Coconut raspberry cake lightly soaked with coconut vodka filled with thin layers of raspberry jam and frosted with coconut cream cheese.
I set about making this cake for my husband’s birthday. We ate a slice of coconut raspberry cake eat for breakfast. Then, spent the entire day being kids at Disneyland.
I have since made the cake several times. It has been an absolute hit with each taster! Even my parents were convinced that I had bought it as fancy Westside bakery.
Coconut Cake with raspberry jam
This is definitely not your average coconut cake.
First of all, it doesn’t have coconut flakes all over the outside, coconut cake’s most distinguishing feature.
Rather than put coconut on the outside, I packed it all on the inside. You could never guess this cake was full of coconut until you taste it, or you take a big whiff of it while it bakes.
If you are interested in a more traditional coconut cake, try these:
- Coconut Cream Cake: This coconut cream cake features three layers of coconut cake filled with coconut pastry cream, and frosted with lemongrass pandan Swiss buttercream.
- Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cake: An ode to the Samoa or Caramel deLites Girl Scout cookie.
- Coconut Cake: Simple coconut layer cake frosted with coconut cream cheese.
- Coconut Cake Doughnuts: Fried doughnuts topped with coconut milk glaze and a generous sprinkling of dried shredded coconuts.
For the coconut lovers!
The layer cake is made with coconut milk, coconut oil, and unsweetened dried coconut flakes. If you want to go coconut crazy, you can sub in coconut sugar. I used regular granulated sugar because I wanted to keep the cake white.
When assembling the cake, I soaked the cake layers with simple syrup spiked with a little coconut vodka. Yes, coconut vodka!
It’s this amazingly delicious and tropical vodka that is perfect for summer. I used this one by Ciroc. There are other coconut vodkas out there, but Ciroc makes my favorite one.
To balance out the coconut cake, I added a thin layer of raspberry preserves for a pop of tart flavor and a layer of coconut cream cheese frosting. I’m not one for tons of icing, so I left the outside of the cake unfrosted.
The cake is sweet enough on it’s own. This is one of those instances where less is more.
Finally, the top of the cake is garnished with fresh raspberries and salted pistachios. Pistachios add a nice crunch and pistachio + raspberry + coconut is an excellent combination.
Alex LOVES coconut. Coconut macarons, coconut ice cream (Filipino macapuno ice cream!), coconut shrimp. It’s only natural I make him a coconut cake for his birthday this year.
In previous years, I’ve made him a Dodgers baseball cap cake, lemon olive oil cake , and even cheeseburger cupcakes.
Now that his birthday is over… it’s time to plan my birthday cake!
Coconut Raspberry Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup + 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temp
- ½ cup well shaken full-fat coconut milk, canned, unsweetened
- ½ cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes, or shredded coconut*
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 Tablespoons well shaken full-fat coconut milk, canned, unsweetened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
Topping and Assembly:
- ¼ cup simple syrup*
- 3 Tablespoons coconut vodka*
- ½ cup raspberry preserves or raspberry jam
- fresh raspberries as needed to garnish
- pistachios as needed to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease lightly and set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine melted butter, coconut oil and sugar. Add eggs and beat until mixture is pale in color. Scape down bowl as necessary to ensure thorough mixing.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix on low speed until combined. Fold in dried coconut.
- Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans. Level batter and bake for 35-40 minutes until cakes are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before unmolding. Allow to cool to room temperature on wire rack.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed. Add sifted powdered sugar. Mix on low speed while adding coconut milk and vanilla extract. Add pinch of salt and mix until frosting is smooth.
- Slice each cake into two layers so you end up with 4 layers of cake. Place one layer on a cake stand or cake plate.
- Combine ¼ cup simple syrup and 3 Tbsp coconut vodka. Lightly moisten the cake layer with coconut vodka syrup using a pastry brush.
- Spread a thin layer of raspberry preserves over moistened cake. Add about ⅓ cup frosting and spread into an even layer. Place another cake layer on top. Moisten cake with syrup, follow with raspberry preserves, and top with frosting. Repeat until you finish with the top layer.
