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Coconut Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting and Fresh Berries

Three layer coconut cake filled with macapuno strings, frosted with soft whipped cream, and topped with an assortment of fresh berries.
Yield: three layer 6-inch cake
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Filipino
Keyword: coconut cake, macapuno cake filling, whipped cream frosting, summer cake, berry cake
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Maryanne Cabrera


Coconut Cake:

  • 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*

Whipped Cream:

  • 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.

Whipped Cream:

  • 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.


Ingredient Notes:
  • 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.