Today I’m excited to bring you this Coconut Dream Cake in partnership with Clabber Girl® Baking Powder! This cake would be absolutely perfect for your Easter celebration, and it’s super special to me because it’s one of my grandmother’s good, old-fashioned, southern recipes with a couple of modern updates.
Here’s the story with this cake. It was originally called Coconut Sour Cream Dream Cake. It called for a butter cake mix and has a unique sour cream and coconut filling between the layers. The sour cream is mixed with sugar and shredded coconut, so you get this sweet and creamy filling that also helps keep the cake moist. Then, a cup of that filling is mixed with some whipped cream and spread all over the outside of the cake.
Here’s the kicker—it’s supposed to be sealed in the refrigerator for three days before serving. Three days! Who can wait that long for cake!? Supposedly it’s worth it, though.
My mom, who isn’t even that big on coconut, has raved about this cake for years. Apparently she took it to my other grandmother’s house once while my mom and dad were dating (both of my grandmothers were excellent bakers), and she was so impressed with it that she wanted the recipe! I don’t think she ever kept the cake in the fridge for three full days, but the filling and the whipped cream keep the cake moist and delicious, so it’s still wonderful even if you don’t wait that long.
Because the original recipe called for a cake mix, I decided to update it with an easy from-scratch recipe. It’s three layers of soft yellow cake with some shredded coconut mixed in and a splash of coconut extract. I kept the filing the same, but I made a coconut buttercream for the outside of the cake instead of whipped cream. I figure the buttercream will hold up better than whipped cream, especially since it’s already getting warm here. I could just see a cake on a beautifully decorated Easter table and the whipped cream just sliding right down the sides! So buttercream it is, and then I pressed shredded coconut all over the outside.
The key to creating a wonderful from-scratch cake is using quality ingredients, which is why I love using Clabber Girl® Baking Powder and Crisco’s shortening and oils. Clabber Girl® Baking Powder is my go-to because it’s America’s #1 brand of baking powder, and I love the results I get with these products!
About Clabber Girl® Baking Powder:
If you’re a baker or familiar with baking ingredients at all, you’ve heard of Clabber Girl®! Since 1850, Clabber Girl has been beloved by bakers of all ages. It’s manufactured in Terre Haute, Indiana, which has been its home since the company began.
What’s the difference between baking powder and baking soda?
Sometimes recipes call for one or the other—or even both. They’re both leavening agents, which means they help our baked goods rise in the oven. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is single acting, which means it’s activated when combined with moisture. Baking powder is sodium bicarbonate, an acid salt, and cornstarch. It’s double acting, which means it’s activated with moisture and heat. So it’s activated when you mix it into your cake batter, and again when exposed to high heat in the oven. You can read more about it on Clabber Girl’s website. This coconut cake has a tablespoon of baking powder, which helps give it a wonderfully light texture after that double acting powder does its thing in the oven!
I’ve mentioned this here on the blog before, but I definitely prefer oil-based cakes over butter-based cakes. A combination of both also works! I just find that oil-based cakes A) are easier to whip up, and B) have a more moist and softer texture. In my experience, cake made with only butter can be a little dry. That’s why most of the cakes on the blog use Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil.
My Favorite Buttercreams:
You may have also noticed here on the blog that most of my frosting recipes use a combination of butter and shortening. I’ll tell you why! When it comes to frosting, butter adds the smooth and creamy. I love using Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening as well because it really amps up the whipped and fluffy texture! And that is what frosting is all about.
I love this Coconut Dream Cake for Easter for so many reasons. It’s soft and fluffy, and when topped with shredded coconut and fresh flowers, it’s the perfect cake to welcome spring. It also reminds me of my grandmothers, who were such huge inspirations to me and always loved holidays and occasions like Easter. It’s the perfect treat to share with your family.
I hope some of these tips will help you achieve your best cakes yet and take your baking to a whole new level! I will be honest with you—I didn’t keep my cake sealed in the refrigerator for three days before I cut into it. But I did store it covered in the fridge for several days afterward and it definitely got better each time we cut a piece. The filling kind of seeps into the layers the longer it sits and it’s just really delicious. *Chef’s kiss*
Make sure to check out Clabber Girl®’s website for more information, where to buy, and delicious recipes!
Wishing you all a Happy Easter and Happy Baking!
Coconut Dream Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Clabber Girl® Baking Powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup shredded coconut
Coconut Sour Cream Filling:
- 1 8-oz carton sour cream
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 12-oz pkg shredded coconut
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add eggs, oil, coconut extract, and milk. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until all ingredients are incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in shredded coconut.
- Divide batter equally among the prepared cake pans and bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until cakes are golden brown and set in the center. Insert a wooden pick into the center of each layer to check for doneness. If it comes out clean or with only a few crumbs, the cakes are done. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake layers are cooling, make the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all filling ingredients and stir until combined and shredded coconut is distributed evenly throughout. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. (Filling can be made a day in advance.)
- To make the frosting, cream butter and shortening on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add coconut extract and half of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Mix on low speed until ingredients are mostly combined, and then medium-high speed until completely combined. Repeat with second half of powdered sugar. (If frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of cream or milk.)
- To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Pipe a border of frosting around the top of the cake. Spoon half of filling into the border and spread with a spoon. Top with second cake layer. Repeat the process of piping a border and adding filling. Top with the third cake layer. Spread frosting evenly around the outside and over the top of the cake. Use your hands to press shredded coconut into the frosting all over the outside of the cake.
- Store cake in the refrigerator for at least a few hours before serving so the flavors can meld together and the filling can firm up. (Or three days if you want the full Coconut Dream Cake experience!) If you don’t have a dome to cover the cake with or if a dome won’t fit over the cake in your fridge, loosely cover with plastic wrap.