Easy Coconut Sheet Cake with Whipped Coconut Icing

by Julie Ruble on August 5, 2014 · 41 comments

Easy Coconut Sheet Cake with Whipped Coconut Icing

Easy Coconut Sheet Cake with Whipped Coconut Icing



Recipe by: Cake adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything and icing adapted from Missy Dew on Tasty Kitchen
Yield: 24-28 servings

Love coconut cake but don’t want to spend two days making a layer cake? This coconut sheet cake is incredible — and can be whipped up in 10 minutes flat, baked in 15 minutes flat, frosted in 10 minutes flat, and eaten in… well, you can imagine. There is a 3-hour chilling time in the middle, but what’s hard about throwing something in the fridge? I think you could probably half this recipe to bake in an 8-inch square pan, but I haven’t tried. Let me know if you do!

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, shaken

Whipped Coconut Icing Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup milk
7 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (not powdered sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup coconut plus more for topping

Directions:
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 15 x 10 x 1″ baking sheet with PAM Cooking Spray. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter and water to a boil. In the meantime, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the cake flour and sugar before adding the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, coconut extract, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. While mixing, slowly pour in the boiling butter and water mixture. Mix to combine completely. Your batter will be very runny. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out with a few moist crumbs (don’t wait for the top to get golden brown, necessarily — mine stayed pale). After it’s cooled for 10 minutes, poke holes throughout the cake with a fork. Pour the coconut milk evenly over the cake. Cover the cake and chill it in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.

Make the frosting: heat the milk, flour, and granulated sugar together over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once it starts to boil, continue whisking and heating it for around 7 minutes or until it’s very thick, like cake batter consistency. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Remove the mixture to a shallow pan and let the mixture cool completely (after a bit, I stuck mine in the fridge to hurry it along). Once the mixture is cool, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the completely cooled mixture and beat on high until you have fluffy frosting the consistency of stiff whipped cream. Mix in the coconut. Frost your completely cooled cake with a thick layer. Sprinkle more coconut on top. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, but be sure to let it sit out for 30 minutes before serving so the frosting can soften.

Leaving up to 99% less residue, PAM is your ally in the kitchen and allows you to save time during prep and clean up.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by ConAgra via Mode Media. All opinions are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ConAgra.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Anton August 5, 2014 at 10:51 am

I love coconut cake. This might be my new go to cake.

I hate cleaning the floors. Which is why I have a Roomba. It is my favorite robot friend! I seriously love my little robot so much I’m getting a tattoo of it soon! Life is much easier when I can just empty Roomba’s bin and set Roomba loose to roam and clean.

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Marye August 5, 2014 at 10:52 am

I love coconut cake! This one looks amazing. Thanks for sharing

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sue/the view from great island August 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

I’d take this over a big fancy layer cake any day, and the texture looks perfect!

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Librarian Lavender August 5, 2014 at 11:27 am

The cake looks really delicious! I hate cleaning, but love a clean house, so we have a cleaning lady :).

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Nicole @ Or Whatever You Do August 5, 2014 at 11:29 am

LOVE your cleaning tips, and this cake looks amazing! I’m just learning to love coconut. I bet this would be fabulous with toasted coconut!

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Katie August 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I loved your Ultimate Moist, Fluffy, Ridiculous Coconut Cake, and this one looks just as yummy! I cannot wait to try baking this one! :o)

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Inspiring Kitchen August 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I love coconut cake! Family tradition. This recipe looks great. Will have to try it. Thanks.

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Teeberry August 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm

I’m not an expert baker ( by any means) but I have been trying to substitute coconut oil when I can in place of other oils or even butter. With oils it’s an easy even swap but when butter is called for, I’m not so sure. Since this is, after all, coconut cake, can you suggest how I could use the coconut oil in this recipe? If so, could I skip the coconut flavoring since the oil does give a coconutty taste to my baking. My banana bread tastes even better with the coconut nuance, for example. Thanks. This recipe looks yummy!

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Julie Ruble August 5, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Thanks! I’m sorry to say that I really don’t know how that’d work. In the frosting especially, I wouldn’t recommend it. Let me know if you try it in the cake!

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Teeberry August 7, 2014 at 9:13 am

Well, I googled it and on md-health.com found the following:
When can we substitute coconut oil for butter?
“Coconut oil makes a perfect substitute for butter in stir fry and Thai recipes. If you would like to use coconut oil in baked goods, it is recommended that you use virgin coconut oil because it is semi-solid and has a coconut flavor that will add to the overall flavor of your recipe. People often recommend using half coconut oil and half clarified butter in recipes or ¾ coconut oil in place of a cup of butter if you are concerned about the coconut flavor altering the taste of your food.”
And on the kitchen.com:
“It’s a straight substitution… 1 cup : 1 cup. Beat it with sugar as you would butter.”

So sub oil for butter evenly or at 25 percent less and it will work fine.
The frosting doesn’t call for butter.

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Teeberry August 7, 2014 at 9:21 am

Oh sorry. The frosting does call for butter. Don’t know if it wld be too oily for frosting… I think I will try it tho. When coconut oil is chilled it becomes more solid.

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Julie Ruble August 7, 2014 at 11:28 am

Great! Let me know how it goes. Hope it works out!

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Kelly @ Mostly Homemade Mom August 5, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Oh, I’m so with you on the cleaning thing!! And this coconut cake looks amazing, I need a piece with my coffee right about now!

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Leslie August 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm

When I bake I set out everything in the recipe and soon as I measure out an ingredient I put the item away. Egg shells, butter wrappers, cans, boxes, gooey utinsils go in the sink to toss or clean. Iclean mixing bowls as soon as everything is in the oven.

