Coconut Vanilla Bean Cake



  • 1 c. butter, at room temp
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 5 egg yolks, whisked together
  • 2 c. cake flour
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. soda, mixed in 1 c. buttermilk
  • 5 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 c. shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract)
  • 1 t. coconut extract


  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. coconut extract
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter, room temp
  • 1 t. sea salt



  • Prepare two 9” cake pans by spraying with cooking spray, lining with parchment paper and then spraying the parchment paper with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy (about 5 minutes), then add the egg yolks and mix completely.
  • Mix together cake flour and sea salt. In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk and baking soda. Add the flour and baking soda alternately, in four additions, beginning and ending with flour. Mix thoroughly between each addition.
  • Add the vanilla bean and coconut extract.
  • Fold in the beaten egg whites and the toasted coconut.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.


  • With a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream, vanilla extract and coconut extract until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  • Beat together mascarpone cheese, cream cheese and butter until very smooth. Continuously wipe down sides of the bowl and make sure the mixture is well incorporated.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat well into the mascarpone/cream cheese/butter mixture until very smooth and there are not chunks.
  • Fold in the whipped cream.

TIP: Do the frosting one day ahead and put it in the fridge for a stiffer, thicker texture.

The journey to this recipe

I’m back! It’s been a while! I have been baking, and working, but I haven’t quite been proud enough of stuff I’ve made until now. I made this cake for my mom’s birthday/4th of July. Coconut is her favorite flavor, and it’s one of my favorites too. For the cake I went off this recipe from Epicurious. I changed some things; added sea salt, toasted the coconut, added vanilla bean and added coconut extract. I didn’t use the frosting recipe that the Epicurious recipe called for. I instead used my favorite frosting recipe that I previously used on the Berry Chantilly Cake that I posted about in April. It’s a great frosting that isn’t too heavy or overly sweet. I added coconut extract to the frosting to really lean into the coconut flavor. The vanilla bean really adds great flavor and richness to the cake and honestly made it so so good. I would recommend making the icing the day before. When it comes out right away, it’s very loose. Letting it sit in the fridge for an extended period of time allows it to stiffen and become thicker. I added raspberries and blackberries on top just for fun. This was a great cake and I was really proud of it. 10/10 would definitely recommend!

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