How to Make a Coconut Cake out of Boxed Cake Mix

  • Author: mimi newman
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


A classic coconut cake, made easily with a boxed white cake mix. 



Optional: Lemon curd filling

Cream cheese frosting

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of cream cheese (1 packet), room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) of powdered sugar, plus more to adjust for consistency as you see fit
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) of butter, room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract
  • about 1 cup of coconut shavings – I used unsweetened shavings, but up to you
  • pinch of kosher salt


  1. Bake the cake. Spray two 9″ cake pans with cake spray and preheat the oven to 350F. Substitute in coconut oil for where the recipe calls for vegetable oil, and add in 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract into your wet ingredients. Bake for the prescribed time (probably 25 minutes) and then let the cake layers cool COMPLETELY before icing. 
  2. Optional! If you want to make lemon curd to put in the middle, follow this recipe for my foolproof citrus curd. Also let it cool before assembling/icing the cake. 
  3. Make icing. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in coconut extract and salt and mix a little more, then add in the powdered sugar in thirds until it’s a smooth, thick, creamy consistency. 
  4. Ice the cake. Place your first cake layer down on a cake stand. If it’s not level, make sure you’ve leveled it. Using an offset spatula, smooth icing or lemon curd across the top of the bottom layer, about 1/2 inch thick. place the second layer on top. Add a layer of icing on top of the second cake layer, and smack a few globs of icing on the sides. Using your spatula, distribute the icing as evenly as possible around the sides, and smooth it out as you go. Stick the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes so the icing hardens up before doing a second layer of icing. Then, sprinkle coconut shavings on the top and apply the coconut shavings on the side by making a little cup with your hand and gently patting the shavings on the sides. 
  5. enjoy!!!!

Keywords: Coconut cake recipe, making coconut cake out of a boxed cake mix, coconut cake boxed cake mix recipe