Three layer coconut cake filled with macapuno strings, frosted with soft whipped cream, and topped with an assortment of fresh berries.
Summer is here!
Time for backyard get-togethers, bbq celebrations, and lazy weekends spent poolside.
Enjoy this layered coconut cake all summer long.
Coconut Layer Cake with Macapuno and Berries
Easily customize this cake and change up the flavors as you’d like. Keep the coconut cake base and swap out the filling and topping options.
Here are some ideas. Swap out the coconut macapuno string for:
- drained canned crushed pineapple
- choice of fruit preserves or fruit jam (raspberry, apricot, and mixed berries are a great option!)
- toasted shredded sweetened coconut
- lemon curd or passion fruit curd
Swap out the fresh berries for:
- assorted citrus segments (grapefruit, mandarin orange, blood orange)
- fresh figs
- sliced mango
- pineapple chunks
- tropical assortment (papaya, passion fruit, guava)
- Coconut Cake
- Whipped Cream Frosting
- Macapuno String Filling
- Assorted Fresh Berries Garnish
The coconut cake recipe is a variation of this earlier coconut cream cake.
You may substitute all-purpose flour in place of cake flour. The resulting cake will be slightly denser in texture.
For best results, whip ice cold cream to soft-medium peaks. The agitation from spreading the whipped cream on to the cake layers will continue to stiffen the frosting.
It is better to err on the side of under-whipped versus over-whipped. Over-whipped cream will be grainy and look curdled.
What is Macapuno?
Macapuno string is also called coconut sport or gelatinous coconut string.
Macapuno is a genetic mutation of regular coconut. The flesh inside macapuno is meaty with a nutty flavor.
Macapuno is popularly used in Filipino desserts. It is a common component of halo-halo, Filipino shaved ice sundae.
Substitute with sweetened shredded young coconut or simply omit, if you cannot find macapuno.
How to Assemble Filled Cake
This small 6-inch cake can be assembled directly on the serving platter or cake stand.
The cute cake stand photographed here is from Yamazaki Home (affiliate link). It is called “Stackable Serving Stand.” Best part about this cake stand, it has guides directly on the platter to help you slice perfectly even portions!
- Place one cake layer on cake stand. Spread a layer of whipped cream over cake. Top with macapuno string.
- Add second cake layer. Repeat adding whipped cream and macapuno string.
- Top with final third cake layer. Spread whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake.
- Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve!
How to Easily Portion Cake Slices
This cake stand make slicing cake a breeze. There are lines on the cake stand to help guide cake cutting. Use these lines to portion the cake!
Here is a helpful cake serving guide for stacked three layer cakes:
- 6-inch cake: 12 party slices
- 8-inch cake: 20 party slices
- 9-inch cake: 24 party slices
Get the Naked Cake Look
Naked cakes started to gain traction in the mid 2010s. Since then, this fad has yet to disappear.
While some argue that naked cakes looks unfinished, I think it’s a great way to showcase more cake and less sweet frosting!
Naked cakes are stacked layer cakes with little to no frosting on their sides. Those that are used to more traditional frosted cakes, argue that naked cakes simply look like the crumb coat layer.
If naked cakes aren’t for you, don’t worry. There is plenty of whipped cream frosting in the recipe. You may completely cover the cake to hide any layers.
Coconut Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting and Fresh Berries
- 3 cup cake flour (360 grams)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk well shaken
- ¾ cup egg whites (180 grams) about 5-6 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (170 grams), room temp, softened
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar (300 grams)
- ½ cup macapuno string*
- 2 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, very cold
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- assorted fresh berries as needed
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour three 6-inch round cake pans. Line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together coconut milk, egg whites, and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
- Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients to the mixing bowl. Add ⅓ of dry flour mixture. Mix on on low speed while adding ½ of liquid mixture. Add another ⅓ dry mixture and follow with remaining ½ of liquid mixture. Add remaining ⅓ of dry mixture. Batter will be thick. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans ( about 390 grams of batter per pan). Use a mini offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread batter into an even layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes. Run a mini offset or knife along cake pan edges to loosen cake. Unmold cake and cool to room temperature on wire rack.
- Using a whisk or handheld mixer, beat chilled heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla to soft peaks. Scrape down sides of bowl. Continue to beat until barely medium peaks. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use. *Do not over mix. Otherwise, whipped cream will curdle and turn into butter.
- If necessary, use a serrated knife to level tops of cooled cakes.
- Place one cake layer on cake stand or serving plate. Spread about ½ cup whipped cream over cake layer. Dollop half of macapuno strings over whipped cream. Place second cake layer on top. Spread whipped cream and add remaining macapuno strings.
- Top with third cake layer. Spread whipped cream over the top and sides of cake as desired. Garnish top of cake with fresh berries. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving to allow cake to soften.
- Macapuno string is also called coconut sport or gelatinous coconut string. Macapuno is a genetic mutation of a regular coconut. The flesh inside macapuno is meaty with a nutty flavor.
- Macapuno is sold preserved in heavy sweet syrup usually in glass jars. Find this at Filipino supermarkets or broad Asian supermarkets.
- Macapuno may be substituted with sweetened shredded young coconut. Or, simply omit this ingredient all together.