Coconut Italian Wedding Cake Recipe (video)
If you love coconut, this stunning Italian Cream Cake, also known as the Italian Wedding Cake, is for you! It’s a recipe from my cake cookbook, The European Cake Cookbook. You’ll love everything about this cake, from the delicate coconut cake layers, to the fluffy coconut whipped cream frosting to the toasted coconut flakes! Every single fluffy and delicate bite of this cake is packed with incredible coconut flavor!
Watch My Italian Cake Video!
Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions and watch me put this cake together! Want to get updates every time a new recipe goes live?? Subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Italian Wedding Cake
Here are the main ingredients you’ll need for making this delicious coconut cake:
- Coconut Milk: I recommend using full-fat coconut milk for the most flavor.
- Coconut Extract: using coconut extract adds even more flavor without having to add too much liquid to the recipe.
- Coconut Milk Fat Solids: to get the milk fat solids, simply place a can of full-fat coconut milk into the refrigerator a few hours. Open the chilled milk and use a spoon to scoop out the fat that’s solidified at the top. The water will settle at the bottom.
- Butter: for making the cake layers
- Eggs, Sugar, Flour: for the cake layers
- Mascarpone: you can also use cream cheese for this recipe. Allow the cheese to soften for about 30 minutes, then use in the recipe.
- Heavy Cream: use very well chilled cream for best results.
- Shredded Coconut: sweetened and toasted coconut flakes are great for garnishing the cake. You can also add grated coconut into the cake layers.
Making The Coconut Cake Layers
Every part of this Italian Wedding Cake has some coconut flavor! I add coconut milk and coconut extract to the delicate, white coconut cake layers. The fatty coconut milk not only adds coconut flavor, but also makes the cake extra delicate and soft. Make sure to use full-fat milk for this recipe! I also like soaking the layers with more unsweetened coconut milk when I’m assembling the cake. This helps keep the cake nice and moist even when it’s refrigerated.
Making the Coconut Whipped Cream!
The coconut whipped cream frosting I use for this Italian Cream Cake is one of my favorites! I could literally eat it with a spoon, it’s that good!! The mild flavor of mascarpone combined with coconut milk and fluffy whipped cream is phenomenal! Here are some tips for making the frosting:
- Soften the mascarpone cheese at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Don’t let it stand for too long!
- Cream together the cheese and coconut milk until it’s super creamy and smooth! Make sure no clumps remain.
- Whisk the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form before adding the cheese mixture.
- Once you add the cheese mixture to the whipped cream, mix just until the cheese is mixed in and the frosting is fluffy. Do not overmix! Over mixing for even a few seconds can cause the frosting to separate. If you’re making this for the first time, mix the whipped cream frosting on low speed.
How to Make Coconut Italian Wedding Cake
Putting together this creamy Italian wedding cake is a breeze! Here’s how I do it:
- Allow the cake layers to cool completely! This is important, otherwise the frosting will melt! Take a long, serrated knife and carefully split the layers in half.
- Soak each cake layer lightly with coconut milk. This will make the cake more moist and add more coconut flavor!
- Spread a generous amount of the prepared coconut whipped cream onto each cake layer, the frost the top and sides.
- Garnish the cake with dollops of whipped cream and toasted coconut.
- This cake can be enjoyed right away, or stored in the refrigerated for up to 3 days.
The European Cake Cookbook
This amazing Italian cream cake recipe is from my cake cookbook, The European Cake Cookbook! This book is packed with 65, all-new cake recipes from all across Europe. I hand-picked each recipe and this Italian Wedding Cake has a special place in my book! Get your copy HERE!
Enjoyed this delicious tropical flavored cake recipe? Check out some of my other dessert recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- White Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake – inspired by Raffaello chocolate truffles! Rich and creamy coconut cheesecake with coconut whipped cream!
- Coconut Cupcakes – seriously, the best coconut cupcakes with bakery-style frosting and toasted coconut!
- Mango Cake – so light and fluffy and fruity! This amazing mango cake has it all!
