Not My Mother-In-Law’s Coconut Cake

not my mother-in-laws coconut cake |

My mother-in-law makes the BEST coconut cake, hands down.

Every year I request this cake for my birthday and it’s amazing. Light and fluffy, but also creamy and coco-nutty. Perfectly sweet, but not too sweet. And the frosting is dreamy. It’s the BEST!

not my mother-in-laws coconut cake |


Want her recipe? Too bad! She’s taking it to her grave. I’m serious! She won’t share it! She’s such a giving woman. She’d give you the shirt off of her back if you were in need. But this recipe? Nope. Maybe if you call her and offer her money, she might reveal her secrets. But good luck. I gave her two perfect grandchildren and she won’t share it with me. So until that recipe is set free, this one will have to do.

not my mother-in-laws coconut cake |

not my mother-in-laws coconut cake |


I’ve tried a few coconut cake recipes over the years, and I think I’ve figured out the perfect combination of ingredients to make a pretty darn tasty cake.

But…it’s not my mother-in-law’s coconut cake.


not my mother-in-laws coconut cake |

not my mother-in-laws coconut cake |




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  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can of cream of coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 7 ounce bag of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup whipping cream


  1. It's best to make the cake a day ahead of time so that the cream mixture has time to soak in. Wait until you're ready to serve to top it with the whipped cream frosting. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and the tablespoon of coconut extract. Mix and bake per package instructions.
  4. Cool cake for about an hour.
  5. Once the cake has cooled, poke holes all over the top of the cake with either a fork or a straw.
  6. Mix together the sweetened condensed milk and the can of cream of coconut, saving two tablespoons of the thick coconut cream.
  7. Pour mixture all over the cake and let soak into the holes.
  8. Store cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or overnight.
  9. When ready to serve, beat the whipping cream together with the reserved two tablespoons of coconut cream.
  10. Spread over the cake and sprinkle with the sweetened coconut flakes.
  11. Serve to your mother-in-law and try not to gloat.

3 Replies to “Not My Mother-In-Law’s Coconut Cake

      1. That does help 🙂

        Well this post was so popular that you were one of the top three most pinned from last week’s Foodie Friday Link Party. There is a lovely featured pin waiting for you. 🙂

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