Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 14, 2013 09:07 PM

Coconut Frosting Recipe

So, a friend of mine lost her mother a couple of years ago, and as part of a day of the dead celebration this year, she asked me if I would make a coconut cake for her, like her mother used to make. The cake I'm not too worried about, it was simply a white cake. But the frosting is giving me a real headache. Because her mom passed, we can't really ask her, but I guess the frosting was mixed together the night before and allowed to refrigerate? The only recipes that I can find that are similar to that A) Call for Cool Whip, which I simply can not, can not, see myself ever using or buying and B) are kind of vague on the ingredient types (Coconut? What kind of coconut? Sweetened flakes? Frozen? Unsweetened? BLERGH!)

So I was wondering if any of you good chowhound folks had a good, tried and true, overnight Coconut Frosting recipe that does not use cool whip that you could share with me?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This is one from King Arthur that I keep bookmarked. It's fabulous.

    2 Replies
    1. re: FoodChic

      The King Arthur recipe yields excellent results. Please be aware of the differences between coconut water, milk, cream, and oil. They do not exchange evenly for milk and butter in both the cake and frosting . You need to experiment.

      Since some do not like the coconut flakes, put a checkerboard pattern on the frosting and add flakes to alternate serving squares. Have a bowl of the flakes so your guests can add more if they wish.

      If you need coconut butter, that can usually be found in the skin care aisle of your local pharmacy. Next to sunscreen. :-)

      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

        Unfortunately the King Arthur one won't work. I have a lot of faith in King Arthur's recipes, they're almost always fabulous, but in this particular case, I need the coconut to be mixed in to the frosting, not garnish. If I was starting from scratch with 'Make Coconut Cake', I'd totally go for it, but I'm trying to recreate a family recipe, and it had the coconut mixed in to the frosting.


      Delairen, I'm the only person in my family that loves coconut cake with coconut frosting and Ina's recipe has plenty of it. She recommends a vanilla/almond extract combo but I use 100% coconut extract instead. Maybe this recipe, specifically the frosting portion, will work for you too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HillJ

        I was thinking Ina's too. Cream cheese frosting with vanilla/almond extract and coconut flakes

      2. Depending on her tradition, and what kind of cake her mother made, you may be overcomplicating things. Most "southern" US style coconut cakes are just frosted with a really sweet white frosting with Angel Flake coconut sprinkled on the frosting. Really not that much coconut to it. Many of us grew up calling yellow cake with this type of frosting "coconut cake".

        1 Reply
        1. re: arashall

          The cooked/cooled comment makes me wonder if it's a classic miracle frosting that was very common in the south.

        2. Make a basic "7 minute Frosting" - basically a cooked meringue (think marshmallow fluff). You can google this and get a ton of recipes. Then add some coconut extract/flavoring, and when it's done, fold in shredded coconut. The sweetened kind (Angel brand, isn't it?) is fine.

          I make a tres leches cake with coconut milk and top it with this frosting.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sbp

            This sounds the most like the "7 minute frosting" that is part of alton brown's recipe here:

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              Yep, that's pretty much it, though the fresh coconut is too much bother for me.

              1. re: sbp

                The recipe i linked includes the cake- which uses fresh.
                Below in the icing its bought shredded coconut.

          2. I found this recipe years ago somewhere on-line. I have made it a few times and like it very much.

            Mix together & refrigerate overnight;
            1 cup sour cream
            1 bag (10oz) sweetened flake coconut
            1/2 cup sugar

            The next day—
            To finish frosting--
            Whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream and fold into the sugar/coconut mixture from day before.

            Frost the completely cooled cake with this. Best if the cake is left for 3 days in refrigerator to ‘ripen’.