- Spread any remaining frosting on the sides of the cake, if desired. Otherwise, smooth the top of the cake and finish my smoothing the sides the cake with an offset spatula. Garnish the cake with fresh raspberries and pistachios.
- Keep cake stored in the fridge until ready to serve. Let cake sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before serving to allow cake to soften.
- Be sure to use unsweetened coconut flakes! Sweetened coconut will make this cake way too sweet.
- I used Ciroc coconut vodka
Reader Questions and Reviews
What a stunner!
What a gorgeous cake! I love the way you decorated it with fresh berries and nuts, such a simple but beautiful presentation :)
Happy Birthday Alex! Maryanne that cake is GORGEOUS! Sounds like a fun day at Disneyland! And I can’t think of a better breakfast!
This cake is seriously one the most delicious looking cakes to hit the interwebs, like, all year! (And I look at a lot of cakes!) Gah, why is coconut SO GOOD?! Can’t wait to see what you come with for your big 3-0!
This is a work of art! Sounds like a fantastic day celebrating Alex’s birthday. And coconut vodka – I’m totally there!
This is such a beautiful cake! I love that you added raspberry and pistachio- it sounds delish! I’ve been on the hunt for cakes as well, planning my birthday cake for next month!
Happy birthday Alex! And this cake is STUNNING. I have to say, this naked cake thing is my favorite. No more frosted cakes for me!
Oh my goodness this has to be one of the best looking and sounding cakes! i love that it’s not absolutely covered in frosting ’cause that can be so sweet.
Thank you for sharing this yumminess with us, I pinned and I will be featuring you tomorrow at Katherines Corner. I invite you to stop by and share your blog at my blog hop. Hugs!
Oh my goodness this is an utterly perfect birthday cake! I love how coconut filled the cake itself is, and it contrasts so perfectly with the thin layer of raspberries and your decorative pistachios. I am with you on the thin layer of icing – big thick layers of buttercream get a bit overwhelming, and I love the naked look of leaving the outside of the cake as is. Good luck with planning your own birthday cake – I am sure it will be another masterpiece!
Beautiful cake and exactly what I was looking to make for a dear friends 79th birthday. He loves a surprise and thinks the idea of a “naked” cake is fabulous. One question – can I use coconut extract in place of coco vodka?
Hi Antoinette! Yes, you can omit the coconut vodka and add 1/2 tsp- 1 tsp of coconut extract. Add addition extract to taste.
Hi, I am making this tonight for my friend’s birthday- looks delicious! Question: Can i use coconut cream or should I get strictly coconut milk? Thank you!
Canned coconut milk works best. Coconut cream has a lot more fat than coconut milk. It will affect the texture of the cake.
Hi Maryanne! Do you have any tips on spreading frosting over the jam?
Make sure the frosting is at room temperature, this will allow for easier spreading. Use a mini offset spatula to gently spread the frosting over the jam. If that doesn’t work- spread the frosting on the bottom of cake layer that you will be placing on top of the jam.
Is there somewhere in Las Vegas that I can get one of these made for my own upcoming Birthday??? PLEASE HELP???
I would love to make this cake using three 9 inch pans (for a 3 layer cake, not slicing the 9″ cakes after baked). Would one recipe work? Should I double it? 1.5? Any thoughts on baking time?
Have a question on the coconut oil. Should I use the liquid or solid kind?
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. It turns to liquid when heated warmer than room temp. Use room temperature coconut oil for this recipe.
This looks so yummy! Would using two 6 inch springform pans work for this recipe? Just bought two of these and hoping it won’t negatively affect the results:
Thanks so much!
I prefer to bake cakes in a solid cake pan. Depending on the consistency of the cake batter as well as the seal of the springform pan, the batter may leak.
Can you freeze the sponge cake until ready to use?
Yes. Tightly cover the cooled cakes in plastic wrap. It should keep in the freezer for a month. Defrost at room temperature.