Ina’s Coconut Cake

Ina's Coconut Cake

I am such a huge fan of Ina Garten, better known as the Barefoot Contessa! She is my food hero! And I have always wanted to make Ina’s Coconut Cake!

I was so lucky to have met her when I was still producing Good Morning Texas. She was as lovely as you would imagine! Since meeting and following her TV show, I think I have all of her cookbooks including Barefoot Contessa at Home, my favorite. (affiliate link)

I have also made many of her recipes including her roast chicken. But I couldn’t wait to make Ina’s Coconut Cake! It’s a recipe that has been on my list for quite a while. To me, it’s the perfect, classic cake that works for any special occasion.

You will also love it!

Ina's Coconut Cake

This is not a recipe that I wanted to veer too far off! After all, it’s the Barefoot Contessa — I wanted to follow this recipe to a T!!!

Ina's Coconut Cake

It’s not only delicious but beautiful! Look at how pretty this cake is with ALL homemade ingredients including the frosting!

Ina's Coconut Cake

Because I followed it this recipe to the letter, I tried some new methods including greasing the pan twice.

So what do I mean by a double grease? Basically, I greased the 9-inch pan with butter, then I added a piece of parchment paper. And added another layer of butter to the parchment paper to make sure nothing stuck.

Ina's Coconut Cake

With my kitchen mixer in the mixer shop, I used a hand mixer for the batter and the icing. It was actually pretty easy to do. Once the cake mix was ready, I evenly poured it into each cake pan and baked for 45 minutes.

Ina's Coconut Cake

You want the top of the cake to brown a bit. This gives the cake added texture and flavor once it’s all put together.

Ina's Coconut Cake

Now the fun part!

Assembling the cake is fun. I did a full frosting on the cake but you can frost only the middle and top for a new twist on cakes.

Ina's Coconut Cake

Once the cake is completely frosted, sprinkle some shredded coconut on top.

Ina's Coconut Cake

And on the side. This makes the perfect cake!

It’s so delicious and so worth all of the extra steps. I love this cake and you will too!

Thanks Ina!

Ina’s Coconut Cake

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 2 hours



  • 3 sticks Unsalted Butter softenend (plus more for greasing the pans)
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Almond Extract
  • 3 cups Flour (plus more for dusting the pans)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz packages Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 3 3/4 cups Confectioners' Sugar sifted
  • 3/4 cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.
  3. Using a hand mixer, mix the softened butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes
  4. Crack all 5 eggs in small bowl and add to the mixing bowl one at a time
  5. Add the vanilla and almond extract and continue to mix with mixer
  6. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  7. Add the flour mixture and the milk to the batter in 3 parts. Start with half the flour mixture, then add milk then the remaining flour mixture
  8. Fold in the shredded coconut
  9. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 baking pans
  10. Bake for 45 minutes until the top is slightly brown and the toothpick tester comes out clean
  11. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, remove and cool the rest on a baking rack

For the frosting

  1. With a hand mixer, combine the softened cream cheese, softened butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed
  2. Add the sifted confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth
  3. Assemble cake with frosting in the middle and around the top and sides
  4. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top and on sides
  5. Serve

Recipe Notes

This is a Barefoot Contessa classic! You will love it.

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  1. I l.o.v.e. coconut and this looks like the perfect cake for me! I used to follow Ina religiously. I don’t really know why I got away from it. She’s amazing!

  2. This cake looks delicious. I love that you followed her recipe to a T. I always end up making some kind of adjustment to a recipe and then end up either not liking the recipe, or loving it and not being able to replicate it because I don’t remember what I did!

    1. I’ve totally done that too Ann — but I could never veer too far from Ina’s recipes:)

  3. This looks amazing. I am a huge fan of Ina as well- she keeps it simple and delicious. I may have to make this cake over the weekend, I think every weekend can use a little dessert.

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