Coconut Cake Recipe with Berry Compote
Fluffy tender coconut cake filled with an easy tart berry compote. Topped with a coconut swiss merengue buttercream and toasted coconut flakes. This layered Coconut Cake recipe with Berry Compote will be a go to spring and summer favorite!Jump to Recipe
Coconut Cake is a delicious flavor for spring and summer! This cake is tender and fluffy using natural coconut flavors without being too overpowering. Adding a tangy berry compote is the perfect addition to give this cake a light filling that pairs perfectly with the subtle coconut notes.
How to Make Coconut Cake
A layered cake can feel intimidating to make but follow these tips and you are sure to make the perfect cake every time!
- Use room temperature ingredients- Set eggs to sit a room temperature for 30 minutes before baking or in a bowl with warm water for 5-10 minutes. Allow butter to sit at room temperature for 45min-1 hour before baking. To speed up the process, cut the butter into small pieces and place on a plate.
- Measure flour accurately- Always scoop flour with a spoon into measuring cup and level off with a knife for the most accurate measurement (unless you have scale at home). Otherwise you may have a cake that is too dense. Tips on how to properly measure flour- Instagram Reel videos!
- Make sure your baking powder/baking soda is not expired- Baking Soda and Baking Powder can expire within 5-6 months so I always write the date I open the box. This may impact your cake from rising properly!
- Coconut Cream Vs. Coconut Milk- Coconut cream is a much thicker version of coconut milk. I used coconut cream from Trader Joes which has thick coconut cream on top which is separated from the coconut milk. This recipe uses both coconut milk and the coconut cream.
- Coconut Emulsion- This is a flavor enhancer. I used this Coconut Emulsion and a little goes a long way. It is not required as some of the coconut flavor will be naturally infused from the coconut milk in the cake batter.
- Ensuring the cake doesn’t stick to the cake pan- We have a 10 second video on IG showing the best way to get those cakes out! Spray with oil, line with a parchment round, spray with oil and lightly dust with flour.
How to Make Berry Compote
Berry compote really is effortless to make. You can easily throw all the ingredients into a pan and simmer while you bake the cake! Combine the fruit in a saucepan with lemon and a bit of water and sugar. If you want a more tangy, sour compote then add additional lemon. This recipe is less sweet and more tangy.
Allow to simmer on the stove for anywhere from 20-30 minutes. When the fruit looks glossy and is slightly thicken, its done. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
When fruit isn’t in season, using frozen is a great option! Because frozen fruit is picked at peak ripeness, it makes for a great alternative to fresh. Frozen is often more cost effective too. We used Stahlbush Farms Marion Blackberry and they were so delicious!
Store in an airtight container such as a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
This post is sponsored by Stahlbush Island Farms, but all opinions are my own.
How to Make Coconut Swiss Merengue Buttercream
What is Swiss merengue buttercream? It is a silky, less sweet buttercream made of egg whites, sugar, and butter. In comparison to American Buttercream that is sweeter due to the ingredients of powdered sugar and butter.
Swiss merengue buttercream does require an extra step, but its 100% worth learning how to make because it pairs so well with lighter cakes. Other frostings that would be lovely with this coconut cake recipe are Cream Cheese Frosting or Lavender Frosting! The Lavender extract can be swapped with the coconut cream and coconut emulsion flavors as well. Just use the same ratio as directed in the Swiss merengue buttercream frosting below.
The first step in making Swiss merengue buttercream is to cut the butter into small pieces and place on a plate. Next, create a double boiler. Using a large pot, bring water to a simmer. In the bowl from a stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar. Place this bowl directly on top of the pot with simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
Using the whisk attachment to a stand mixer, constantly whisk the sugars and eggs whites until the sugar granules have dissolved or temperature has reached 160F on a candy thermometer. I test this by dipping a finger into the sugar and egg mixture and rubbing two fingers together to determine if that sugar granules have dissolved completely.
Remove the bowl from the water and place on the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high until the merengue is stiff and cooled. This can take up to 10 minutes. Touch the bottom of the bowl to determine if it has cooled. You may also take a frozen bag of food from the freezer and run along side the bowl to help cool down.
Once the bowl is cooled to the touch, turn the mixer on medium-low and slowly add the butter, allowing the butter to fully mix and incorporate before adding more butter. Add desired flavorings and continue to mix until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Swiss merengue buttercream does go through stages when it is getting mixed. It may appear runny initially, then curdled. This is normal- keep mixing and it will come together into a silky buttercream!
CAN YOU MAKE COCONUT CAKE AHEAD OF TIME?
