Dessert Cakes

Coconut Cake with Sour Cream Whipped Icing

Coconut Cake with Sour Cream Whipped Icing

First Let Me Tell You About My Mamaw

Mamaw, is my Mom’s Mother and her name is Lola. She will be 94 in June (2017) and she has always been known for her Coconut Cake.   Up until about 3 years ago, she would make Coconut Cake every single week.   If she ever missed a week, she had extra Coconut Cake in the freezer, just in case.  For company, you know.

Mamaw’s Coconut Cake was one of the first recipes that I converted for Sweet IRB.   Yes, I tweaked her favorite recipe, please don’t tell her.

So funny, to this day she is always amazed about how many people requested this cake.  Now, even though we sold the bakery, she asked about “her” cake every time we visit.

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake with Sour Cream Chantilly Icing a.k.a Lola’s Coconut Cake

Just the Way Mamaw Made It

This coconut cake is a “doctored” cake, meaning it starts with a cake mix.   I have lots of “doctored” cake mix recipes from both sides of my family.  Don’t get me wrong, I also have a  bunch of scratch cake recipes. I even have a scratch Coconut Cake version.  But for this cake,  but I prefer Mamaw’s way.   Trust me, this is one of the best cakes, scratch or no,  that you will ever try.

Yep! I love doctored cake mix recipes and I love scratch recipes.  Heck, I just love cake!  And I especially love this Coconut Cake!

Coconut Cake with Sour Cream Chantilly Icing

Yes, a doctored cake  — but just look at the crumb on this cake!  Doesn’t it look yummy?

Sour Cream Chantilly Icing – The Cake Changer

For this Coconut Cake, I’m going to introduce you to Sour Cream Chantilly Icing.   Not only is this just the best icing for a coconut cake, it is also a great fruit dip!  I’ve also used this icing on fresh fruit “Naked” cakes and traditional Chantilly cakes. This icing is also great on Chocolate Cakes.

The basis of this icing is whipped cream, sour cream and granulated sugar.  Mamaw used cool whip, so I use cool whip.   I do have the conversion measurements in the recipe if you would like to make the icing with fresh whipped cream.

Sour Cream Whipped Icing

Introducing Sour Cream Chantilly Icing a mixture of whipped cream/cool whip, sour cream and sugar – Perfect for a Coconut Cake.

This icing is light, refreshing  and so incredible on this Coconut Cake.  I’m so surprised that I don’t see it in more recipes.   Maybe you all can help with that!

Just remember, it is a whipped cream based icing and needs to be kept refrigerated.   Not a good choice to sit in 80 degrees for several hours.  I’ve been there, not pretty.

Sour Cream Whipped Icing

Sour Cream Chantilly Icing is also great as a fruit dip and on Chantilly Cakes

A True Refrigerator Cake

Remember those Tupperware Cake containers with the yellow bottoms?  Well, we had one permanently located in our refrigerator.   I bet you have one somewhere in the house.  Go find it, you’ll need it for this cake.

Coconut Cake with Sour Cream Chantilly Icing

The Coconut Cake torted and filled and ready for the Sour Cream Chantilly Icing

The longer this Coconut Cake is in the refrigerator the better.  Try to let the cake rest about 24 hours before serving.  If you can’t wait, I won’t tell.  Seriously, this cake gets better after it has been in the refrigerator for at least a day, two if you can wait.

Coconut Cake With Sour Cream Chantilly Icing

I love this icing!  and I can’t wait for you to try it out…

That’s One Tall Cake

The directions in this post call for 2 8×2-inch round cake pans.  However, you can make a single layer by using a 10×3-inch round pan.

How did Mamaw bake her cake?  She used the 9×13 oblong pan.  I’m the one who changed “tradition” and started using the round pans.  It’s the cake decorator in me!

Coconut Cake With Sour Cream Whipped Icing

Coconut Cake With Sour Cream Chantilly Icing : A Beautiful Centerpiece Cake


Recipe Notes:

Before we get started, here are a few notes about the recipe, assemble and storage.

