‘Heaven on Earth’ Coconut Cake Recipe

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Using yellow cake, sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut, and whipped topping, you can make this moist coconut cake that is HEAVEN ON EARTH!

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What Makes this Coconut Cake SO GOOD

As a self-proclaimed sweets lover, I have to admit that I am picky when it comes to cake. Most cakes have a dry texture, dull flavor, or BOTH! Talk about disappointing. Thankfully, this cake isn’t like most cakes. It’s a little slice of heaven on earth!

What sets this cake apart from the rest?! It’s the fact that this coconut cake brings all the moisture of a traditional tres leches cake but with a satisfyingly sweet coconut twist! It has a dewy crumb, light frosting, and fruity freshness that will soon make this recipe your go-to party dessert!

Every time I’ve brought this heavenly cake to a party or gathering I’ve come home with a clean pan. It’s that good! So come along with me as I serve up the recipe for this celestial sweet treat.

Slice of Moist, Fluffy Coconut Cake

Baking Tips

This coconut cake recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are a few pointers to make it that much better!!

  • Cream of Coconut substitution – I always use the Coco Real brand for the cream of coconut, but you could also use Goya or a canned variety. You just might need to stir the contents a little.
  • Don’t skip on the cooling time! – This cake tastes incredible no matter what, but there is something about eating it cold that takes it to a whole new level. Trust me on this!
  • Creating a stronger coconut flavor – If you want an even stronger coconut flavor, try adding shredded coconut to the top, using coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil in the cake, or adding in a few drops of coconut extract.

Ingredients for Making Coconut Cake

This coconut cake is the what dreams are MADE OF, but not just because of the flavor. On top of being fluffy and moist, it is also a really simple recipe! In fact, it only requires 8 ingredients to make:

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Cream of Coconut
  • Cool Whip
  • Fresh strawberries

The simplicity of this recipe is what allows the creamy, coconut flavors to shine!

Coconut Cake Ingredients Lists

How to Make this Delicious Coconut Cake

Step 1: Get out the ingredients

I find that my baking process always turns out smoother when I take the time to get out my ingredients before hopping into the process of mixing and measuring and preheating haha. So, I recommend starting of on the right foot by gathering all your ingredients and equipment before diving in!

Making the yellow cake mix batter for a coconut cake

Step 2: Mix together and bake the yellow cake according to instructions

The exact measurements for your eggs, oil, and water will vary depending on what brand of cake mix you use. Because of this, pay attention to the specific instructions on your cake box. However for reference, mine called for 3 eggs, 1 cup of water, and a 1/2 cup of oil.

Add your oil, eggs, water, and cake mix to a mixing bowl and combine until smooth. Once you have your yellow cake batter mixed together, transfer it to a greased 9×13 pan and bake it according to the labeled time on the back of the box. Mine was 35-38 minutes.

Mixed Yellow Cake Batter for Coconut Cake

Step 3: Poke holes in the cake

While the cake is still warm, poke holes all over the cake with the end of a wooden/plastic spoon or use a straw (should be round holes but doesn’t really matter). These holes will allow us to add out secret coconut sauce that really gives this angel cake its wings!

Baked Coconut Cake - with poked holes to add the sauce

Step 4: Make the coconut sauce

To make the coconut sauce that breathes life into this cake, mix together 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 1 container of cream of coconut. Some people find that using the whole containers is too sweet, so you could always try doing 3/4 of each! Stir the two ingredients together until you have a consistent creamy color. Pour the sauce over the cake, allowing it to soak in and cool.

Coconut cake with poked holes and the cream sauce poured all over it

Step 5: Frosting and topping the cake

After the cake has cooled, top it with an 8 oz container of defrosted cool whip. You could also add fresh strawberries and/or shredded coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened). Refrigerate until ready to serve!

Coconut Cake Topped with Cream and Strawberries

Coconut Cake Recipe

Slice of Moist, Fluffy Coconut Cake
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Fluffy and Moist Coconut Cake

This coconut poke cake is a simple dessert that is both light and moist. It has a delicious creamy coconut flavor and tres-leches type consistency!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Adding the poke cake sauce and topping + cooling45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut cake, poke cake
Servings: 15 slices


  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 9×13 pan
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 set of measuring cups
  • 1 straw/back of a wooden spoon
  • 1 hot pad


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 8 oz
  • 1 bottle cream of coconut 16.9 fl oz
  • 1 tub Cool Whip


  • 1 bag shredded coconut
  • 1 tub fresh strawberries


  • In a mixing bowl, wisk together the yellow cake mix according to package instructions. Add any required ingredients. Typically eggs, oil, and water.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and bake according to the instructions on the back.
  • Remove the cake from the oven.
  • While the cake is still warm, poke holes all over the cake with the end of a wooden/plastic large spoon or use a straw to create round holes.
  • Mix together 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 1 container of cream of coconut. Pour over cake and cool completely, allowing it to soak into the cake.
  • Top cooled cake with 8oz container of defrosted cool whip and shredded coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened).
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.


While the cake still tastes good warm, it is significantly better cooled! 


Serving: 1slice

Is this coconut cake a glorified poke cake? Sure! But it is also the cake that multiple people have told me is the best cake they have EVER EATEN!

Give it a try and let me know the best compliment you get on it!

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy

If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, then you are going to LOVE these other amazing party desserts. They are perfect for large groups and are just too delicious not to share.

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Fluffy and Moist Coconut Cake Pinterest Pin

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