Coconut Pound Cake


New can be fun and exciting, but sometimes all I crave is the the familiar. Slipping on my favorite pair of broken-in boots. Catching up with old friends. Going back to the places I grew up. And sometimes, I feel that way about food. I want to cozy up with some old favorites, revisit them and ask: are you the same way I remember you?

Well, I asked this cake that very question. And you know what? It’s even better than I remembered it. My grandmother got the recipe from a choir member at her New Orleans church many years ago, and has made it many times since. A “real old time” recipe, as my grandmother refers to it. That means full, buttery richness and a moist, delicate crumb. A glaze that melts right into the warm cake — soft and pillowy and flecked with sweetened coconut flakes. What it means? You can’t have just one piece.

There’s a reason you return to certain recipes, and there isn’t much I’d change about this one. That said, shortening makes me nervous, so I did substitute butter for the Crisco called for originally. The cake is still incredibly tender and I like the added flavor that comes with butter. Other than that, I tweaked the glaze just a bit to make it a little thicker, and voila! This “old time” cake has a fresh new feel.

In fact, the cake turned out so well, I got to thinking…maybe it’s time I re-visited even more of my grandmother’s tried and true recipes. A baker’s dozen, perhaps…

Are you ready? Save room for dessert!

***If you like coconut and/or this recipe, I also recommend checking out my grandmother’s French Coconut Pie: http://www.dramaticpancake.com/2011/07/nana-coconut-pie/

Coconut Pound Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
Moist, rich pound cake made with shredded coconut and drizzled with coconut glaze.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup whole (or low-fat) milk
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 3½ oz Angel Flake sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • ½ - 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9- or 10-inch tube pan. This cake is delicate so I wouldn't recommend using a bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer (on medium speed) to cream the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Stir in the milk, coconut extract and shredded coconut. Finally, add the flour, baking powder and salt mixture, and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Whisk together the coconut milk, coconut extract and confectioner’s sugar until smooth, adding more sugar as needed to thicken the glaze (or more milk if you want to thin it out).
  5. Cool cake in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing. Drizzle with glaze while cake is still warm.


  • This sounds wonderful! I love to come across old recipes that people don’t make anymore. I will be giving this a try – thank you for sharing!

    • Kathryn

      I agree – so much fun checking out old recipes!

  • I love the idea of this bakers dozen series and can’t wait to see what’s next! The cake looks so good- especially the coconut part.

    • Kathryn

      Thanks, Jess! I’m excited to share some more 🙂

  • This looks fabulous! I love all things coconut and this recipe is definitely going on my must try! Beautiful photos!

    • Kathryn

      Thank you so much, Jennifer! And I’m with you on the coconut!

  • Beautiful cake!
    Lately I’ve been thinking about some old favorite recipe too, wondering if they’re as good as I remember. You’ve inspired me to actually remake some, and answer that question!

    • Kathryn

      Julia – This is very important research, testing old recipes to make sure they’re still good 🙂

  • I adore favorite family recipes, they are most often scrumptious! And this coconut pound cake is certainly no exception, delightful!

    • Kathryn

      Thanks, Deb!

  • Therese

    We made this cake on Sunday. It was ridiculously moist (in a good way)! Ours didn’t have as much coconut flavor as I would have liked but I’m attributing that to the extract we bought. I didn’t smell like coconut at all, of course I didn’t know that until we got it home. 🙂 I will use this base for lots of other recipes though. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    • Kathryn

      Therese – that’s a bummer about the coconut extract, but I’m glad it came out well overall! I really appreciate the feedback : )

  • Tamara

    Looks amazing. It is cooking in the oven as I type. I am adding some cocoa powder to the glaze because I was craving a mounds candy bar when I came across your recipe. Can’t wait to cut into it tonight ! Thanks for sharing. I love trying the old recipes.

    • Kathryn

      What a great idea! A mounds in cake form has to be good. How did it turn out?!

  • Heather

    Looks great. Thinking about making this for mother’s day. In the batter recipe do you think you could use coconut milk (that you use in the frosting) instead of regular milk?

    • Kathryn

      Heather- I can’t guarantee it, but I am pretty sure that the full-fat, unsweetened canned coconut milk will work just as well in this cake as regular milk. If you do end up experimenting, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      • Heather

        I have made this cake twice now. First time with whole milk second time with full fat unsweetened coconut milk. I much prefer the coconut milk. Got raves reviews from everyone on both versions though 🙂

        • Kathryn

          Ooh, great idea! I will have to try out the unsweetened coconut milk the next time I make this. So glad to hear the cake was a success!

