This coconut loaf cake was my third attempt at making a coconut filled cake from scratch. It all started with me coming across shredded coconut during one of my baking supplies shopping trip.
That was the first time I actually came across shredded coconut. I live in Malaysia and we have coconuts in abundance here. In fact, they are so common here that we have so many delicacies that are made using coconut. Most of the time, these local delicacies use coconut milk. Other than the milk, we also use the white coconut flesh. However, it is always available in a much finely grated form i.e the desiccated coconut. So in all my life, that was the first time I actually saw coconut flesh in a shredded form and was so excited that I bought it without actually knowing what I would do with it.
Coconut cakes with shredded coconut in the batter
I have seen many coconut cakes on the internet that use shredded coconut to decorate them and have always felt that they looked really good. So when I decided to buy the shredded coconut, it did cross my mind that a coconut cake would be a good idea to use it for.
I wanted to bake a coconut cake from scratch, one that has coconut flesh in it and not just the coconut milk. There are many recipes for coconut cakes that use the coconut milk and coconut extract to flavor the cakes, but hardly any that actually add coconut flesh into the cake batter.
So, after 4 attempts, I finally managed to nail down the perfect coconut loaf cake recipe with both the coconut milk and coconut flesh added to the batter. To this, I also added vanilla. The results – a truly aromatic, coconut loaf cake that lets one feel not just the taste of coconut but the actual coconut flesh too! The coconut cake was pretty easy to make. I baked mine in a loaf pan and gave it a light drizzle of lemon glaze icing for a perfect vanilla coconut loaf cake.
How to Make Coconut Loaf Cake
The main ingredients for this coconut loaf cake are as follows with the full details in the recipe card below:
- Castor sugar
- Plain flour + salt + baking powder
- Shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- Coconut milk
And the glaze topping is made up of a simple combination of the following:
- Icing sugar (sifted)
- Lemon juice
- Warm water
- The making process for this coconut cake loaf is similar to most other butter cakes. Start by creaming the butter, followed by castor sugar and beating both to the point they become light and fluffy.
- Because the proportion of sugar to butter in this recipe is almost double, to ease the creaming process, add half of the coconut milk in the recipe to the butter and sugar mixture and beat them all until they become all fluffy. For the measurement given in the recipe below, this process should take about 2 minutes.
- Next, add the eggs, one at a time. Beat them well after each addition.
- And then the flour should go in, alternately with the remaining coconut milk. If your butter or eggs are not at room temperature, the coconut cake batter tends to cuddle at this stage and that is fine.
- Next, add the vanilla essence followed by the coconut. Mix well.
- Pour the coconut cake batter into a prepared loaf tin. Grease the cake tin and line it with parchment for easy release of the cake after baking.
- Bake the coconut loaf cake for about 35 to 40 minutes and do a skewer test to check if it is done. Remove the coconut cake from the oven and let it rest in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve the cake plain or drizzle with lemon glaze icing. Use a sharp knife to slice the coconut cake.
Tips for The Best Coconut Loaf Cake Ever
- This is the white substance that is squeezed out of the coconut flesh and not the clear water that is present in the coconuts.
- Coconut milk can be readily purchased from grocery stores. Sometimes, the milk tends to separate, so if that happens, shake your container well.
- Coconut flesh in this form is slightly more coarse than its desiccated form. I used the unsweetened version and the sweetened ones will end up making the cake too sweet.
- I have not tried making this cake with desiccated coconut, but if you wish to try, use the fresh desiccated coconut instead of the dry one.
Proportion of flour to sugar
- The proportion of flour in the cake to the sugar is almost half and that is because part of it is replaced by the coconut. And so, it is important that the coconut used is the unsweetened version instead of the sweetened one.
Do not over bake the cake
- The baking time plays an important factor is the success of this cake. Because of the shredded coconut in the batter, this cake will have soft crumbs. However, its moist textures keep the cake together. Over baking can result in the cake become too crumbly and so when checking for doneness, remove the cake from the oven as soon as a skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few soft crumbs attached to it.
- Waiting for a stage where the skewer comes out totally clean maybe a little too late for a moist coconut cake.
Use a sharp knife to cut the cake
- Also because of the shredded coconut in the cake, cutting the cake requires one to use a really sharp knife that would cut through the coconut shreds. A not so sharp knife will not be able to cut through the shreds resulting in rather crumbly cake slices.
Coconut Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my coconut loaf cake recipe. And while you are free, don’t forget to read the recipe notes right below. They contain absolutely useful tips for the best coconut cake ever.
Coconut Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze
- 115 g butter
- 200 g castor sugar
- 120 g all purpose flour
- 115 g shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- 150 ml coconut milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 40 g icing sugar (sifted)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water (warm)
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease and line an 8 inches by 4 inches loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter until soft. Add castor sugar and half of the coconut milk and beat until the mixture turns light and fluffy for about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.
- Fold in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the remaining coconut milk and mix until the flour is well incorporated. Add vanilla essence and mix briefly.
- Next, fold in the shredded coconut. Pour batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is done.
- Remove the cake from oven and let it cool in tin for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the glaze icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and water and mix until it reaches a runny consistency.
- Fill the icing into a piping bag and drizzle on the cake as desired.
Happy Baking 🙂
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