If you are planning ahead or just don’t have the time to bake and frost the cake within the day you plan on serving, then follow the baking timelines below!
- If making the cake more than 2 days before you plan on serving: Bake the cake layers and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Wrap each layer of the cake in plastic wrap (twice) then foil and place in a freezer ziplock bag. Store flat in the freezer. Cake can be made 3 weeks in advance.
- Take cake out of the freezer the day before you serve and assemble and frost cake within 24 hours.
- Making the frosting in advance: Frosting can be made 1 week in advance and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Take frosting out of the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until it reaches room temperature. In a stand mixer, re-whip the frosting until light and airy. Frosting should be spreadable.
- Frosting can also be stored in the freezer for 1 month in an airtight container. Take frosting out of freezer 24 hours before using to thaw in the refrigerator and re-whip in a stand mixer until light and airy. Frost Cake
HOW TO STORE CAKE
This coconut cake recipe is frosted with a stable buttercream, which means it can sit at room temperature for up to 3 days. The best way to store the cake at room temperature is in a cake box or or cake storage container.
Placing cake in the refrigerator can actually pull out moisture and also pick up any odors that are present from other food. If placing in the refrigerator, it is recommended to store in a cake box or cake storage container.
The cake is best served at room temperatures- take the cake out of the refrigerator up to 2 hours before serving.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE A LAYERED CAKE
Assembling a layered cake doesn’t have to be complicated or require any special equipment. We have several short Reel Videos on IG that show you how to assemble a layered cake! Check them out here:
HOW TO DECORATE COCONUT CAKE
This coconut cake recipe is coated in a silky swiss merengue buttercream and topped with toasted coconut. It is a very simple way to decorate a cake!
To toast the coconut, place on a pan and broil on low for a few minutes until golden. Make sure to be watching closely as it can go from golden to burning very quickly!
OTHER CAKE RECIPES TO TRY
Coconut Cake- makes 2 8" cakes
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 egg whites room temperature
- 2 eggs whole room temperature
- 1 cup coconut cream- using the milk only reserve the cream for the frosting
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp coconut emulsion Optional- for a more intense coconut flavor
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Marion Blackberry Compote
- 1 bag Stahlbush Farms Frozen Marion Blackberry about 1 cup or 10 oz
- 1 1/2 tablespoons agave, honey, or maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- Juice of half a lemon
Coconut Swiss Merengue Buttercream
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature, cut into pieces
- 3 tbl coconut cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line 2 8” cake pans with parchment rounds, spray with oil and lightly dust with flour. Set aside
- In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar and beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg. Add the red food coloring and beat until combined. Add the coconut emulsion and mix until fully incorporated.
- With the mixer on medium-low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and coconut milk; beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Be careful to not over mix the batter. Stop the mixer when a few ribbons of flour are visible.
- Evenly distribute the cake batter into each prepared cake pan and bake for 35 minutes. Check cakes by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs- cakes are done! *Each oven varies and baking times may differ by 5-10 minutes. Check cake for doneness at 30 minutes.
- Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes in the pan before turning the cake pan upside down to release the cake to completely cool.
- Prepare the Marion Blackberry Compote and Frosting.
Marion Blackberry Compote
- Combine bag of frozen marion blackberries, sugar, water, lemon in a saucepan and cook on medium-low to medium heat for 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes. Mixture will slightly bubble, stir occasionally. When the fruit is to your desired sweetness and is glossy, its done. Compote will thicken as it cools.
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk to combine.
- Cut butter into small pieces. Set aside
- Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture the sugar granules have dissolved or mixture reads 160F on a candy thermometer (approx. 5 mins)
- Place mixing bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled and the bowl is no longer warm to the touch. Approx. 8-10 minutes.
- Slowly add butter pieces and mix until combined. Add coconut cream or coconut emulsion and mix until fully incorporated.
- If any of the cake layers are domed on top, use a serrated knife to cut off the top to even the cake layers before stacking.
- Using an 8" or 10" cake board, add a small amount of frosting to act as glue for the first cake layer to stick to the board. Add one layer of cake. May also frost directly on a cake stand, if eating the cake the same day.
- Add a thick border of frosting on the outer edge of the cake. Add a thin layer of coconut frosting followed by the berry compote filling. Evenly spread across the cake. Add the second layer of cake. For the final cake layer, turn topside down.
- Apply a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake. This is the crumb coat and does not need to look perfect. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will set the frosting and lock in the crumbs so they do not show up on the final frosting.
- Once the cake has chilled, add another layer of frosting and decorate with toasted coconut flakes.