Just delish: decadent coconut cake recipe

“For I am coconut / and the heart of me / is sweeter / than you know.”

– Nikki Grimes, Bronx Masquerade

Meringue, decadent whipped ricotta and delicious fresh fruits combine to create the perfect balance of sweet, zesty, cakey goodness in this fabulous recipe from BOOKPLATE’s baking team.

While it might look like a lot of ingredients, we can guarantee the taste is worth it. Only the best will do!



  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup honey

  • 3 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 1/2 cups full - fat canned coconut milk

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 6 - 8 homemade or store - bought meringues

  • edible flowers, for decorating (optional)

Whipped ricotta cream

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 16 ounce whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Garnish and assembly

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, divided

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries, divided

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 - 2 blood oranges

  • 2 passion fruits

  • 6 -8 homemade or store - bought meringues

  • edible flowers, for decorating (optional)


Prepare the ingredients and bake your layers

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch (or 9 inch) round cake pans, or line with baking paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the canola oil, sugar, honey, eggs + egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Add the coconut milk and mix until combined. Batter should be pourable, but not super thin. Stir in the lemon zest.

  4. Pour the batter among the 3 cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the centre.

  5. Remove and let cool five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan.

  6. Grab 3 large flat plates, line them with wax or parchment paper and invert the cakes onto the paper lined plates. Cover and let the cakes cool completely before assembling.

Make your ricotta cream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffly.

  2. Add the ricotta and heavy cream, continue to whip until the ricotta is smooth and the cream has fluffled, about 6-8 minutes.

  3. Add the honey + vanilla and whip until combined. Keep the cream covered in the fridge until ready to assemble.

Assemble the cake

  1. In a bowl, mash together 1/2 cup chopped strawberry and 1/2 cup raspberries until you have a loose sauce.

  2. Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand and drizzle lightly with honey.

  3. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cream over the cake and then swirl 1/3 over the mashed berries into the cream. Crumble 2-3 meringues over top. Add a handful of fresh chopped strawberries, raspberries, orange slices and passion fruit.

  4. Repeat with the remaining 2 cake layers.

Baker's note: Be careful not to over fill your layers with fruit or the cake will be hard to slice.

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