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Pink Palace Pancake Cake (Pink Coconut Layer Cake)

Use Royal Hawaiian Pink Palace Pancake Mix to create a Pink Coconut Layer Cake! This cake features a pink hued coconut cake frosted with coconut buttercream. 

Yield: 6-inch three layer cake

Course Dessert
Author Maryanne Cabrera



  • 3 cups Royal Hawaiian Pink Palace Pancakes Mix
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 14.5 oz can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, well-shaken
  • 3 large egg whites
  • additional food coloring, if desired (see notes)*

Coconut Syrup:

  • 1 - 1.75 oz packet Royal Hawaiian Instant Coconut Syrup
  • 4 oz cold water


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract or vanilla extract


  • sweetened shredded coconut, as needed



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter three 6-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. Sift pancake mix into a large bowl. Whisk in sugar. Stir in well shaken coconut milk. Mix until smooth. Set aside.

    *If desired, add pink gel paste food coloring or beet powder (pulverized dehydrated beet) to heighten color of cake.

  3. In a separate large clean bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold egg whites into pancake batter in three additions until well combined.

    *NOTE: Be careful not to overmix, otherwise egg whites will deflate and separate.

  4. Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans, about 330 grams of batter per pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Rotate pans midway through baking to ensure even cooking.

  5. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run dull knife or mini offset spatula along perimeter of cake to loosen from pan. Invert and unmold cake. Let cake cool to room temperature on wire rack.

Coconut Syrup:

  1. Pour the contents of an entire pouch of Royal Hawaiian Instant Coconut Syrup into a medium bowl. Add 4 oz (1/2 cup) cold water. Whisk together until smooth. Cover and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to use.

    *NOTE: I suggest using an immersion blender to ensure a thick smooth syrup.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), cream butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and salt. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down bowl as needed.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons coconut syrup and coconut extract (or vanilla extract). Mix until smooth and well combined.


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

  2. Spread desired amount of sweetened shredded coconut in an even layer in baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and stir coconut around. (The coconut along the edges of the pan will toast first.)

  3. Return to oven and bake for another 2 minutes. Remove and stir coconut. Keep repeating until coconut is golden brown.

    *NOTE: Coconut easily burns! Set a timer or keep a watchful eye over toasting coconut.


  1. If necessary, level cake layers. Place one cake round on cake board (or serving plate). Spread about 1/4 cup buttercream over cake layer. Top with second cake round and repeat adding buttercream.

  2. Top with third cake round. Spread thin layer of buttercream over top layer. Spread thin layer of buttercream around the exterior of cake to seal in any crumbs ("crumb coat"). Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to allow buttercream to set up.

  3. Add another thin layer of buttercream all over exterior of cake. Return to fridge. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

  4. Allow cake to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving. Garnish top of cake with toasted coconut. Serve cake slices with remaining coconut syrup.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Notes: 

  • Use unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk.
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut may be use in place of sweetened shredded coconut. Toasted coconut will keep at room temperature for a week in an airtight container. 
  • The Royal Hawaiian Pink Palace Pancake Mix is naturally colored with beet powder. When making pancakes according to package directions, the pancakes will cook pink. However, when baking the cake version, the pink color fades due to the extending cooking time. I enhanced the cake batter with a combination of beet powder and a touch of pink food gel paste coloring.