Coconut Cake Recipe

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This traditional East Indian coconut cake is different from regular coconut cakes. It’s dense and moist, and a delight to eat. Traditionally a fresh coconut cake, you can also use desiccated coconut for this EI coconut cake.

A coconut cake log and a coconut cake slice on a black plate.
A coconut cake log and a coconut cake slice on a black plate.

My cousin Dan says this coconut cake is his favorite East Indian sweet. It’s mine too! This coconut cake is quite similar to the Bolo de Coco and just a little different from the traditional Thali Sweet. Okay, maybe it’s a lot different. Blame the Portuguese for influencing our culture!

Anyways, the thalie sweet has got loads more eggs in it than the regular coconut cake recipe. But if you don’t have time to make the batter and leave it overnight, the coconut cake is an easier option. So let’s get to it.

ingredients For Coconut cake

To make the East Indian coconut cake or Bolo de Coco, you need eggs and extra egg yolks, butter, fine sugar, vanilla essence, sojee (semolina), and grated coconut. The traditional version is a fresh grated coconut cake recipe, but we use desiccated coconut too. It’s a perfectly easy substitute! Free from maida, it tastes just as awesome but lasts a tad longer!

How to make this simple Coconut Cake?

Some people say you should beat the yellows and the whites separately, but we don’t do it. Well, we do it for other cakes, but for this one it’s not necessary. Saves time! Just put all the eggs in a toap (that’s what we call a vessel in Eastya) and beat together till they’re light and fluffy.

Mom tells us ‘Don’t Dafrao!’ She means don’t just throw things together. But really, this is just how this recipe works traditionally too. So it works!

Eggs with yolks in a vessel - Pic by Sarah from AbbysPlate.
Take eggs in a vessel
Eggs that have been beaten with a fork till light and fluffy - Pic by Sarah from AbbysPlate.
Beat eggs till light and fluffy

Add in the butter and sugar along with a teaspoon of vanilla essence and mix well.

Butter and sugar being mixed with the beaten eggs - Pic by Sarah from AbbysPlate.
Mix butter and sugar

Then in another vessel, mix the baking powder and sojee (semolina) together before adding in the grated coconut. The baking powder is optional though. The original recipe is dense and does not include it.

Sojee or suji is just great, isn’t it? You can use it in so many dishes, from sweet to savory. We love sojee upma, and cutlets encrusted with suji, my sister’s chocolate sojee cake, and my granny’s version of honey balls.

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Sojee (semolina), baking powder, grated coconut are added to the  egg, butter, sugar mixture and mixed well - Pic by Sarah from AbbysPlate.
Add in sojee, baking powder, and grated coconut, and mix well
Baking trays have been lined with butter paper and filled with the batter - Pic by Sarah from AbbysPlate.
Line baking trays with butter paper and fill with the batter

Line trays with butter paper and grease them with butter. Fill in the batter and leave to rise for an hour or so. Then preheat your oven for 5 minutes to about 200 degrees Celsius. Put your cake trays in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes.

Cake in a baking tray that has risen beautifully - Pic by Sarah from AbbysPlate.
Bake till the cake has risen beautifully

And that’s it! The easy Coconut Cake is ready. Eat it hot or eat it cold, it tastes as delicious as my sister’s gluten free sand cake!

Coconut Cake log with a brown crust on steel plate.
Love how this coconut cake log turned out!
Coconut cake log with a slice cut and placed on a black plate.
Cut into the cake and see the dense goodness
A coconut cake log and a coconut cake slice on a black plate.

East Indian Coconut Cake

Abby
This traditional East Indian coconut cake is different from other homemade coconut cakes. Dense and moist, and traditionally made with fresh grated coconut, you can also use desiccated coconut. Every coconut cake slice is a delight to eat!
4.60 out of 5 Stars by 5 readers!

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Christmas, Dessert
Cuisine East Indian
Servings 80 Slices
Calories 108 kcal
Cake icon on Abbysplate website.
Desserts icon on Abbysplate website.
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Ingredients
  

  • 7 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 380 gms Butter
  • 480 gms Caster Sugar or Fine Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 420 gms Semolina (Semolina)
  • 300 gms Coconut (Grated) Grated

Optional

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder If you want it lighter.

