Amazingly Easy Coconut Cake Recipe With Cake Mix

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Last Updated on January 14, 2023

Coconut cake is loved by many sweet tooth enthusiasts. It has a delectable vanilla flavor combined with mouth-watering coconut, which makes it a very popular Southern dessert. This easy coconut cake recipe with cake mix is simple to make and does not require any baking experience.

This is the perfect cake for any special occasion. It is moist, light, fluffy, and has a sweet coconut taste. Using a cake mix to make coconut cake guarantees an easy and delicious cake. There are many easy coconut cake recipes with cake mix, but let’s take a look at some of our favorites.


What is Coconut Cake?

Coconut cake originated in the Southern region of the United States. It is typically made with a white or yellow cake. Some coconut cakes do not even have much coconut in them. However, recipes that call for milk are sometimes substituted for coconut milk in cake mix, to make the taste even more coconut-y. 

The cake is frosted with a 7-minute frosting, a cream cheese frosting, a buttercream frosting, or a whipped frosting. The cake is filled with either a layer of frosting or coconut pastry cream. The outside of the cake is covered in shredded coconut, which can be toasted or just sweetened.

Amazingly Easy Coconut Cake Recipes with Cake Mix

A coconut poke cake is a popular twist on the classic cake. Unlike coconut cake which is often made in a round cake pan, poke cake is made in a rectangular or square cake pan. Holes are poked into the cake and filled with some form of coconut cream.

Coconut cakes are a common Easter dessert. They are often made in a lamb-shaped cake pan. They are often entirely frosted, with the body topped with coconut and the face decorated with colored frosting or Easter candies.

Now that we know more about coconut cake, let’s take a look at how to follow a coconut cake recipe with a cake mix!

Coconut Cake Recipe With Cake Mix

This coconut cake mix recipe is inspired by one from Salad in a Jar. It’s light, fluffy, and most importantly – full of coconut flavor! Let’s take a closer look.


To make this coconut cake recipe with white cake mix, you will need:

  • 1 white cake mix (Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker are my go-to brands)
  • 1 1/4 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of flaked coconut, to decorate

For the coconut frosting, you will need:

  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of coconut extract
  • 2 tbsp of coconut cream

Read more about: Why Accurate Measurements are Important for Baking?


To prepare this recipe you will need:

  • electric mixer/stand mixer
  • bowl
  • 9×13″ cake pan

You may also make this recipe with a yellow cake mix, as that can also be used for coconut cakes. Adjust the cake portion of the recipe to the instructions on the box.

Step-by-Step Instructions   

Step 1: Prepare

Gather all of the ingredients you need for this recipe and before you begin, you’ll need to preheat your oven, as per the cake mix box instructions; as well as grease a 9×13″ cake pan.

Coconut Cake Mix Recipe

Step 2: Prepare Batter

Grab your mixing bowl and add your cake mix. Prepare your cake mix by following the instructions on the box. The only thing you’ll need to change is to replace any liquid that the recipe calls for (usually water), for coconut milk. Coconut milk will help to enhance the coconut flavor of the cake. Mix your ingredients by using an electric mixer, a stand mixer, or by hand.

Step 3: Bake Your Cake

In your prepared pan, pour your batter and place it into your preheated oven. Follow the baking times that are labeled on your cake mix box. Often, cake mixes call for a longer baking time than is necessary, so be sure to check your cake as it gets nearer to the end of the specified time.

coconut cake recipe with white cake mix

Step 4: Brush Cake With Simple Syrup

Once your cake has cooled, you can brush it with simple syrup to keep the cake extra moist. All you need to do is add equal parts sugar and water to a saucepan and heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave the mixture to cool and then brush lightly onto your cake.

Step 5: Make Your Frosting

You can either use whipped topping or add even more coconut by using a coconut frosting. To do this, all you need to do is add the softened butter to a bowl and beat the butter until smooth and fluffy. Add your salt, as well as around half of the sugar. Once the first half of the sugar is mixed, add the remaining half and keep mixing. Beat for around 3 minutes and then add the coconut extract, coconut cream, and vanilla extract. Mix until ingredients are fully incorporated.