  • […] 2. Coconut Pound Cake by Dramatic Pancake. […]

  • I love coconut and I love pound cake and, in fact, found this website in a search for a coconut pound cake recipe. I cannot wait to try it, although it probably won’t be until in the fall when it’s much cooler as turning on the oven when it’s 87 degrees and 75% humidity outside isn’t much fun, even to get a homemade coconut pound cake!

  • EG1972

    Thank you for this recipe – I made it yesterday and I think it’s one of my favourite cakes ever! I can verify that it’s delicious made with coconut milk and as I didn’t have a tube pan I used a well greased bundt pan and it came out perfectly. Yum, it’s so good, I think I need to go eat another piece right now!

    • Kathryn

      Oh, good! Thanks for the feedback, I know a lot of people were wondering the using coconut milk, myself included. So glad you enjoyed the cake!

      • Virgilio

        I love coconut! I am going to try this recipe tomorrow, and I have secured all of the ingredients. However, I am going to try it with the coconut milk. I will let you know how it came out. Thanks again for sharing the recipe!!

  • Libby

    YUMMY! Looks and sounds DELICIOUS and I am going to make this wonderful find!

    Thank you for sharing! \o/

  • Brina,

    Hello Everyone,

    I love baking from stracth. And I love nothing more than a Great Cake!!! I’m going to make this cake this weekend. Will let you guys know the out come of it all..

    Thank You..

  • Debbie

    I made this cake on Sunday and brought it into my “taste testers” aka co-workers on Monday. Everyone RAVED about how DELICIOUS this cake was and are asking when am I opening my own business. Not so fast…lol. I substituted unsweetened coconut milk for whole milk and I believe that made all the difference. This is definitely a keeper and I am certain that I will be making this over and over again! Kathryn, thank you for sharing this awesome recipe.

    • Kathryn

      Yay!! I am SO happy to hear it. Thanks so much for the sweet feedback. And man, I think I really need to try this with coconut milk now!

  • Gail

    I made this today and it was great! I love it because it isn’t overly “sweet”-but just sweet enough. This will be a recipe I will definitely use again and again.

  • Karen

    Is this a moist pound cake? So many pound cakes are dry.

    • Kathryn

      I agree. I hate it when pound cakes are dry! I can assure you this is not one of them 🙂

  • Judy S

    I made this cake on Sunday and it was the best cake I have ever made! Thank you for sharing the recipe. It was very moist, light and delicate. My entire family loved it!

  • tj

    what butter to use salted or non salted ? or can we use corn oil instead?

  • Donna Harig

    I have made this, but a little differently. While cake s still hot in bundt pan, I poke holes in the cake & pour the glaze over cake, it will run down the sides to coat the whole cake. Cool completely, then take cake out of pan & drizzle more glaze on top of cake and sprinkle with coconut. Tlak about moist & yummy!!!

  • Donna Harig

    I have made this, but a little differently. While cake s still hot in bundt pan, I poke holes in the cake & pour the glaze over cake, it will run down the sides to coat the whole cake. Cool completely, then take cake out of pan & drizzle more glaze on top of cake and sprinkle with coconut. Talk about moist & yummy!!!

  • gdl

    this looks delicious, but can I substitute the milk for the cake with coconut milk?

    • Kathryn

      definitely! I know some people have tried that and had great results 🙂

      • Check that off the list of things I was cofsuned about.

  • sharon

    I am making this cake right now. It has been in the oven for an hour and 1/2 and still “giggles” did anyone else have that issue of not being done..

    • kristi

      I baked mine for an additional 5 minutes, then another 10; and another 10. I used a bundt pan because that’s all I have, and half the cake stuck to it. I’m about to spackle the broken cake together with a frosting instead of the glaze called for.

  • kenji

    I have been reading so much about virgin coconut oil and its wonders for your health and many other uses. I have read you use in place of any oil or shortening,butter etc in equal portions (because its solid at room temp) So…I can’t wait to make this with my virgin coconut oil

  • Linda

    Can I use cake flour instead of all purpose??

