Easy One Bowl Coconut Cake

Easy One Bowl Coconut Cake

Easy One Bowl Coconut Cake

It’s best to have all your ingredients at room temperature and I highly recommend using a cake strip so the edges don't over-bake. Be sure to aerate your flour before measuring.- Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

Easy One Bowl Coconut Cake


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use 1% or 2% low fat milk)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-3 teaspoons milk
  • (1/2 cup shredded coconut for topping)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. With an electric mixer on high, beat sugar, eggs, & vanilla for one minute to thicken.
  4. On low speed add remaining ingredients (in the order listed) but do not over-mix. This should take less than a minute.
  5. Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  6. Cream Cheese Frosting:
  7. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar & vanilla and add just enough milk, a little bit at a time, to get a good spreading consistency. Frost the cooled cake and top with more shredded coconut. Keep refrigerated.

45 Comments on "Easy One Bowl Coconut Cake"

  1. Jennie

    It’s baking in the oven right now! Looking forward to trying it. I forgot to add a pinch a salt..oops! I put this cake in a loaf pan instead of a round, so may take a bit longer to bake. From one Jennie to another Jenny, Thank you!

  2. Debra

    Uh Oh….missing salt. The cake is flat tasting. I didn’t notice when I made it. Otherwise would be great.

  3. Ashley

    What is a cake strip.? I’ve never heard of this.

    Thank you.

  4. Amy

    The recipe looks fabulous! Do you think I could sub cake flour for the regular? I just love the taste of cake flour.

  5. Lucy

    LOVE Jenny’s recipes! This cake is great, but if you prefer a less sweet icing, I recommend a recipe that uses maple syrup and Greek yogurt instead of all that icing sugar. The icing whips up so creamy and is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. (Recipe can easily be found online)

  6. Carolyn Faye Odom

    Can you use coconut milk in this recipe?

  7. Helen M

    Great recipe. I made it as printed, although I was probably a little heavy handed with the coconut. It’s divine!

  8. Dorsa

    Hi Jenny!
    Thank you for this recipe. I loved the texture, I think I’m going to use it as a base for other cakes as well.
    Just a question, can I use coconut cream instead of milk?

  9. Patty

    Hi Jenny!
    I made this wonderful cake today for the first time. My husband and I both loved it. It’s the perfect balance between tart and sweet. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.
    If you or anyone else on here knows the best way to keep it fresh the longest, please share. There are only two of us here and I’d like to have it for a few days if possible.
    Happy Fourth of July to all.

    • Mary Anne

      Jenny’s cakes are really delicious. After enjoying a slice (or even two), l will cut the cake into slices, wrap each one and store them in the freezer. Whenever you need a treat, just take one out; it will defrost in just minutes. I have stage 4 cancer and Jenny’s videos bring me so much joy. ❤️

  10. Lyn

    Substituted coconut oil for vegetable oil, and Jamaican style coconut milk for 2% milk. Also added a pinch of salt, about 1/4 tea spoon (felt it needed some after i tasted the batter.) The switches really bought out the coconut flavor in the flakes and the cake overall. Moist and delicious, just what I was craving. Thanks for the easy recipe.

  11. Charlie

    Hello there!
    Just got back to my parents for the rest of the university term and we always love trying out new recipes together.
    When going through the comments, I saw some people having trouble when using milk substitutes. I’m lactose intolerant so I usually replace milk with cashew milk of coconut milk. If these substitutes make the cake dryier, should I add in a bit of extra milk?

    Thank you for your recipes and stay safe!

    • Charlie

      We ended making the coconut cake with cashew milk as our coconut milk is the “unsweetened” version and we thought that a slightly less watery milk substitute might work better.

      It turned out great! We all loved it! The only thing is that it got dry pretty quickly. It was nicely moist for the first 2 days but even stored in an air-tight container it got pretty dry after that. Maybe next time we make it we’ll just have to eat it faster?

      • Jenny Can Cook

        You might also try an extra tablespoon of oil.

        • Charlie

          Thanks for the tip!

          We’ve just made it again and it already seems more moist and fluffy!

