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Perfect Coconut Tea Cake | prettysimplesweet.com

Coconut Cake

YIELD 1 loaf cake (See notes for other pan sizes)


  • 1 1/2 cups (210 g/7.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/113 g) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g/8.8 oz) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon or lime
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) coconut cream (unsweetened)*
  • 1 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) shredded (sweetened or unsweetened) or desiccated coconut


  • 3/4 cup (85 g/3 oz) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream , plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum (optional)
  • 1/2 cup flaked or shredded coconut , for topping


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, and lemon/lime zest on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract and rum. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the coconut cream in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the shredded coconut.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top is browning too fast while baking, cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Allow cake to cool completely before adding the glaze.

  5. To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, coconut cream, and rum until smooth. Add more coconut cream as necessary until you reach a thick yet pourable consistency. Pour over top of cake and let drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle flaked coconut on top. Allow glaze to set, 15-30 minutes.

  6. Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cake can be frozen without glaze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

- You can substitute coconut cream with coconut milk.
- I find that the cake improves, both in taste and texture, a day after it’s made.
- This cake can also be baked in an 8x8-inch square or a 9-inch round cake pan, although the baking time will decrease to 35-40 minutes.