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Raspberry and Coconut Cake

While I’ve made a raspberry white chocolate cake in the past, I’ve never made a raspberry and coconut cake!

There’s something about the sweetness of the coconut and the tart raspberries that go so well together. It’s like a tropical match made in heaven.

This cake is made with fluffy and tender coconut cake layers, filled with raspberry jam and raspberry frosting, and decorated with toasted coconut and fresh raspberries.

image of a raspberry coconut cake filled with raspberry jam

Cake Flour vs. All-Purpose Flour

Now some of you might be asking, why cake flour?? Your recipes usually use all-purpose flour!

Cake flour makes baked goods that are fluffier and lighter, like angel food cake. They also give baked goods a finer crumb.

And that’s exactly what I was after with this cake. I wanted these coconut cake layers to be light as air.

image of a fluffy, tender coconut cake layer that's been leveled

Substitutions and Swaps in this Raspberry Coconut Cake

This recipe use quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have all of them on hand. Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made.

  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar, as it will change the texture of the cake layers.
  • Egg whites – If you have an egg allergy you can use 4 flaxseed eggs or 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce + 1 extra Tbsp baking powder.
  • Cake Flour – This recipe turns out best with cake flour, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend or all purpose flour if needed.
  • Sour cream – You can also use full fat yogurt, buttermilk, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
  • Vegetable Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe, so canola or even sunflower oil would work great!
  • Freeze dried raspberry powder – If you can’t get a hold of raspberry powder, you can make the raspberry buttercream with 1/3 cup of raspberry jam or preserves in its place, and use only 2 Tbsp of heavy cream instead of 2/3 of a cup.
  • Heavy Cream – Whole milk or alternative milk (soy, almond, oat) will work fine in this frosting recipe if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice and Zest– Fresh lemon juice really makes the raspberry flavor of the buttercream pop, but bottle lemon juice will work too. Orange juice can also be used in place of the lemon juice/zest.
image of a raspberry coconut cake filled with raspberry jam

Tips for Making the Best Raspberry and Coconut Cake

  • Don’t overmix your batter! Mix on the speed the recipe recommends until the cake flour is just combined.
  • Be sure to properly measure your flour! Either spoon it into the cup measure, then level with a knife or use a kitchen scale.
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature to help them mix together better.
  • Don’t level your cake layers until they are completely cooled.
  • Pipe a ring of frosting around the raspberry jam to help keep it in place and prevent it from oozing out of the cake.
  • Use freeze dried raspberry powder to really pack this cake with flavor!
  • This recipe can also be used to make four, 6″ cake layers! They will need slightly longer to bake, and I recommend baking them at 350F for 34-36 minutes.
  • One batch of batter can be also be used to make one 9×13 inch raspberry coconut sheet cake. Bake it at 350F for 40-50 minutes.
  • Make this raspberry and coconut cake vegan or dairy free! Use your favorite type of dairy free milk to replace the buttermilk and heavy cream, vegan butter sticks in place of the butter, and flax seed eggs.
image of a raspberry coconut cake filled with raspberry jam and decorated with toasted coconut

Making This Cake in Advance and Storage Tips

  • Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and make it more approachable.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to 5 days. The frosting locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.
image of a slice of raspberry coconut cake on a plate

Let Me Know What You Think

If you try this raspberry and coconut cake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets, so I can see your beautiful creations!!

Other Recipes You Might Like

Yield: 24

Raspberry and Coconut Cake

image of a raspberry coconut cake filled with raspberry jam

This raspberry and coconut cake recipe is made with fluffy coconut cake layers, real raspberry frosting and a tart raspberry filling!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Coconut Cake Recipe

  • 3 cups cake flour (360g)
  • 3 tsp baking powder (12g)
  • 1 tsp salt (6g)
  • 3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (226g)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600g)
  • 1 cup egg whites from a carton or about 8 fresh egg whites (235g)
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat sour cream, room temperature (380g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)
  • 2 tsp coconut extract (8g)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (56g)

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (434g; 1 lb box)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (5g)
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract (3g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3g)
  • 7 cups powdered sugar (907g; 2 lb bag)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream) (150g)
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberry powder (50g)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest; zest of a small lemon (12g)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice; about 1/2 small lemon (12g)

Cake Filling

  • 2/3 cup of raspberry jam (210g)

Decorations

  • 1/2 cup of toasted, shredded coconut (35g)
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • Sprig of fresh mint