  • The cake is baked at a low temp, 325 degrees. I slow bake all my cakes.  It does take longer, but I find it really helps texture.
  • I do not cool my cakes in the pan. The pans are hot and the cake will continue to cook.  In 3 to 5 minutes after removing from the over, I flip and wrap in plastic wrap.   Cool the cakes on the counter or cooling rack.  Move to a cooler to wait for assembly
  • If you are making a single layer (10 inch or 9×13), only torte the cake in half. You will have 2 layers.
  • The filling does call for shredded coconut, but you can leave it out if you like and just have more on the outside of the cake.
  • We always used sweetened coconut.  If you prefer, non-sweetened coconut, there shouldn’t be that much difference.
  • I use the back of a large spoon to cover the cake with the icing. In the old day, it was a butter knife!
  • The icing is going to have a very different feel than buttercream or other types of frosting. The Sour Cream Chantilly is going to move like whipped cream.  Think of this as a rustic look icing.  I have successfully piped rosettes with this icing, just make sure the icing is really, really cold.  Again, keep in the fridge or those will be some weepy rosettes.
  • If you want to make colored coconut, put a few drops of food color in a bag with the shredded coconut and shake, shake and shake!
Coconut Cake with Sour Cream Whipped Icing

Here is a slice of the Coconut Cake With Sour Cream Chantilly Icing.

Let’s go Make Coconut Cake!

There you have it, Lola’s Coconut Cake.  Mamaw will be so excited that folks can now make their own version of her Coconut Cake!

Coconut Cake with Sour Cream Whipped Icing

Print Recipe
Serves: 10 to 12 Cooking Time: 30 minutes to prep, 1 hour to bake, 30 minutes to assemble


  • Coconut Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 Box of Classic White Cake mix (Duncan Hines preferred)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • ¼ cup of vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup of egg whites (approximately from 4 large eggs and at room temp)
  • 1 cup of sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of Coconut Extract or to taste
  • Sour Cream Chantilly Icing Ingredients:
  • 1 16-ounce container of Cool Whip (or 6.35 cups of whipped cream)
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 14-ounce package of shredded coconut (5 1/3 cups of fresh shredded)
  • Other Items Needed:
  • 2 8 x 2-inch round cake pans
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Pan Grease



Step 1: Make the Coconut Cake


Preheat oven to 325 degrees


Prepare 2 8-inch round cake pans with pan grease. Alternatively, you can grease and flour the pans.


The recipe uses the reverse creaming method, the wet ingredients are added to the dry ingredients. The order of ingredients and the mixing directions give the cake the texture needed.


In a mixing bowl place the cake mix, sugar and flour and with the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients together.


With the mixer going at low speed, slowly add the water and oil. Mix well.


Add egg whites and mix well. Do not over mix or mix on high speed. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.


Add sour cream and mix well. Make sure that there are no lumps in the batter. Having the sour cream at room temperature will help with this.


Divide the batter between the 2 8-inch cake pans.


Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the center bounces back when touched. Do not over bake.


Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.


Turn cakes out on to plastic wrap and cover. Be careful to not wrap to tightly or you will distort the cakes. It is extremely important that the cakes are wrapped hot. The steam will seal in and keep the cake nice and moist.


Cool completely. Move to the freezer 30 minutes before assembling.


Step 2: Make the Sour Cream Chantilly Icing and filling


In a very large and preferably stainless steel bowl, add cool whip, sour cream and granulated sugar.


Mix well by hand using a plastic spatula or wooden spoon.


Scoop out about 2 ½ to 3 cups of the icing and move to a separate bowl (this will be for the filling)


To the filling amount of icing, add 2 cups of coconut. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.


The remaining icing and shredded coconut will be used for the outside of the cake.


Step 3: Assemble the Cake


Remove the cake layers from the freezer, the layers should be very chilled but not frozen.


Level the layers if needed.


Torte each layer in half for a total of 4 layers. If you do not want to torte the layers, then you will have just 2.


Assemble the cake, with cake layer then a layer of the sour cream Chantilly coconut filling. The top layer will not have filling.


Return to the freezer or refrigerator to set for 10 to 15 minutes.


Remove from cooler. With a large spoon or spatula spread the sour cream Chantilly icing all over the cake. Just try to get it even, not pretty. Coconut will go on the outside. Remember that the icing is a whipped based icing, it will not have the same feel as a buttercream or cream cheese icing.


To cover in coconut, move the shredded coconut up the side and work all the way around.


Finish off the top with the remaining coconut.

Coconut Cake with Sour Cream Whipped Icing

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