  12. HomeCook2

    Just made this morning in two 6″ cake pan. Nice easy cake, used Coconut extract instead of Vanilla. Haven’t tasted the cake yet, but the frosting is great!. I made a batch and 1/2 just to have too much!

  13. Jody, Olympia WA

    As I hunker down alone during this period of social isolation, I intend to keep myself well fed with many of your recipes, Jenny. I just took the coconut cake out of the oven and it smells divine! I’m making the salmon patties for dinner. Just wish I would have grabbed some ribs when I was at the store cuz I can’t wait to try those!

    And when I need a ray of sunshine, I will watch your videos! ?

  14. KMP

    I have this baking in my oven now. I read all the comments, luckily I had a can of Goya coconut milk in my pantry and used this in place of the regular milk. Will use this coconut milk in the icing recipe too. I searched high & low for an easy, not humungous coconut cake to make and this hit all the buttons. Also wanted to make the cake from scratch, not from a box mix (yuck). I love Jenny’s recipes and hopefully this one will be a keeper! I will let you know! Thank you.

    • HomeCook2

      How did it work out using the coconut milk? Was the cake moist enough? Mind seemed a little dry, perhaps I baked it to long.

  15. Ernie

    Saw comment about dryness. I used VERY moist Baker’s angel shredded coconut & Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer instead of milk & followed directions faithfully. Rewarded with EXCELLENT moist cake. I also like the small recipe portions.

  16. Lisette

    Did not work for me the cake is dense….

    • Angie

      Mine didn’t turn out so well either…dense and not sweet enough like coconut cake should be. So I came back and read through the comments….and then I realized that I used dehydrated UN-sweetened shedded coconut. I bought it awhile back for healthy organic smoothies to combat some autoimmune issues. Well…long story short I’m wondering if maybe you also used unsweetened…which would be drier that the sweetened coconut that is most popular in the grocery stores.
      Well, I’m going to give it another go, I should have paid better attention.
      Jenny if you happen to read this please know I think your recipes and videos are wonderful. Love you to pieces…you’re AWESOME (I know this because I’ve read your bio and articles about your philanthropy❤️) God bless you Jenny!!

  17. Susan

    I just made this for my husband’s BD. I haven’t tasted yet, but it sure rose in the pan, and all my ingredients were at room temp. I even used a black pan. It sure looks good though after I iced it. Love these small cakes as there’s not tons of leftovers to temp you for days on end. Thanks for a great recipe!

  18. Terry

    Made this today, expected it to reach the top of cakepan,when baked,but did not, will make it again, in case I did not use enough baking powder, new can so that should not be an issue, it is half gone, so perfect for 2 of us, difficult to find one layer cakes, icing was so good, I must remember to keep cream cheese on hand❤️

    • Ellen

      Hi there:
      Watch the videos….even Jenny’s dont make a towering cake. They seem to fill the pan about 3/4 full ( as do mine 🙂 ), and are not an airy puffy cake… they are dense and toothsome…so good!

  19. Ann

    Jenny, I have never baked a cake.
    which brand baking pan do you use to make 9 inch round cake ?

    • ChrisH

      Lighter color metal pans bake more evenly than dark. You have to be careful with dark pans as they bake more quickly and can burn. Oven temperature can be lowered by 25 degrees with dark pans. Check for doneness early. Wilton, Williams Sonoma, Chicago Metallic or any other inexpensive pan work fine. Lighter color aluminum pans with a dull finish work well for baking as they absorb and conduct heat evenly. Glass pans conduct heat poorly but conduct heat evenly. they are great to store citrus or fruit based cakes in due to pitting that can happen if leaving in the pan while storing it. DON’T broil in glass. Pyrex has some restrictions for using cold in a hot oven, so research the brand you have if using glass. Most Corning Ware can be used hot and cold in the oven, no broiling and the same goes with the lids as they are Pyrex…No oven use until they are room temperature. Again check restrictions. They will be specific as to use: oven, stovetop, broiler, etc. Silicone pans are available but are inconsistent and concern is leaching of chemicals with some brands when exposed to heat, great for cold and candy making. They are somewhat different than silicone baking mats and utensils. Silicone spatulas, bench and dough scrapers are fantastic. These are more safe with baking cookies such as Silpats and reputable brands.
      Line all pans with parchment for easy removal, if baking a cake.
      I understand that baking strips are available for .wrapping a pan prior to baling your cake for even, consistent baking but I’ve never used them.
      Some of mine are as old as I am or older and still work great. They were my mother’s and grandmother’s!
      Good Luck!

