Saturday, December 18, 2010

Coconut cake

By panipopos

I wish this dense, subtely-flavoured coconut cake was a real Samoan recipe. But it's not. Still, anything that uses leftover coconut milk, and is easy to make deserves to be in the "Samoan-inspired" file.

Coconut Cake
makes an 8 inch (20cm) square cake or 9 inch (22cm) round cake
2 eggs
cup (160g) coconut milk (divided)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon coconut essence (optional)
1¾ cup (200g) flour
1 cup (200g) sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (100g) butter, very soft but not melted

Line your baking tin with parchment/baking paper and preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
Whisk the eggs, a third (50g) of the coconut milk, and the essences together.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into another bowl and mix together. Add the butter and the rest of the coconut milk.
With an electric beater, mix on the lowest setting until you can't see any more dry ingredients. Then turn your mixer on high and beat for 3 minutes. The mixture will be very thick, so scrape down occassionally with a spatula.

Take your egg mixture and add it in three parts to the flour mixture, beating on high for 1 minute after each addition.
After all the ingredients are added, your cake batter should be creamy and light, but thick.

Pour the batter into your lined cake tin.
Spread to fill the corners and smooth the surface with a spatula.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Dry crumbs on the skewer are fine. What you don't want is wet batter.

Leave the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning it out. Although the baked cake comes out pretty well-risen, it will shrink on cooling.

Peel off the paper and leave to cool.

Serve plain or with a dusting of powdered sugar.


  1. wow! that looks and sounds divine! i'll definately be trying this recipe out- thanks:)

  2. It takes 35 minutes to bake and only 5 minutes to luck with it!

  3. you weren't kidding about taking 5 mins to eat this cake-it's delicious! i loved it and so did my children, my sisters, my dad, we all loved it. i'm just sad i didn't make 2 cakes to feed everyone:) thanks for a most scrumptious cake recipe! happy new year:)

  4. So happy to hear your comment...I wish you, your children, your sisters and your dad a lovely New Year!

  5. hi! i hope you don't get tired of me and my comments:) but i'm just so excited to try your recipes and i've really enjoyed making them and having my family be the guinea pigs:) and they're not complaining! i made masi samoa-which i LOVE and even though they didn't look like the picture, they tasted fabulous! my family loved them! even my uncle, who we've dubbed, the "baker" of all things samoan in our family, said he loved them and wants the recipe! thanks so much for making this blog and helping me to venture out of my comfort zone in the culinary world-samoan cooking has always been intimidating to me and it probably has something to do with the fact that my uncles, mom, and dad make some of the best samoan food i've ever eaten:) but, you've shown me that i can do it! thanks so much and enjoy your week!

  6. Hi, thanks for being a regular here at Panipopos' Kitchen...I know exactly what you mean about the older ones making awesome samoan food...I just wish that generation had put together a cookbook that we could all learn from...Thanks for trying some of my recipes and I'm always happy to hear your feedback!

  7. PUtting in a request for Puligi. I love your website thank you for taking me back to my roots~!

  8. What a kowinkydink - after weeks of trial and error, I've finally come up with a puligi recipe I'm happy with. Will be posted by the end of this week.

  9. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.I love ur half moon pie and panipopo recipe too.I am going to try ur faausi recipe and I'm going to use papaya instead of pumpkin .Thank you for sharing.Do you have a German bun recipe?

  10. Oooh delicious! Papaya fa'ausi...German buns are on my to-do list...Happy baking!

  11. ohh i'm going to try this!

    how about a recipe for custard pie (with or without pineapple)... that'd be great! love your site!

  12. Hi, I'm working on the custard pie this month, but very short on time these days...I'll do my best...Good luck with the cake!

  13. can u do keke saiga next?...the one that looks like a flower since people have different ways of ur recipes.....<3

  14. Oh I love keke saiga...will have a look for the recipe...

  15. Great site! Any luck with the keke saiga re ipe? Wouls love to try making them! Thanks

  16. Do you have a recipe for vaisala? I remember having this in Hawaii when I was young. Malo lava ma faafetai tele lava mo recipes matagofie. This takes me back to my childhood days & memories of extended family gatherings. Ia e manuia fuafuaga le vaiaso ma faamanuia Le Atua lou aiga♥

    1. Do you mean vaisalo? Yes, have the recipe but can't get young coconuts in my country. Perhaps I will just post the recipe without pictures. Thank you for visiting my site and you enjoy your week too.

    2. Do you a recipe for chocolate bun cake with sauce on the side? My aunt is a Samoa and she made this special cake for my daughter's wedding and not able to find or locate since I moved to the mainland. I love the bun cake.

    3. Just found this post this morning while searching for coconut cake with coconut milk. The crumb looked divine to me so I made it.. Baked perfectly... haven't tasted it yet... still warm. Substituted the butter with mazola oil. I think this recipe's a keeper!

    4. Hi Leesa, I hope you enjoyed your cake. Mazola oil? Now, that's a new one for me. I'll check it out.

  17. I've tried your recipe... this cake is absolutely delicious !! I want to write it on my food blog and add your link!!!

  18. Excellent!!!! I will recommend this recipe to anyone. I just baked this cake and the texture is just sensational (just as seen in the picture above). It has very tiny grains and melts in your mouth. I divided the batter into two parts and added two tbsp. of dessicated coconut to one part. Baked the two parts side by side in the same pan. There is a subtle difference in texture and the the taste is a bit stronger with the presence of coconut.

    Will be making this cake for a birthday but will do 1.5 times the recipe, 2 layers, and will cover it with Swiss meringue butter cream frosting, tinted green.

    Thumbs up to you.

  19. This recipe is a must. Everyone that I have made this cake for has asked me to make it again. I always double the recipe... I even add bananas. Very good combo.

  20. Fantastic cake. So easy to make and so delicious. Thank you for this recipe☺