    • Kathryn

      Hi Linda- Yes, you can. If you want to substitute cake flour for all purpose, add one tablespoon for every cup of all purpose. So you will want to use 2 cups and 2 tablespoon of cake flour in this recipe 🙂

      • Linda

        Thanks!! Also can I use an Angel Food Cake Pan??? I only have that and a Bundt pan!

        • Kathryn

          Yes, an angel food cake pan is great!

  • Alsomm

    Just made this for my Mom’s birthday/Thanksgiving. Did you guys store it at room temp or in the fridge?

    • Kathryn

      Hi- room temperature is ideal! Enjoy the cake, and happy birthday to your mom!

  • Alsomm

    Thanks so much….it looks amazing! Too bad it would be rude to try a piece tonight. I can’t wait to taste it!

  • I have my mother’s 1973 edition of Food Editors of Farm Journal-Informal Entertaining Country Style and I found a very similar recipe for Coconut Pound Cake in the book; however, the recipe did not include the coconut glaze that’s so beautiful on your cake. It called for butter,not Crisco, 3 cups of flour, no baking powder and lemon extract. I imagine the extra cup of flour and no baking powder would make it a very dense cake. Your photos are exquisite and your blog is a joy to read!

  • Que rico. Lo haré. Saludos desde la República Dominicana

  • […] all you coconut lovers out there, this pound cake will be your new go-to dessert! Brought to you by Dramatic Pancake, this cake will have everyone asking for […]

  • Jackie

    This is a great recipe. Did 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup ff milk. Turned out wonderful.

  • Oh my! This is the coconut cake recipe I’ve been searching for for so long!!!! I’m also going to substitute unsweetened coconut milk for the milk in the recipe, as one of your readers has done, because I just love the delicate coconut flavour. Thanks so much for the recipe, Kathryn, and a very Happy Holiday Season to you!

    ~ Marie, the EpicureanPiranha

  • Nadine

    This cake is amazing! Really love it! Thank’s for the recipe!

  • Samantha

    I just made this cake today. I used a bundt pan, as well as coconut milk instead of regular milk in the cake part and it turned out beautiful and amazingly delicious!!!

  • Fasjan

    I have been making a modified version of this cake for 25 years. Even people that do not like coconut, love this cake. My reciple calls for shortning instead of butter and butter milk instead of milk. The other part, is the glaze does not have coconut in it, it is sugar, coconut flavoring and water (I think) cooked for 5 minutes and then poured over hot cake. Cake cools completely in the pan. I typically use a bundt pan, just because it is pretty and haven’t had any problems. I am going to try your way and will let you know if I can tell any difference!

  • Nita


    • Kathryn

      Hi Nita! I’m so sorry I am just seeing this now. A 10 inch tube pan works perfectly here–just follow the recipe as is 🙂

  • I need to make this now! Yumm

    Your recipes are so wonderful. Thanks for sharing! Happy cooking!

  • Mash

    Hi this looks great was wonderin though can I use unsweetened dessicated coconut since that’s all I can get here 🙁 and I want to make this amazin lookin cake

  • Raina

    Sooo, I bought all the ingredients last night, and I was so excited to make this pronto, but then I realized that I don’t have a tube or bundt pan!! Can I make this in loaf form, and how long would I bake it? Thanks!!

  • Margaaret

    I like a really tall pound cake and my pound cake recipe calls for 4 cups of flour. How tall is this coconut one? I want to use it, but hate for it to be just a few inches tall.

    • Kathryn

      Hmm..I couldn’t tell you exactly, but if I had to guess I’d say maybe 4 1/2 inches?

      • Margaaret

        Ok. So about the height of a normal pound cake and that is good. I sell some cakes and like for them to be as tall as possible. Will probably try your recipe this week.

  • I just made a regular homemade pound cake. I have never tried coconut in my pound cake but just might have to give a try. Looks delicious!

  • […] Coconut Pound Cake […]

  • Jan Thompson

    This recipe is also amazing with coconut rum instead of milk!

  • Jody

    I just ate my 1st piece! Used a bundt pan (greased with coconut oil!) & the only thing I switched up was instead of 1 cup unsalted butter, I used 1/2 cup unsalted butter & 1/2 coconut oil. I know have to find a hiding place for it because I don’t feel like sharing it with anyone. Hands down, the best cake I’ve ever made. I almost used a cream cheese frosting & am so glad I didn’t. Wouldn’t want to compete with this divine cake!!