Step 6: Frost Cake

Allow time for your coconut cake to cool and then add your coconut frosting. This can either just be on the top of your cake, or around the edges of the cake too. You can do this with a knife or a spatula; it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Step 7: Decorate

Once your cake is frosted, you can cover the top and the sides with coconut flakes before the frosting has set. Place in the refrigerator to allow your cake time to set. Remove from fridge. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

coconut cake using yellow cake mix

Tips and Tricks: Coconut Cake Recipe With Cake Mix

If you want to cover your cake in toasted coconuts, bake your coconut flakes in the oven for two to four minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This creates a nice flavor in the coconut and gives it a nice crispy texture.

Some people like to make their coconut cake extra moist, so they brush it with a layer of simple syrup before frosting it. To make simple syrup, take equal parts water and sugar and heat in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture is clear, remove it from the stove and let cool before using.

You can get shredded coconut at most grocery stores and from online stores, such as Amazon. You can also get shredded coconut in the frozen fruit section at grocery stores. Some people also prefer to grate coconuts to get a fresh coconut flavor. 

simple coconut cake recipe

Though this recipe calls for the coconut cake to be refrigerated eight hours before serving, you can serve it before that if it is to your liking. You may store this cake in the refrigerator for up to five days in an airtight container and up to three months in the freezer. Let the cake thaw for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

You may also make this recipe as a poke cake. Instead of baking this cake in two round cake pans, bake it in a 13 x 9-inch pan. Then after the cake is baked, poke holes into the cake and pour in a can of cream coconut while the cake is still warm. Once the cake is cooled, frost it with the whipped frosting and top it with shredded coconut.

Coconut Poke Cake Recipe

Now we’ve looked at an easy coconut cake recipe from the box, it’s time to take a look at a coconut poke cake recipe. Poke cakes are perfect for getting more flavor inside the cake once it’s baked. The recipe we’re going to be looking at is inspired by one from Loves Bakes Good Cakes. Let’s take a closer look.


The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are:

  • 1 box of either white or yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 box of coconut instant pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can of cream coconut
  • sweetened coconut flakes
  • thawed container of whipped topping


Now all you need to do is:

Step 1: Prepare

Gather all of the ingredients you need for this recipe and preheat your oven to 350F. Before you begin, you’ll also need to grease a 9×13″ cake pan with non-stick spray.

Step 2: Make the Batter

Grab a bowl and add the cake mix, instant pudding mix, vanilla extract, eggs, milk, and oil. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, mix the ingredients until well combined and your batter is smooth.

Step 3: Bake

Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and place it into the center of your preheated oven. Bake for around 30-35 minutes. To test whether your cake is fully baked, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.

Step 4: Poke

Grab a bowl and add the milk and cream of coconut. Mix well and then leave to one side. Using a toothpick or skewer, poke small holes into your cake. Pour the mixture over the holes of the cake slowly; being sure to fill the holes. Leave your cake to cool.

Step 5: Decorate

Once cool, cover with your whipped topping and coconut flakes, as you wish. Place in the refrigerator to set for a few hours before serving. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Can I Add Coconut Flakes to Cake Mix?

Of course. If you’re looking to add additional coconut to your recipe, you can add around 1/2 cup of coconut flakes to your cake batter, before pouring it into the cake pan. However, if your coconut cake already has a coconut topping, coconut decorations, and a coconut filling, you may want to rethink adding more. I find that making your coconut cake a poke cake is the most effective way of adding more flavor.

Can I Make Coconut Cake Using Yellow Cake Mix?

Absolutely! While white cake mix is usually the most common cake mix when it comes to coconut cake, you can use yellow if it’s all you have available to you. Some recipes even call for yellow cake mix, instead of white. It really makes little difference to the result of your cake; particularly if you’re frosting it.

A Delicious and Easy Coconut Cake Mix

Coconut cake is known for its light and fluffy texture. It is a moist cake and the sweet coconut perfectly compliments it. This easy coconut cake recipe from the box is a great cake for any special occasion, as it is loved by many people. 

This classic coconut cake recipe with cake mix is one you will want to add to your cookbook. If you tried this recipe, please share your experience making it. If you have any tips or tricks when it comes to making a coconut cake recipe with a cake mix, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. 

Please comment if you enjoyed this article or have any remarks regarding this recipe!

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