Instructions
 

  • Beat the eggs till they're light and fluffy.
  • Add in the butter and sugar and mix together till smooth.
  • Mix the sojee with baking powder (optional) and add in. Just remember, baking powder makes it fluffier, but it's fine without it too.
  • Next, add in the grated coconut and mix well.
  • Line baking trays with butter paper and grease well.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
  • Bake the cakes for 50 minutes.
  • Cut and serve.

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Notes

  • The traditional recipe calls for freshly grated coconut, but we use desiccated coconut too. It’s the perfect easy substitute! It tastes just as awesome and lasts a tad longer!
  • This recipe makes about 3 to 4 cakes depending on your tin sizes. Just freeze the extra cake for the next month, and heat when you’re ready to serve!
READ NEXT  Bol de Coc - Bolos de Coco - Coconut Cake

Stuff You Might Want to Use

Glass Bowls or Mixing Bowls
Whisk
Silicon Spatula
9

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 146IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

This printable recipe card is for home use only. For more recipes head over to AbbysPlate.com

Cooking Tips for the Moistest Densest Coconut Cake Indian Style

  • Add ground cashew nuts or almonds to the coconut cake to make it richer.
  • Add about 50 ml of rose water for a more flavorful cake.
  • Add a bit of colour and essence to make a layered cake.
  • Add half a tsp of orange oil for an absolutely amazing cake!
  • This recipe makes about 3 to 4 cakes depending on your tin sizes. Just freeze the extra cake for the next month, and heat on the tawa or in the microwave or in the oven when you’re ready to serve it!

Questions about Coconut Cakes

Can I Use Dry Or Desiccated Coconut?

Yes, if you do not have freshly grated coconut, you can use desiccated coconut.

What Is Desiccated Coconut?

Desiccated coconut is coconut flesh that has been dried and shredded into tiny pieces. Use the regular or unsweetened variety for this recipe.

Do You Beat The Eggs By Hand Or With A Mixer?

We beat them by hand using a whisk or a fork but you can use a hand mixer if you want to.

How Long Will Coconut Cake Last?

It will last for 3 to 4 days outside, or 7 to 10 days if it is refrigerated.

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Can You Freeze The Leftover Coconut Cake? Or Can You Freeze Homemade Coconut Cake?

Yes, put the leftover cake in an airtight container and freeze it. It will last for up to 3 months. And yes, you can store it for 3 to 4 months in the freezer.

What Flavours Do You Mix With Coconut Cake?

You can make many flavours of coconut cake. There are lemon and coconut cake, lime and coconut cake, frosted coconut cake, rum and coconut cake, cake with raspberry filling, cake with pineapple filling, coconut cake with chocolate chunks, coconut cake with cream, coconut cake with buttercream, coconut cake with coffee, coconut cake with quinoa, coconut and zucchini cake, and so many more.

What Is The Difference Between Thalie Sweet, Coconut Cake And Bol De Coc?

Bol de Coc, Thalie Sweet and Coconut cake are traditional East Indian cakes based on our Portuguese cultural heritage. However, the Bol de Coc is made using both egg whites and yolks, while the Thalie sweet uses only egg whites to maintain its light color and airy texture and this Coconut cake is made using extra yolks.

What Other East Indian Recipes Use Semolina/Rawa/Sojee?

Other recipes with semolina are snow balls, chocolate honey balls, bolings, borose cookies, sojee sweet, thalie sweet, carambolas, and many of our cakes.

If you want our traditional East Indian recipes on hand, the Abby's Plate Cookbook Series books are available online or in-store in most countries.

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5 thoughts on “Coconut Cake Recipe”

  1. I’m trying this cake right now!
    Dafrao!!! I can hear my mother in law’s voice when I read that . And she always meant don’t fuck it up4 stars

    Reply
  2. This conversation at the beginning is of goankars not east Indians because they are the ones who always say men. What men, no men etc. They are also called pavwallas as when they came from Goa they used to sell pavs. East Indians used to make handbreads and bhaat is a goan cake similar to EIs thali sweet.

    Reply
    • Hi Shanila, are you referring to the conversation in this post? https://abbysplate.com/east-indian-christmas/
      In the post, they’re sprinkled in liberally for poetic effect, but we sometimes use these terms when we’re around family or other East Indians too. “What men?” “No men!” “Come on men!” “How men?” “Yes men, tomorrow!” Don’t you think that these colloquialisms are part of East Indian conversation just like “re” has become a part of it?

      Reply
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