    • Kathryn

      Glad you’re enjoying, Jody! Thanks so much for the feedback 🙂

  • Mary Cypher

    coconut pound cake

  • Joan

    Wonderful cake. I used coconut milk and it was truly amazing. 🙂

  • Shelly

    I made this cake today and was so excited when it turned out to be one of the best cakes I have made in a while! Very moist and doesn’t even need the glaze, as it is wonderful on it’s own! I served mine with fresh berries. The only changes I made…I used skim milk instead of whole and also I didn’t have coconut extract, so I substituted a good vanilla extract and it was perfect! Thanks so much for sharing and I will definitely add this to my recipe box!!!

  • Jody

    I made this for the 1st time on Easter Sunday & have made it 5 x’s since. It’s quickly become my family favorite..& friends too!!

  • Kathryn

    Thank you all so much for all the positive feedback! This is one of my favorite cakes ever and I’m so glad to hear that others are enjoying it, too 🙂

  • Coconut! Did someone just say COCONUT? Oh my goodness, I’m going to have to try this out in the next week. This looks absolutely delicious and I’m sure you can tell that I have a thang for Coconut.

  • OMGosh, Kathryn! Adding this one to my list as well! 😉 One of these coconut recipes should be submitted to Food52’s current contest “best coconut recipe”! Going to try this one w/ coconut milk – thank you for this recipe!

  • Tamiko

    Wow, this looks so darned good!

  • […] This dessert looks filthy- delicious! I know that this is a kind of dessert that’s undeniably delish! I could imagine how all sweet flavors would tickle your senses! Absolutely, it’s something that your palate would enjoy! Actually it’s very comforting! So you must try making this sweet dessert, to give a luxury treat to yourself!For the recipe and instructions hop on over to here […]

  • Mary

    Fabuloso…. Took suggestions of others and exchanged coconut milk for milk. Also added creme de coconut. Put half of batter in the pan and added this mix (coconut, creme de coconut & sweetened condensed milk) by tablespoonful and topped with remaining batter. So good. Thanks for this recipe!

    • Jeanne

      How much of each did you put in the center?

  • Cake looks delicious!

  • Paris

    This was one of the best pound cakes I have ever had! Definitely a winner for people who love coconut, and it will be my go to cake recipe. It was so moist and tender, just perfect. I substituted 1 C of canned unsweetened coconut milk (vs. reg. milk), and added a 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract along with the coconut extract. Everyone loved it!

  • Colleen

    I made this tonight…Wow! Delicious. I used coconut oil instead of the butter(I did not have enough butter in the house) I also only had skim milk so I used unsweetened coconut milk instead and I only had Uncle Bobs unsweetened coconut so I used it..It’s bigger pieces and they may be a little large but very tasty..I upped the coconut extract to 2 tsp…One can never have enough coconut flavor. Very very good!

  • Tammy

    Just baked this wonderful cake for my husband’s birthday. I jazzed it up by using unsweetened coconut milk, and drizzling the cake with a chocolate ganache topping and sprinkling with toasted chopped almonds and toasted coconut. It tastes just like an Almond Joy candy bar (but better) and got rave reviews, especially from my husband! This one’s a keeper!!!

  • Jennifer

    Hi! Made your cake a couple weeks ago to RAVE reviews! Sad there was none left over — will have to make again soon for a smaller crowd. 🙂

    Also wanted to let you know I just saw your exact recipe posted here (without credit) as a contest entry: http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2013/08/14/grandmas-coconut-cake/

    • Jennifer

      Oops — never mind (saw that the poster links back to your site). Voted for you!!

      • Kathryn

        Jennifer–thanks so much for your support! Happy to hear you liked the cake!! 🙂

  • Mrs. LaVerne

    I just made your cake for the first time and WOW! It is so great, I have finially found a real coconut cake recipe. Now all I need is a real Homemade pound cake recipe, can you help me out, Kathryn?

    • Kathryn

      Hi Mrs. LaVerne, glad you enjoyed it! I’ll work on that regular pound cake recipe and see what I can do!

