Sour Cream Coconut Cake Recipe

| December 23, 2018 | 13 Comments

Sour Cream Coconut Cake

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for making this Sour Cream Coconut cake. You can use a boxed cake mix, or make your layers from scratch like we did. Printable recipe included.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, recipe as seen on Taste of Southern.
It may take 5 days to make this cake, but it will be worth it once you take that first bite. It’s simple to make, but needs to be refrigerated for four days to get super moist.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, slider.

I made this version of Coconut Cake to carry to my older brothers house  for our 2018 Christmas Eve family get together. Coconut Cake is one of my brothers favorites.

I like them too, as does most of the family it seems.

The days may be long gone as to when Daddy would crack open a fresh coconut for Mama to use to make one of her Fresh Coconut Cakes, but those of us that are old enough to remember, still think fondly of those days and deeply cherish those memories.

I’ve posted the instructions on How To Open A Coconut here on Taste of Southern. And, I’ve shared the recipe for Mama’s Fresh Coconut Cake made with fresh coconut for you as well if you’re interested in taking a look.

Mama’s cakes were always awesome, and I’m thankful that I had many years with her to enjoy them.

This particular cake, is adapted from a recipe that was shared on one of our local area TV stations over the holidays. It sounded good, and I decided it would be perfect to try for our Christmas Eve family get together.

It does take several days to complete it, so please keep that in mind. You make the frosting one day, refrigerate it overnight, then make the layers and assemble the cake the following day. After that the cake needs to be covered and placed in your refrigerator for four days to fully develop its great flavor.

The frosting is very liquidy, and that liquid seeps down into the layers as the cake spends some time in the refrigerator. This results in a very moist cake that tastes oh so good. Smile.

And, since the frosting is so moist to begin with, we don’t even try to spread it on the outside of the cake because it would just slide off anyway. Just spread it between the layers and on top.

At the moment, my cake is on day three of sitting in the refrigerator. I’ve tried the frosting, but not the whole cake just yet. I know it’s going to be pretty awesome though. I’ll try to let you know what the rest of the family thinks about it in just a few days.

Ready to try one? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, ingredients for the filling.
Sour Cream Coconut Frosting – You’ll need these ingredients.

You will also need a boxed cake mix to make the layers, or you can follow our step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for making Basic Cake Layers, from scratch, like we used for ours.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, add the coconut to a large mixing bowl.
Make the frosting first. Start by adding the thawed out coconut to a large mixing bowl.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, add the sour cream.
Add the sour cream next.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, add the sugar.
Then add the two cups of sugar.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, mix well.
Grab a large spoon and mix everything together until it’s fully combined.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, cover your bowl.
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or a tight fitting lid.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, refrigerate overnight.
Place the bowl in your refrigerator and let it sit overnight so the flavors can meld together.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, layers ready.
Prepare your cake layers the next day and let them completely cool before your begin assembling your cake. Ready to do this?


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, stir before using.
When the layers are ready, remove the frosting from the refrigerator and give it a good stir to loosen everything up. Yeah, you better believe I tasted it. Smile.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, spread a little icing on your cake board or plate.
Spread a little of the icing on your cake board or plate. This will help hold the first layer in place as we proceed with building our cake.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, poke holes in the first layer.
Center the first layer on your cake board. Then, using a toothpick or skewer, poke a whole lot of holes in the cake layer, pushing all the way through the layer and down to the board.

These holes will let the juice from the filling seep down into the layers to make the cake super moist.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, add frosting to the top of the first layer.
Spread a layer of the frosting on top of the first layer. YES, it’s a bit juicy, that’s the way it’s suppose to be. Smile.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, repeat the process with the second cake layer.
Repeat the same process with the second cake layer. Poke it full of holes, going all the way through the layer, then top it off with another layer of frosting.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, add wooden dowels.
Add the third layer to the top of the cake. Because the frosting is so moist, I decided to add three dowels to help hold the layers in place. I’m using wooden skewers in this case because I had them on hand. The skewers go through all three layers and down to the cake board.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, cut the skewers.
Pull the skewer up about 1/4th of an inch and snip off the top. Then, push the remaining skewer back down to the cake board so its not sticking up on top. As you can see, I’ve also poked a good number of holes in the top layer.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, frost the top layer.
Add an ample layer of frosting to the top layer of the cake.

Again, because the frosting is so moist, I’m not adding it to the sides of the cake. It would just slide right off if I tried it. Smile.

You also need to work quickly so you can get the finished cake back into the refrigerator.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, refrigerate for four days.
You’ll need a covered cake plate to store the frosted cake in the refrigerator for FOUR DAYS.

This time will let the liquid from the frosting seep down into the layers of the cake. The hard part of course is waiting four days until you get to enjoy the cake. Smile.


Sour Cream Coconut Cake, enjoy.

Congratulations, your patience has been rewarded. Now you can enjoy this really moist cake with your family and friends. I hope you’ll like it.


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Sour Cream Coconut Cake recipe, enjoy.

Sour Cream Coconut Cake Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 slices 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Super moist coconut cake that takes 5 days to complete, but so worth the wait.



