Make Ahead

OMG! Coconut Pound Cake

May 14, 2013
12 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Makes One 10-inch tube (or bundt) cake, or two 9x5-inch loaf cakes
Author Notes

This irresistible pound cake is so easy and so luscious, everyone who meets it falls in love. I think I’ll be remembered for this recipe whether or not I want to be. It has become my favorite cake, and it’s most requested by my favorite person to cook for. —ChefJune

Test Kitchen Notes

Looking for a simple, coconut-rich, satisfying cake? This is it. Moist on the inside, a tad crumbly on the outside, quick to whip up, and chock-full of coconut flavor, this cake is the perfect end to a bright summer day. The real jewel is the simple glaze at the end, which brings the flavor and sweetness of the cake to a whole new level. Eat it plain or topped with cream and fruit, whatever strikes your fancy, and enjoy it before others get to it and it disappears. —snowcitygirl

What You'll Need
  • Cake
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 7 ounces shredded, unsweetened coconut (I get it at the health food store)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
  1. Cake
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Make sure the rack is in the center of the oven. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. (I use a bundt pan. You can also use two 9x5 loaf pans.)
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (“as a shampooed cat”).
  4. Add one cup flour and beat some more.
  5. Meanwhile, add the vanilla to the eggs (in a separate bowl). Then add eggs one at a time to batter, beating well after each addition.
  6. Now mix the coconut with the remaining one cup flour and the sea salt. Add to batter, using a wooden spoon to incorporate. Pour into pan(s).
  7. Bake about 45 minutes to one hour. Test with a cake tester or long toothpick to be sure it comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. (If it doesn’t come out clean, leave it in a few minutes longer!)
  1. Glaze
  2. Combine sugar and water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add extract. Your glaze is now ready.
  3. When cake comes out of the oven, poke holes through cake with skewers and pour on glaze while cake is warm. Don’t remove the cake from the pan until it is completely cool.
  4. Teacher’s Tip: This cake is best 24 hours after baking. But it generally can't make it until then, so bake two and eat one warm and hold the other until the magic 24 hours are up!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sherry Gamble Livingston
    Sherry Gamble Livingston
  • Marie Hrynuik
    Marie Hrynuik
  • Giovanni Di Sano
    Giovanni Di Sano
  • KK
  • Idalu
30+ years a chef, educator, writer, consultant, "winie," travel guide/coordinator