  • […] recipe came from Dramatic Pancake.  I did have to make one change to the cake.  I didn’t have any coconut extract so I added […]

  • Sara

    I love this cake! This is the best recipe, so moist and humid!
    Thanks for charing it!! Million thanks to your grandma 🙂

  • I made this last night, and it was AMAZING. So delicious. I had to use a bundt pan, and it was a little hard to get out, but I managed. My family loved it. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Kathleen

    I just found this sight, I am an (older)cook) and love to discover and collect historic cook books. These recipes of yours bring back so many wonderful memories of family times, and an era of grace. Thank you for sharing. You have encouraged me to finish a cook book I started 28 years ago. Cooking has evolved in so many wonderful ways, but some of the older recipes were originals that will always be unique.


    my sister and daughter made this cake.. i thought it would never get baked.i kept forgetting were to find the recipe (
    there was no ink in my printer so i could not copy it)then my daughter bought the butter and milk along with some other items comes to my house about two hours later we can not find the butter she had left it and the milk plus two other items at the store.would you believe someone turned it in.(we called the store) next everything all creamed together and i have no baking powder off to my daughter house for some baking powder. well all I can say it was worth it all this is a great cake.

  • tish

    I tried this recipe this weekend with few tweeks I loved it. I used 1 1/4cup of white sugar and a 1/4c of brown sugar. Instead of whole milk I used coconut milk and also added a little lemon extract in too. I also added 1/2 cup more of flour. The cake was so moist and delicious that all is gone. mmmmm

  • tish

    Oh yeah I used a bundt pan and i had no problems with it coming out.

  • Jan

    I’ve made this cake several times, and it’s wonderful! It’s been a year or so, and I’d forgotten that I warmed the milk. I didn’t the last two times, and I’ve had a bit of a flop. It’s been very dense and chewy. The batter seized when I pour the milk in this last time especially. The butter seemed to congeal and the sugar regranulated when I added the cold milk, so I’d recommend warming the milk to room temperature.

  • Carlotta Haber

    I just made this cake today & it is golden brown. The inside of cake doesn’t seemed cooked. Once I add the dry ingredients, milk & coconut should I continue to use a mixer or only stir them by hand then pour into pan? Maybe mine were not well blended.. Usually have no problem, I must have done something wrong. Suggestions for next time?

    • Kathryn

      Hi Carlotta–you can use the mixer or just stir in the milk, coconut extract and coconut flakes. And then I would stir in the dry ingredients until combined. Maybe you already checked this, but is your oven temperature accurate? If it is, and the batter is still wet after an hour, it may just need a little extra time. Hope this helps!

  • Tracy G

    I have made this 3 times now and it is so good. It is moist, full of flavor and tastes like coconut!
    I used coconut milk, low fat from trader joe’s in place of milk and used vanilla extract instead of coconut extract. Butter that I had was salted and I didn’t change the salt either.
    I took the time to write this recipe down and put it in my favorite recipe’s, recipe book.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, it is a keeper!

  • Nita

    Thanks for your answer Katherine. Sunday I’m making using 3/4 cup well drained crushed pineapple folded in at the end of making batter. Will let you know how it comes out. Have you ever added pineapple to your cake?

  • Wonderful cake, We all loved it and its a keeper for sure. Thank you so much for sharing Grandma’s recipe. Andi the wednesday baker has blogged about this cake.

  • Jollypotamus

    This is a very good pound cake. I love coconut and changed a couple things, it turned out with a very intense coconut flavour! Instead of coconut extract, I used coconut emulsion (that’s all I had on hand, I found it to have a strong but nice coconut flavour) and I used Silk Coconut Almond Blend milk instead of milk. I just took my second pound cake this week out of the oven. Heavenly served warm with whipped cream!

  • Michelle

    I made this for my son’s birthday and he’s always asking to have it again. From a very picky teen; that is an awesome review! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • […] dramaticpancake.com – Get the recipe […]



  • lyn osorio

    I made this cake today and it is so delicious!! Thanks Kathryn for sharing this recipe. I took pictures but I don’t see a link to put them on here.

  • Kristin

    Time and time again, this is a keeper. Just have to say, I made this cake again last week and am making it today for a different occasion. I absolutely love this cake and so does everyone wherever I bring it. I’ve also added a slight amount of King Arthur Flour’s coconut milk powder to the recipe’s dry ingredients, bur tastes fine without.

  • Anthony'

    Made this cake on Sunday everyone love it so much. Very moist and easy to make. Thanks!! Will try other recipes

  • Zunaira

    If i wanted to substitute coconut flour how much would i substitute for the all purpose? and would the amount of eggs change if i do?

    • Zunaira

      the amount of milk as well?