2 pkgs, 12 oz Frozen Coconut, thawed
2 cups Sour Cream
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 box Yellow or White Cake Mix (with needed ingredients to make the layers)


Prepare the frosting first.
Place the thawed coconut in a large mixing bowl.
Add the sour cream.
Add the sugar.
Mix everything together until fully combined.
Cover the bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
Next day: Prepare cake layers according to package directions.
Let cake layers completely cool before assembling the cake.
When ready, remove frosting from refrigerator and stir well once again.
Assemble your cake, adding frosting between layers and on top, but not on sides.
Place assembled cake in a covered cake plate that is air tight.
Refrigerate the cake for four days before serving.


Recipe is adapted from a WRAL TV recipe submitted by Elizabeth Gardner. Make your own layers from scratch, or use a white or yellow cake mix.

Keywords: sour cream coconut filling, sour cream, coconut, cake, frosting, southern recipes

Your Comments:

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Be Blessed!!!


You might also like: Basic Cake Layers

Or, maybe this version:  Mama’s Fresh Coconut Cake Recipe

Or this:  Baker’s Coconut Cake Recipe


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Desserts

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (13)

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  1. Betty says:

    I have not made this cake in years. It came to mind last week when thinking about foods I used to cook when the children were little. When I mentioned this coconut cake to my husband, he said he might eat the entire thing. I am off to the store to buy the ingredients now.

  2. Karen Hartley says:

    My mother-in-law made this very same recipe but made it in a sheet pan. The recipe she made it off of was actually called Five Day Coconut cake. We always love it when she made it.
    One difference that I did when I made it was after the poking. I take a Pina Colada mix drink mix and drizzle over the entire sheet cake. I don’t use a whole lot though. Then I take my sour cream icing and just spread all over the top of the sheet cake. When I make my icing, I only use 1 cup of sugar and sometimes I’ll add a tsp. Or so of fresh lemon juice to the icing. You really can’t taste it but it give a little extra punch and makes it not overly sweet.. After letting it sit for the recommended time in the fridge, I make a whipped cream, pretty stiff, with a 1/4 tsp. of Cream of Tarter and a smidge of high grade vanilla and a 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar, and gently fold until incorporated. Then I spread over top of icing. Then I add the rest of the thawed coconut sprinkling just over for the last step. And, I do this the day I serve.
    I prefer the sheet cake only because I can carry it better and no chance of slippage.
    If you make my version, please enjoy!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karen, Thank you for sharing your comments today. We make a Pina Colada Poke Cake that sounds similar to what you’ve described. I’ve never posted a recipe for it though. Maybe I can do that one day before too long. Smile. I do appreciate your visits and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Kimberly says:

    Hi, Steve! This was always one of my favorite recipes of my husbands aunt. I love to serve it at Easter, and I do the 2 layers split in half and YES is is beautiful and very moist! Thanks for the reminder of this luscious treat!

  4. Gerald Warner says:

    How long (shelf life) would you say that the sour cream coconut cake would be if it was stored in the refrigerator?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Gerald, Most cakes are best stored covered and on the counter. But, with the sour cream and coconut, I’d say it would last for 5 days or so in the refrigerator. I hope this helps. Do let me know if you try it. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Brenna Stoppiello says:

    My grandmother always made this frosting with an orange cake for Christmas! I loved it!

  6. Ann Jacobs says:

    Hi Steve,
    I am just now getting around to catching up on emails since before Christmas – you know the old saying “A woman’s work is never done” especially around the holidays. I have made this coconut cake for many years as it is one of my husband’s favorites. The only difference is that I split the layers in half before adding the icing. You should see people’s eyes light up who have never had this cake before when it is served. Six layers are very impressive! It is also very tasty when you use pineapple between the layers (with or without the coconut). I have a few weird family members who don’t like coconut (IMAGINE!).
    Here’s hoping 2019 is your best year yet!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Ann, How can anyone not like coconut? What’s up with your family folks? Smile. I thought about making this in two 9 inch pans and then splitting them to make four layers, but ended up just using the three 8 inch pans. I bet the six layers does look awesome. One day, I hope to do a recipe for a Pineapple-Coconut cake here on Taste of Southern. Those are sooo good. Thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate your visits as always. May 2019 and beyond also be YOUR best years ever. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. mark Shany says:

    Merry Christmas Steve!! I pray GOD will answer every prayer you have ever prayed, in this upcoming New Year. God Bless You, Steve.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mark, Merry Christmas to you as well. Thank you for that awesome prayer, that would be amazing wouldn’t it? I hope 2019 will be a great year for you and yours. I do appreciate your visits and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Marilyn Allison says:

    Merry Christmas!

    Hope you have a wonderful time at your brother’s house with all your family! The cake looks delicious, I will save the recipe for next year. So glad Jan and Billy are doing well, hope you continue to mend. And have a Happy New Year!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Marilyn, Thank you for all your well wishes for myself and for my family and friends. I’m blessed to have you as a subscriber to the Newsletter and most grateful for your support. I wish you a very safe and Happy 2019 and beyond. You know the door is always open for you, so I look forward to you stopping by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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