Tools and Equipment Needed

Instructions

Coconut Cake Layers

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans with non stick baking spray or homemade pan release and line with parchment rounds.
  2. in a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of cake flour, 3 tsp of baking powder, and 1 tsp salt and set aside.
  3. Add 3/4 cup of unsalted butter and 3 cups of granulated sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on a high speed with a whisk attachment for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as need with a rubber spatula. The mixture should become lighter in color as air is whipped into it.
  4. Add 1 cup of egg whites and mix at a medium speed until they're incorporated. The mixture might look a bit broken but it will come together was you mix in the dry ingredients.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix on a low speed until just incorporated.
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp coconut extract and 1/4 cup of oil. Mix on a low speed until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  7. Mix in the remaining flour mixture on a low speed, until the ingredients are fully combined.
  8. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, to make sure my layers will be the same height.
  9. Bake for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Rotate pans halfway through to help them bake evenly.
  10. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  11. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
  12. Use a serrated knife to level the cake layers. I chose to torte (cut horizontally in half) my cake layers to create 6, thin cake layers.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the raspberry buttercream frosting.
  2. Beat 2 cups of unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds until smooth with a paddle attachment / stand mixer or a hand mixer.
  3. Mix in 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp coconut extract, and 1/2 tsp salt on a low speed.
  4. Slowly mix in 7 cups of powdered sugar on a low speed. Half way through, add 2/3 cup of heavy cream to make the frosting easier to mix. I like to place a kitchen towel over my mixer to contain any powdered sugar clouds.
  5. Place 1/2 cup of the vanilla buttercream in a small piping fit with an open star tip (Wilton 1M) and set aside.
  6. Mix in 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberry powder, 1 Tbsp lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice on a low speed into the remaining buttercream.
  7. Continue to mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached. 
  8. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tbsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  9. Place 1 cup of raspberry buttercream into a small piping bag and cut the tip to create a 1/2-inch opening. Set aside.
  10. Stir by hand with a rubber spatula to make the frosting extra smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside until you're ready to use it.

Assembling this Raspberry and Coconut Cake

  1. If possible, chill your leveled cake layers in the freezer for 20 minutes before assembling the cake. It makes them cold to the touch, which minimizes crumbing and makes them so much easier to frost and stack them.
  2. Spread about 1 Tbsp of raspberry frosting onto a greaseproof cake board or plate, then place your first cake layer on top of frosting smear. This helps the layer stay in place as you assemble the cake.
  3. Spread an even layer of raspberry frosting on the cake layer with a large offset spatula.
  4. Pipe a ring of raspberry buttercream around the edge of the cake layer, and carefully spread 2 Tbsp of raspberry jam directly on top of the buttercream. Make sure you don't add extra jam between the cake layers or else it can make the cake layers really difficult to stack and frost.
  5. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, being sure to flip the top cake layer upside down (cut side down). This makes it easier to get sharp edges on your cake!
  6. Chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) to help the frosting firm up and make the cake easier to frost.
  7. Cover the cake in a thin coat of raspberry buttercream. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake again in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  8. Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Leave a textured edge at the top of the cake.
  9. Decorate as desired! I chose to add a semi-circle of vanilla and raspberry frosting dollops, fresh raspberries, toasted coconut and mint leaves.

Notes

Tips for Making the Best Raspberry and Coconut Cake:

  • Don’t overmix your batter! Mix on the speed the recipe recommends until the cake flour is just combined.
  • Be sure to properly measure your flour! Either spoon it into the cup measure, then level with a knife or use a kitchen scale.
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature to help them mix together better.
  • Don’t level your cake layers until they are completely cooled.
  • Use freeze dried raspberry powder to really pack this cake with flavor!
  • This recipe can also be used to make four, 6" cake layers! They will need slightly longer to bake, and I recommend baking them at 350F for 34-36 minutes.
  • One batch of batter can be also be used to make one 9×13 inch raspberry coconut sheet cake. Bake it at 350F for 40-50 minutes.
  • Make this raspberry and coconut cake vegan or dairy free! Use your favorite type of dairy free milk to replace the buttermilk and heavy cream, vegan butter sticks in place of the butter, and flax seed eggs.

Making This Raspberry and Coconut Cake in Advance and Storage Tips:

  • Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them: It breaks the process up and make it more approachable.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 623Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 76mgSodium 276mgCarbohydrates 85gFiber 2gSugar 66gProtein 5g
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