Coconut Cake

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dessert


Inspired by the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. King Arthur provides all measurements by weight as well, for those of you amazing bakers who use a scale. I’ll just share the volume measurements, as I’m not so fancy as that.


  • 1 c. shredded coconut (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!)
  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (may I just say I love that they include the “unbleached” part? You know there’s a healthy consciousness there!)
  • ¾ c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ c. superfine or granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c. plain yogurt


  1. Choose either two 9-inch round pans, one 9×13 pan, 24 cupcakes, or a 15×20 sheet cake pan.
  2. Grease pans with butter and flour them thoroughly, or line with parchment paper.
  3. Whiz the coconut and all-purpose flour in a food processor until the pieces are quite small. (The original recipe called for 30 seconds, but after realizing that you can feel them in the final cake, and that’s not the greatest mouthfeel, I would process longer or use coconut flour (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!).) Set aside.
  4. Cream butter, baking powder, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large mixing bowl at least five minutes until fluffy and light.
  5. Add the egg whites to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each one.
  6. Stir 2/3 cup of the whole wheat pastry flour into the batter, then a ½ cup yogurt, then 2/3 cup more flour, ½ cup yogurt, and the final 2/3 cup flour, mixing well between each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as well between each ingredient.
  7. Add the coconut and flour mixture all at once, stirring until the batter is evenly mixed.
  8. Pour into your prepared pans and bake in a preheated oven at 350F.
  9. 9-inch rounds or cupcakes: 21-23 minutes
  10. 9 x 13 pan: 30-33 minutes
  11. 15 x 20 sheet cake: 25-30 minutes
  12. Test for doneness by poking with a toothpick and watching for the cake to pull away from the edges of the pan slightly. Because of the whole grains, checking to see if the cake springs back when you depress a finger does not work as a doneness test.
  13. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting. You can freeze the layers for 30 minutes to make frosting easier.


Notes on ingredients: The original called for sweetened coconut, but unsweetened went great.

I used organic sugar (evaporated cane juice) from Wholesome Sweeteners as part of my test of their products.

The original also called for coconut extract, which I didn’t have, so I doubled the vanilla. Also, it’s so exciting to find a recipe that calls for egg whites, because I always have them hanging around from making homemade mayo and Caesar dressing. Do not try to substitute any other kind of flour for the whole wheat pastry flour. Regular whole wheat would not generate a happy texture in a cake. Pastry flour is a totally different beast and well worth the investment if you want to dabble in whole grain biscuits or cakes.