Dive into Paradise: Coconut Pecan Layer Cake

Calling to Action: Get ready to embark on a culinary journey to the tropics with our delectable Coconut Pecan Layer Cake. This heavenly creation combines moist coconut cake layers with a luscious pecan filling and a creamy coconut frosting. If you’re craving a taste of paradise, this cake is your ticket to an exotic dessert experience. Let’s uncover the secrets to crafting this tropical masterpiece!

The History and Origins

Coconut and pecans have long been cherished ingredients in Southern cuisine, where rich, indulgent desserts are a culinary tradition. This cake is a delightful fusion of flavors that pays homage to the sweet traditions of the South while adding a touch of tropical flair. While the precise origin of this recipe may be elusive, its deliciousness is undeniable.

Tools Needed and Serving Size


  • Three 8-inch round cake pans
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Electric mixer
  • Spatula
  • Saucepan
  • Wire rack

Serving Size: This recipe yields a generously sized cake that can serve approximately 12 slices, making it perfect for sharing with family and friends.

Cooking Time:

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55-60 minutes

Ingredients and Possible Replacements

To craft this tropical delight, gather these sumptuous ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

For the Pecan Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the Creamy Coconut Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Possible Replacements:

  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut: You can use unsweetened shredded coconut if you prefer a less sweet cake.
  • Canned Coconut Milk: Fresh coconut milk can be used as a substitute. Ensure it’s well-mixed before using.

Steps to Prepare

Creating this tropical masterpiece is a delightful journey in itself. Here are the steps to craft your very own Coconut Pecan Layer Cake:

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans, ensuring they are well-prepared for your cake. Set them aside.

Step 2: Whisk the Dry Ingredients

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. This step ensures even distribution of leavening agents for a tender cake.

Step 3: Cream Butter and Sugar

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This step incorporates air for a soft crumb.

Step 4: Incorporate Eggs and Vanilla

  1. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until they are well incorporated into the mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract for that delightful essence.

Step 5: Alternate Dry Ingredients and Coconut Milk

  1. Gradually add the dry flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the canned coconut milk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Avoid overmixing.

Step 6: Add Sweetened Shredded Coconut

  1. Stir in the sweetened shredded coconut, infusing your cake with that delightful tropical flavor and texture.

Step 7: Divide and Bake

  1. Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place them in your preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Step 8: Cool and Set Aside

  1. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Afterward, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Proper cooling is essential for a perfect cake texture.

Step 9: Prepare the Pecan Filling

  1. While the cakes cool, it’s time to prepare the sumptuous pecan filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1/2 cup of unsalted butter. Stir in the packed brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.

Step 10: Cook and Add Pecans

  1. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the filling thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped pecans. Allow the filling to cool completely.

Step 11: Make the Creamy Coconut Frosting

  1. To create the creamy coconut frosting, beat the softened butter in a mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, canned coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Beat until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. Stir in the sweetened shredded coconut.

Step 12: Assemble the Cake

  1. To assemble your masterpiece, place one of the cooled cake layers on a serving plate. Spread half of the pecan filling over the top. Repeat with the second cake layer and the remaining pecan filling. Finally, top your creation with the third cake layer.

Step 13: Frost the Cake

  1. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the creamy coconut frosting, using a spatula to achieve a smooth finish.

Step 14: Optional Garnish

  1. For an extra touch of tropical beauty, garnish the cake with additional shredded coconut or toasted pecans, if desired.

Step 15: Slice and Savor

  1. Now comes the best part—slicing and savoring your Coconut Pecan Layer Cake. Each bite is a journey to the tropics, a sweet escape from the ordinary.

Top 4 Mistakes to Avoid

Creating this exquisite cake can be a breeze if you steer clear of these common pitfalls:

1. Overmixing the Cake Batter

Overmixing can lead to a tough cake. Mix the batter only until the ingredients are combined to ensure a tender crumb.

2. Not Letting the Cakes Cool Properly

Rushing through the cooling process can result in a cake that falls apart or has a compromised texture. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

3. Not Preparing Cake Pans Adequately

A poorly prepared cake pan can lead to the cake sticking or breaking during removal. Grease and flour the pans thoroughly to ensure easy release.

4. Adding the Pecan Filling While It’s Too Hot

Pouring the hot pecan filling onto your cake can cause it to become too soft. Make sure the filling is cooled to room temperature before adding it between the layers.


Let’s address some common questions about this tropical delight:

Q1: Can I use fresh coconut instead of sweetened shredded coconut?

A1: Yes, you can use fresh coconut if you prefer. Grated fresh coconut can add a delightful texture and flavor to the cake.

Q2: Can I prepare the pecan filling in advance?

A2: Absolutely! You can make the pecan filling ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Q3: Can I use a different nut for the filling?

A3: While pecans are a classic choice, you can experiment with other nuts like walnuts or almonds if you prefer different flavors and textures.

Q4: Can I make the frosting less sweet?

A4: If you prefer a less sweet frosting, you can reduce the amount of powdered sugar to your taste.

Conclusion and Call to Action

The Coconut Pecan Layer Cake is a testament to the delightful fusion of tropical and Southern flavors. With each bite, you’ll be transported to a paradise of taste and texture. It’s the perfect dessert for celebrations, gatherings, or those moments when you simply want to indulge in something extraordinary.

As you enjoy this cake, remember that the world of baking is vast and filled with endless possibilities. Explore new flavors, experiment with ingredients, and share your creations with loved ones. The joy of baking is a journey of both the heart and the palate.

To discover more culinary wonders, explore our recipe collection and embark on your next delectable adventure. Happy baking, and may your taste buds forever savor the delights of the Coconut Pecan Layer Cake! 🥥


You May Also Like

If you’ve fallen in love with this tropical treat, you may also adore these recipes:

  • Mango Coconut Popsicles: Cool down with the exotic blend of mango and coconut in these refreshing popsicles.
  • Pecan Pie: If you can’t get enough of pecans, try a classic pecan pie with a buttery, nutty filling.
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: Pineapple lovers will relish the sweet and tangy flavors of this classic cake.

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