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From the Culinary SOS archive: Coconut cake

February 22, 2011 |  5:26 pm


Maria from Pico Rivera recently e-mailed in asking for a coconut cake recipe:

"Years ago you printed a fabulous coconut cake recipe from a bed and breakfast inn. I would really appreciate it if you could provide me with the recipe."

Looking through our recipe archive, it's easy to see how popular coconut cake has been over the years -- we've run a number of recipes for this favorite dessert. I couldn't find one specifically from a bed and breakfast inn (though we do have a recipe from the legendary Kahala Hilton, now the Kahala Hotel & Resort, in Honolulu, which I include below). One of our more popular recipes is this recipe for Anne Bunch's coconut cake.  This recipe has run in The Times at least three times, including as one of our Food Section Top 10 recipes in 1996.

Enjoy, Maria!

Click here for Anne Bunch's recipe; I include the Kahala Hilton's 1987 recipe after the jump. And click here for more Culinary SOS recipes. If you have a favorite restaurant recipe you'd like to request, feel free to e-mail me at noelle.carter@latimes.com. I'll do my best to track it down.

-- Noelle Carter


Photo: Anne Bunch's coconut cake. Credit: Anacleto Rapping / Los Angeles Times


4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup cake flour


Custard Filling

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

3 cups freshly grated coconut

Mix egg yolks, oil, water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Add salt, baking powder, cake flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Mix until smooth.

Beat egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into batter. Pour into 10-inch springform pan that has been greased and floured or lined with wax paper. Bake at 325 degrees 50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool.

Cut cake into 4 very thin or 3 thicker layers. Spread cooled Custard Filling between cake layers. Whip cream with 3 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until stiff. Frost top and sides of cake with whipped cream. Sprinkle top and sides generously with coconut. Chill. Makes 1 (9-inch) layer cake.

Custard Filling

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold milk

2 eggs, beaten

Combine milk, sugar and vanilla in saucepan. Bring to boil. Mix cornstarch with cold milk and beaten eggs. Blend cornstarch mixture into sugar mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened. Cool.