A sunny coconut cake that sings with passionfruit curd filling.

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3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups superfine sugar
4 eggs
3 tablespoons cream of coconut (Goya or CocoLopez brands are best)
1 cup coconut milk
1 eight-ounce jar of store bought passion fruit curd (if you can’t find passion fruit curd, lemon curd works beautifully)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2½ cups confectioners sugar, sifted (plus ½ cup for consistency)
3 tablspoons canned cream of coconut
½ teaspoon coconut extract
pinch of salt
2 cups flaked coconut

  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 6 minutes.
  5. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  6. Add eggs, one and a time, and beat until fully incorporated.
  7. Add flour and milk alternately to bowl, beginning and ending with flour beating until just combined.
  8. Divide batter in half.
  9. Gently stir in food coloring to desired shade.
  10. Transfer tinted batters to pans.
  11. Smooth tops with a knife and bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  12. Cool 10 minutes in pans, turn out onto cooling racks, and allow cakes to cool completely before assembling.
  13. Using a serrated knife, slice each cake in half to create a total of four layers.
  14. Place first layer on cake stand and spread with 3 tablespoons of curd. Repeat with remaining layers.
  15. Spread coconut crème frosting in an even layer over the top and sides.
  16. Before the frosting sets, gently press flaked coconut to top and sides of cake. Serve.
  17. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined.
  18. Scrape down sides.
  19. Gradually add 2 ½ cups confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
  20. Stir in cream of coconut, extract, and salt.
  21. Adjust consistency with remaining ½ cup confectioners sugar, if needed.


The number of layers and variety of colors you prefer will dictate how many times you will need to prepare the batter. Each recipe can be divided in half and each half tinted a different color yielding four layers, two of each color. For more layers/ colors, prepare additional batches. Doubling the recipe is not recommended.

A sunny coconut cake that sings with passionfruit curd filling.
Photography by Food by Abbey Stolfo | Styling by Viola Sutano | Photography by Meg Smith

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