’t care for coconut…unless it’s in cake! My dad used to make one that was awesome. I’m going to share this recipe with him, we may give it a try when I’m home in a couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing at You Link It, We Make it. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow and link up again!

  3. One word – YUM!!! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful cake at Weekend Potluck! We hope to see you again tomorrow! Cheers!

    1. Hi, Kelly. I always use unsalted butter for baked goods. I have corrected the recipe to reflect the change. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

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