    • Jenny

      Mine does not have a name but I recommend a light colored metal pan, not dark and not glass.

  20. Thomas

    Coconut cake is my favorite! This looks like a must-try recipe.


    Fabulous! Wonderful! Delicious! Baked this for my mother’s 94th birthday. Coconut cake is her favorite and this recipe is tops in both of our estimations. Was out of vanilla flavoring yet still a hit! Thanks for helping my mom have a great day.

  22. lisa

    Hi Jenny,
    I love your no-fuss recipes, I also LOVE coconut in any shape or form. My question is: Can I use coconut oil in the same amount shown in the recipe?

    • ChrisH

      Try this website for converting coconut oil for other oils. May have different outcome in this recipe, though.
      Using coconut milk, canned or refrigerated(in the dairy isle with milk) may work well if you felt the need to change the original recipe. I haven’t made this yet but I’m sure the recipe as written is delicious as ALL of Jenny’s recipes are!
      Good luck.

      • Jenny

        Thank you – this is good to know.

      • lisa

        Thank you ChrisH. I looked up different websites (one is LIVESTRONG) and they all, say the same. Coconut oil must be obviously in a liquid form and can be used in the same amount of other veg. oils, however it cannot be mixed with cold foods or will solidify again, at least a little. So I will use my beloved coconut oil for this recipe.

  23. Janet carfaro

    I just love your videos, especially the no knead bread! Remember you on your talk show, always watched it. When I saw you again it took me time to place where I knew you from, your still so cute..

  24. Soli

    Thank you dear Jenny??

  25. Granmama11

    I love simple, easy and delicious and this looks like it will fit that description. Thank you Jenny
    PS If anyone comes on Jenny’s site just for the recipes, be sure and watch the videos. Not only are they helpful they are so cute and entertaining! You will love them and Jenny “in person”.

  26. Valerie F Wood

    Thank you?

  27. Laura

    I just ran to my coconut and it is not sugared, because of Mariana post. I personally will add some more sugar, because I use stevia, and my family likes healthy sweet. As for the coconut topping that is not an issue because they snack on it raw, Tomororw after work, I will make one.

    • Mariana Mill

      Report how it turns out. Please read Jenny’s reply to me regarding dryness. I will look for your post whenever you are ready. Thanks. Mariana

  28. Denise Sherman

    Thank you Jenny! I’ve been interested in collecting easy, one bowl recipes for cake that I can make without a lot of fuss and with ingredients I typically keep in my pantry. This one fits the bill.

    I’ve lost 39 pounds so far this year and would like to lose another 39. The thing is that I don’t believe diets work for me. For the weight comes off quickly and returns once “normal” eating resumes. I find it easier to keep a food journal to insure that I’m eating conciously. Nothing is off limits, but I watch my portions and make it a rule to avoid prepared foods. If I want to eat coconut cake, then I must labor to make it. Thank you Jenny, I’m happy to eat cake!

  29. Tami Cooper

    Hi Jenny , thank you for another great recipe 😉 I am trying a plant based diet to make the change. So I will subsitute plant based items. I am positive it wull ge delicious. Do you have more recipes for us ? Ad always thank you a trillion I love your channel. Your a fresh breath of air. ♡♡♡♡

  30. Mariana Mill

    Could I possibly use “dehydrated coconut” for the body of the cake & if so would “I have to make changes to the sugar amount”. I love all your recipes & your cookbook “Look Good, Feel Great” is showing signs of wear. Thank you so much.. Mariana

    • Jenny

      Dehydrated coconut will likely be drier than the one I use so you will have to experiment – the amount of sugar may not be the only concern – the cake could also be a little dry.

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