- Coconut Kahlua Cake – this coconut coffee cake is made with coffee buttercream, chocolate ganache and more coconut!
- Coconut Lime Cheesecake – you’ll love this fluffy coconut cheesecake topped with lime curd!
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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
- I love these aluminum, 8-inch round cake pans for baking.
- And these pre-cut parchment paper rounds save a ton of time!
- Use a classic KitchenAid stand mixer, or this smaller handheld mixer.
- And this set of jumbo cake decorating tips are a must for all bakers.
Coconut Italian Wedding Cake Recipe (video)
For Cake Layers:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp coconut extract
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
For Whipped Cream Frosting:
- 8 oz mascarpone or cream cheese; softened
- 1/2 cup coconut milk fat solids
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 cups toasted coconut, for garnish
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, for soaking layers
For Coconut Cake Layers:
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Line two, 8-inch (20 cm) cake rounds with parchment paper and grease the sides.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes using a hand mixer, until light and fluffy. Add the coconut extract and begin adding 1 egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour in the coconut milk.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the cake batter and then mix, mixing just until the flour is incorporated.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the two pans. Bake in preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the layers from the oven and cool completely on wire rack. Once cooled, level the top of each layer and split the layers in half using a serrated knife.
For Toasted Coconut:
- Prepare the toasted coconut. Simply spread the shredded coconut over a baking tray and bake in preheated oven at 350F (177C), tossing every 2 to 3 minutes so it doesn’t burn. Once the coconut is golden brown, remove it from the oven and cool completely.
For Whipped Cream Frosting:
- Prepare the coconut whipped cream: in a small bowl, cream together the softened mascarpone cheese, coconut fat solids (see note in recipe post above) and coconut extract for a few minutes, until creamy and smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the chilled heavy cream and confectioner's sugar with mixer set on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
- Add the cheese and coconut cream mixture to whipped cream. Whisk again on high speed for about 30 seconds until stiff peaks form again. Transfer 2 cups (473 ml) of the cream into a pastry bag for garnishing the top; use an open star French tip such as 4FT or 9FT.
Assembling the Cake:
- Assembling the cake: before adding frosting between the cake layers, soak each layer generously with coconut milk. Transfer the remaining ½ cup coconut milk into a dispenser bottle or use a sponge to drizzle the milk over the layers. Spread each layer with a generous amount of frosting, then frost the top and sides of the cake. Pipe dollops of cream on top for the garnish. Press toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle over the top. Refrigerate cake if not serving right away.
- Enjoyed this recipe? Please consider leaving me a comment or rating review to help my blog!
is coconut milk fat solid the same as regular canned coconut milk? please help thanks
how to make this into choco coconut cake? how much cocoa powder i must use?
Yes, you can make this into a chocolate cake – you’ll need to add 1/3 cup cocoa powder to the dry ingredients, no need to adjust for anything else
Where do I find coconut milk fat solids?
I buy a can of regular, not low-fat, coconut milk. Place it into the refrigerator overnight or for an hour. Once it’s chilled, the fat will solidify on top, leaving the water below. Just scoop out the fat and use in the recipe 🙂
hey please answer my question too
Greetings from the Sunny Island Singapore!
How are you and hope that you are in the best of health!
My name is Hans and I’m writing to you all the way from Singapore. I have been following your blog every day and quite excited to see you coming up with new recipes for European cakes!
Just to let you know that I did try 2 of your recipes and it turns out FANTABULOUS!
COCONUT ITALIAN WEDDING CAKE &
BANANA CREAM CAKE
Well, the results may not be the same as what’s seen on your website here but I made a little alteration.
I am not a professional baker and I just discovered how to bake earlier this year. Thank you so much for posting all those great videos step by step which is very helpful and easy to follow.
Here’s wishing you a great day ahead and keep making those great videos. Looking forward to learning from you!
Thank you so much for writing! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoy my recipes! The Coconut Wedding Cake is one of my favorites! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes! 🙂
All the best and happy baking!
