Recipe: Coconut Raspberry Cake

Cooking / Eating In

Call me funny, but I always enjoy making a layered cake – there is just something about the multitude of steps and ingredients that appeals to me.  I made this cake for my nephew’s 2nd birthday, and it was a hit!  I had mentioned previously that he has a few food allergies, so I wanted to make sure I made a cake that was both safe for him to eat as well as delicious.

Using this recipe from Ina Garten for the cake and cream cheese frosting, as well as a basic raspberry buttercream frosting recipe, I created a rich, moist birthday cake that was devoured pronto! Here’s what you’ll need:


3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract (I left this out for allergy purposes and added 1/2 tsp more vanilla)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

Raspberry Buttercream
1 pint of raspberries
1 tbsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (again, omitted this and added more vanilla)
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
1 pint of raspberries

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

2. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts (or in my case, just vanilla) and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.



5. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

6.  Here’s where I deviate and make cake instead of cupcakes.  Get ready for the craziness. Line three 9-inch round cakepans with parchment, and grease parchmant and sides with butter.  Evenly divide batter into pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.




Meanwhile, make the Raspberry Buttercream
1. Puree 1 container of raspberries and sugar in blender until smooth.  Set aside.

It will look kinda weird.  It’s ok.

2. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Slowly add 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth.

4. Slowly add pureed raspberries; mix until combined.

5. Add remaining confectioner’s sugar in 1/2 cup increments and mix until incorporated.  Add the vanilla extract and mix.

Also make the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract and almond extract (omitted). Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.



Assemble the cake
1. Remove parchment from each of the three layers. Level each with a serrated knife.  I love this step – I just love going at carbs with serrated knives! Or just carbs in general, whatever.

2. Layer, buttercream, repeat

3. Frost with cream cheese frosting.  Sprinkle with coconut and garnish with raspberries.



I’m not gonna lie – like many layer cakes, this one took foreeeever to make.  If you ever make this, you can pre-bake the layers, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them beforehand.  Let me know how it goes!

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  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Masterpiece!!! Beautiful, and Delicious!!!

  • Reply
    Chic 'n Cheap Living
    January 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    It's gorgeous (and looks uber tasty too!)

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    what a pretty cake! I love how the coconut looks so fluffy with the pink raspberries!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Looks so unbelievably yummy! I am terrible at baking cakes – for some reason they never come out looking right. Yours is beautiful, and I'm sure everyone loved it!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    gorgeous! i made a layer cake for new years and it also took me forever but i love they way they look.

  • Reply
    San Jose Love
    January 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    ooh I'd like this even without allergies.

  • Reply
    Big Mouth Bride
    January 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    You are killing me. How am I supposed to stick to my workout routine when I'm baking and eating delicious coconut and raspberry cakes? 🙂

  • Reply
    Nuha Sofiyan
    January 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    oh my goodness I'm drooling, this looks so good and I bet it was delicious!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    oh that looks heavenly! i made that coconut cake once, but mine didn't look anywhere near as awesome, and no raspberry filling. sad for me.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    YUM!! My husband LOVES Coconut so I'm definitely going to have to make this for him 🙂

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    That looks scrumptious!! I've never baked a cake myself before (only cupcakes) so this recipe intimidates me. Nevertheless, I might have to try it out someday! Or find the cupcake alternative!

  • Reply
    ola appletea
    January 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    lovely and yummy

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    it looks really pretty! When leveling the cake, did you just eyeball it?

  • Reply
    Mrs. Hot Cocoa
    January 5, 2011 at 12:30 am

    I was just thinking of making a version of this cake, but with passionfruit instead of raspberry. I think I'll just eat yours instead.

  • Reply
    January 5, 2011 at 3:03 am

    @Ivester Yes, I just eyeballed it! It's not too difficult 🙂

  • Reply
    D. Marie
    January 5, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Great photos and steps…the cake looks amazing! I love the sprinkled coconut and the raspberries on top! Fantastic!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Oh wow, that looks delicious!!!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    My favorite part of this cake is that filling, I think I could eat it by the spoonful! 🙂

  • Reply
    Micah and Catherine
    January 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    This looks amazing. Another cake recipe to add to my list.

  • Reply
    Try Anything Once Terri
    January 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Will you make this for me? 🙂

  • Reply
    January 6, 2011 at 2:37 am

    This looks amazing! I think I'll add "make a layer cake" to the list of things I'd like to do this year 🙂

  • Reply
    honey my heart
    January 6, 2011 at 7:32 am

    this turned out so great and looks quite delicious 🙂

  • Reply
    January 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    That cake looks so good! I really want to try out this recipe myself! Great blog!

  • Reply
    Chocolate Lover
    January 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Looks delicious! Will definitely be giving this a try!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2011 at 5:18 am

    That looks delicious! I love coconut, yum!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Beautiful! I love the contrast between the pink buttercream and the white coconut!

  • Reply
    Joy @ HowJoyful
    January 15, 2011 at 5:42 am

    I will def have to try this it looks AMAZING!

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