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Julie Ruble August 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Yes, definitely! Setting things out in the beginning is a great one! Thanks Leslie!

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tracy August 5, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Firstly, OMG….what a fantastic looking cake!!! Can’t wait to try it.

Secondly – I’m right there with ya, all the way, on the cleaning. I just can’t seem to get there….always say I’ll get a cleaning lady but my house is never clean enough to hire one. If you were to come over, you wouldn’t notice how un-clean it is, I keep it surface clean – but I want it really clean – and I just have way more important things to accomplish than cleaning. Like making your cake, for example :)

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Julie Ruble August 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Yep!! More important things in life :) Thanks Tracy!

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Judy August 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm

I’d also like to substitute the coconut oil for the butter. Can you let us know if that could be accomplished. Thank you. Sounds like a great recipe

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Julie Ruble August 5, 2014 at 10:50 pm

I’m sorry, I really don’t know how that’d work. In the frosting especially, I wouldn’t recommend it. Let me know if you try it in the cake!

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Teeberry August 7, 2014 at 9:13 am

Well, I googled it and on md-health.com found the following:
When can we substitute coconut oil for butter?
“Coconut oil makes a perfect substitute for butter in stir fry and Thai recipes. If you would like to use coconut oil in baked goods, it is recommended that you use virgin coconut oil because it is semi-solid and has a coconut flavor that will add to the overall flavor of your recipe. People often recommend using half coconut oil and half clarified butter in recipes or ¾ coconut oil in place of a cup of butter if you are concerned about the coconut flavor altering the taste of your food.”
And on the kitchen.com:
“It’s a straight substitution… 1 cup : 1 cup. Beat it with sugar as you would butter.”

So sub oil for butter evenly or at 25 percent less and it will work fine.
The frosting doesn’t call for butter.

Reply

Teeberry August 7, 2014 at 9:20 am

Oh sorry. The frosting does call for butter. Don’t know if it wld be too oily for frosting… I think I will try it tho. When coconut oil is chilled it becomes more solid.

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Laurie Brown August 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm

I am so happy that you love coconut like you do. I pin every single coconut recipe you share. Some day it’ll be cool enough again to bake… for now I just drool and go eat a Mounds bar out of the refrigerator.

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Julie Ruble August 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Aw, thanks Laurie! That sounds yummy!

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Jeszie Jezs August 6, 2014 at 12:04 am

Long time reader, first ever comment… but I HAD TO! Your killing me hun! Omg, you exposed me… how could it be that your my twin-in-cleaning/ baking/ teaching? Lmao… Keep it up soul sistah, you are so true to my heart…mucho aloha!

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Stephanie Serleth August 6, 2014 at 8:03 pm

I also hate cleaning! I laughed as I just wrote a blog about my husband cooking on Wednesday nights and the cleaning up part of that. I clean as I cook, but he sure doesn’t! The problem is that when he cooks I clean up. He is now in training

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Laura Dembowski August 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Coconut cake is my favorite, and this easy version is awesome because I definitely don’t always have time to make it.

I can’t stand cleaning either, except I love loading and emptying the dishwasher. Like love it. But I rarely empty it before baking which always leads to having to bust into it to get bowls. Sometimes I’m so inefficient, but that never changes my routine.

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Anna @ Garnish with Lemon August 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Just great. This cake is all I can think about now. Work-schmerk. It’s time to bake!

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Erin M August 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I love coconut! This cake looks awesome!

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Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures August 11, 2014 at 12:53 pm

So summery and delicious! Who likes cleaning? It’s over rated!

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Diana August 11, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Julie,
I made the halved recipe using an 8×8 glass pan, and it came out great! I actually misread the instructions and added coconut milk (1/4 c) to the batter before baking, and then realized my mistake…I just added another 1/4 after poking holes in the cake, like you are supposed to, and it came out great! i think the cake is just slightly extra coconutty now :) The not-super-sweet cake pairs beautifully with the sweet icing, and I also liked the cake even better after it spent some time in the fridge! Great and easy recipe.

Diana

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Julie Ruble August 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm

LOL, I love that! Just proves it’s forgiving, right?! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Diana, and that the halved recipe came out great! Thanks!

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Diana August 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Totally! Thanks for responding personally!

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Astrid August 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Finally I got all the ingredients necessary for this wonderful coconut cake. Out of the oven and golden, and I am writing ot down for safe keeping. Can’t wait for it to cool, smells devine.

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Julie Ruble August 12, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Yay! Can’t wait to hear what you think, Astrid! Enjoy!

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Cat August 14, 2014 at 9:13 pm

OMG…thank you for this…the other recipe was super intimidating…this one I can handle. Going to try it out as a special treat for my coconut loving mothers bday. Cheers!

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Julie Ruble August 14, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Yay! You are so welcome. Hope you love it!!

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A_Boleyn August 19, 2014 at 4:15 am

Baking as much as you do has obviously taught you to be as efficient as possible about the process. My biggest failing is how often I burn myself when I reach in to the oven to fiddle with something.

I can definitely see myself making a half recipe of this delicious and simple coconut cake.

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Leanna August 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm

This cake was AMAZING! I almost ate the whole thing myself, it was that good. I had a little trouble getting the frosting stiff enough but I’m sure it was user error. I threw a little powdered sugar in and it was good to go. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. This is my new favorite cake!

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Julie Ruble August 19, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Leanna, This frosting can be finicky — it takes a long time to whip up (longer than you’d expect) and if the butter’s too soft, it sometimes needs to be thrown in the fridge for a few minutes before it will cooperate. I’m glad you worked it all out and SO glad you loved the cake :)

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Kayla August 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Do you think this cake could be made into cupcakes?

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Julie Ruble August 22, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I’m honestly not sure, Kayla! If you try, please report back to us!! :)

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