If I want to make a bigger 9″ cake, would increasing the recipe by 25% work? Also what do you think, is this cake overly sweet or no?
Hi Mariam! Yes, you will need to increase the amount of ingredients if you want the cake to be the same height/thickness. I don’t find this cake too sweet at all! You can reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup if you really don’t like sweets. 🙂 Enjoy!
Are you using sweetened coconut flakes for decoration? Will it be ok if I use unsweetened flakes?
Hi! Yes, I used sweetened flakes but unsweetened will also work great! Enjoy! 🙂
Thanks so much for such a prompt reply. I made the cake and it was super moist and soft. My cake layers weren’t tall enough so I baked 1.5 times the recipe in 3 8 inch pans. The frosting was just delicious. The cake was a huge hit. Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful recipes and your smile spreads so much positive vibes. Keep up the great work 😊
I’m so happy to hear that the cake was a hit! You’re very welcome – it’s my pleasure! Thanks for watching and trying my recipes! 🙂
Hi, I don’t think I can get coconut extract here in Spain, I’ve looked everywhere. Do you think it will make a big difference?
Hi! This cake will still taste great without the coconut, it just won’t have an intense flavor. The coconut milk will add flavor. Enjoy! 🙂
How long can this cake stay out at room temp? Thank you so much for sharing!
Hi Carolina! Once the cake has set for at least 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator first, it can stand at room temp for about 2 hours before it starts getting soft. Enjoy!
Hi! Can I make my own coconut milk from coconut. Also some of the ingredients required can I substitute? For example the coconut extract will be substituted for honey?
Hi! Sorry, I’ve never made my own coconut milk before. Maybe you can try searching for the recipe online somewhere. For the coconut extract, honey will not be a good substitute. You can however add more vanilla extract. Enjoy!
A friend requested an Italian Wedding Cake for their birthday. I’d never made one but jumped on the challenge. I am so glad I found YOUR recipe! This may be the best cake I’ve ever made and I’ve been culinary trained. Definitely go with the mascarpone over cream cheese. It makes a much fluffier frosting. Thank you for posting! I’ll be subscribing now to your food blog for obvious reasons!
Hi April! That’s so great to hear! I’m so happy you loved the recipe! This cake is one of my favorites! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review and for subscribing! I hope you enjoy more of my recipes!
Would like to make this cake, but there are only 2 of us to enjoy it. Will it freeze well?
Hi Lucy! I totally get you, only 2 of us, too! I personally haven’t tried freezing this one but it should do well. Whipped cream typically freezes well. You’ll want to defrost in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Hi Tatyana, I’m making my sisters wedding cake this month and she wants 1 tier to be coconut. The tins of coconut milk have fat solids, do I mix the milk and fat solid together before putting in the mixture or am I to just add the milk?
Many thanks or the recipe
Hi Karen! This cake will perfect for the wedding! For the cake layers themselves, you will need the coconut milk so give everything a good mix. For the frosting, you’ll need just the fat solids. Use a spoon to scoop those out. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Hi Tatyana, thankyou for your prompt reply, IT’S IN THE OVEN NOW !!! 😬🍰
Thankyou, I’ll let you know how it turns out eeeecckksss
You’re very welcome! Enjoy!
Hello. I thinking about making the cake base 2 days in advance and frosting on the day. Is it alright to only refrigerate the cake for a few hours before serving, or does it need to set overnight for best results?
Hi Eleni! You can definitely make the cake layers ahead of time. Let them cool down completely, then wrap them very well with plastic wrap and refrigerate. It’s okay if the cake doesn’t set overnight. It will still be delicious! Have fun baking and enjoy!
Thank you for sharing this recipe!!
You’re very welcome, my pleasure! I’m so glad you loved the recipe!
Hi. I only have 9 inch round cake pans. How many servings do I increase it? It says 16 right now for a 2 layer 8 inch.
Hi Sarah! To make it super easy, you can increase it by 8, or prepare 1 1/2 portions of the recipe. Hope you love the cake!