120 Reviews

lissa R. May 17, 2022
I know that this cake could kill you, with a pound of butter, but OMG!
Sherry G. April 24, 2021
The glaze ruined the cake. It is a big wet mess. So disappointed to have wasted so many ingredients and time.
Marie H. November 19, 2020
this is a long lost recipe of 20yrs the only thing different is the glaze has Grand Mariner instead of water
Giovanni D. August 10, 2020
I really love this cake, and have made it many times. It is always a huge success, with many people requesting the recipe. A real keeper.
jdesouza March 24, 2020
Oh man, this is REALLY an OMG Coconut Pound cake. Its sooooo moist and you can really taste the coconut with every bite. EXCELLENT recipe!!!
judy July 27, 2019
Love coconut cake so I thought I would check out this recipe. Just reading the ingredients made my teeth hurt. Wouldn't it be nice to create some recipes that used real sugar--like this, but at a significantly reduced amount? Sugar adds volume and structure, I know, but we need to find a way to reduce the amount and still retain the integrity of the product. I am totally intolerant of ANY sweetener but white sugar. I know, sound odd, but there it is. So I look for recipes that I can adapt and REDUCE the sugar, NOT replace with something else. Table Sugar is actually about as natural as stevia--extracted from a plant as well. This has gotten lost in the overall hype for alternatives and substitutes. And I HATE stevia, as well as not being able to tolerate it--food tastes terrible with it in it. So I will try and modify this recipe. Reduce the butter a bit, too, so it is not so oily.
OldGrayMare July 27, 2019
Oh Judy...I was so interested to read your review...I too cannot tolerate any kind of artificial sweeter, stevia, whatever....nothing but plain old sugar sugar. All of them leave the most awful metallic taste in my mouth, so much so I would rather do without than have to tolerate that.
KK April 27, 2019
I halved the recipe and made 1 loaf of this coconut poundcake yesterday and just tried it today (I did wait the 24 hours!) and it is excellent. I started checking the loaf at 25 mins (I'm not sure if the time was for a bundt cake pan size or 2 separate loaves, so I erred on the side of caution) - if I remember correctly, it did take about 50+ minutes total for the entire loaf to bake to the point of a toothpick coming out clean, and that did cause the crust to be quite dark brown (though not burned); that is not a complaint, but an observation. The inside came out perfectly - it's so moist, dense yet heavy, and with the coconut it has an almost rice-pudding-like mouthfeel (though not undercooked at all). I'm having a hard time describing it, actually, but it is really delicious. For the glaze, I used 3/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp almond extract together (I think Ina Garten's coconut cupcakes gave me the thought to mix the two; I love the flavor). Very much a cake to be eaten with strong coffee or milk - delicious - thanks for the recipe :) !
ChefJune April 27, 2019
My pleasure! So glad you like it.
I've never made a half recipe. On the few occasions when I've used loaf pans, I've made two. I did find it still takes almost as long to bake the loaves as the bundt pan, but I put an aluminum foil shield over theloaf pans for the last 15 minutes, so they don't get too dark.
Anna W. June 17, 2018
I was underwhelmed. The coconut flavor doesn't pull through enough, making the primary flavor butter. Wouldn't make again.
Diane June 8, 2018
Note: 3 cups of sugar are contained in 2 loaves. I've made this cake many many times. Once when it was a large gathering, people were telling each other to get a piece before it was gone! Everyone who has had it LOVES it, which is why I make it time and time again. I use only 'clean' coconut--nothing with propylene glycol or other chemicals in it. Also I use 7 LARGE eggs. It comes out perfect every time!! Everyone who tries LOVES it. I'm sure you and your friends will too!
lighthouse6 June 8, 2018
Oops, sorry I meant two loaves. It's great, just too sweet and too much sugar for me. So leaving out the syrup next time as an experiment. I eat clean and stay away from extra sugar of all types (cane, honey, maple, coconut, palm...) so this dessert is a splurge : ) I love coconut and it wouldn't be "cake" without sugar! Just trying to decrease it some. I'll let you know how it works out.
lighthouse6 June 8, 2018
Great cake but... 3 cups of sugar in one loaf cake is a lot! The glaze does not make it crisp as someone suggested but just adds more moist sweetness to the overall cake. I will skip the glaze next time because it's just too sweet for me. Super calorie packed deliciousness. Sigh, there is no hope of me just eating a little sliver.
Lani L. April 19, 2018
I thought this was a great dense cake explosive with coconut flavor! I'm so glad that there wasn't any artificial coconut flavoring that was used in this. I also didn't make the glaze because I thought it was sweet enough on it's own. The browned edges were great. I discovered I didn't bake long enough as we made it to the middle of the loaf, so just make sure that it looks similar to the picture that is shown!
ChefJune April 19, 2018
Glad you like it. The glaze adds a different texture. It's not there for sweetness.
FYI, I never bake it as loaves - always in a bundt pan for prettiness.
Idalu April 2, 2018
To all those who say the cake is too buttery or too sweet, I have been there and tried again with less of both and the results are amazing. I use 55% of butter and half of the sugar and I repeat the results are amazing. We’re. Ot all the same when it comes to taste, adjust hings to your liking.
ChefJune April 2, 2018
Results can vary depending upon wehere you are making the cake. I once made it at 9,000 feet altitude, and althought the amounts didn't need tweaking, the cake was different than when I make it at home in New Jersey.
Pound cales are very forgiving, so you may adjust ingredients to suit your palate.
However, "all" who? This recipe has been saved and favorited my hundreds of Fod52'ers, with few complaints.
Idalu April 2, 2018
Dear Chef June, this wasn’t a complaint. Just wanted to tell “all” those that the cake is indeed good. Happy baking and thanks for the recipe.
Diane February 3, 2018
EVERY time I have made this cake, I get rave reviews! I volunteer with DAV (disabled veterans) and bring it in to them. One vet, Freddie, ate almost the whole cake by himself. It has now been renamed "Freddie's cake." I'm making 2 right now! I LOVE IT--and so does everyone else!!! Thank you.
ChefJune February 4, 2018
Just seeing this comment now. What a huge compliment! I'm so glad Freddie loves it.
Martin August 7, 2017
This was a disappointment, not because it didn't taste nice, but because of the amount of butter, eggs and sugar used I expected better. I love all things coconut and I liked this as well, but I would make "Coconut Tres Leches" any day over this.
suziqcu May 28, 2017
I am watching my cake in the oven in a tube pan. I mistakenly used GF flour so I am worried....oh well....I also used coconut rum instead of vanilla extract....that I MEANT to do, lol!
ChefJune May 29, 2017
How did your cake turn out? I have used One-for-One with success.
suziqcu May 29, 2017
The cake was too butter saturated....Perhaps GF flour mix just didn't hold up....cake fell apart....but tasted phenomenal. I may try again with AP flour as I meant to....but unsure about the butter amount.
ChefJune May 29, 2017
I had one fall apart a couple of weeks ago. This is after years (literally) of successful cakes. It was an incredibly humid day, and rainy. Have no clue what caused it. But it managed to "disappear" anyway.
Hope you will try it again.
Laura415 May 7, 2017
I think with this cake I will use 1/4 lb. coconut oil and 3/4 lb. butter. I'll use vanilla bean for the vanilla and still add a bit of coconut extract for more coconut scent and flavor I'll use a GF flour mix that has a minimal amount of coconut flour in it but I don't think it will add any particular coconut flavor at that amount.
Coconut flour does not behave like other GF flours. It has the capacity to absorb liquid so could in larger amounts cause problems with dryness.
ChefJune May 7, 2017
I would be interested in how your cake turns out - flavor and texture-wise. I have made it with Bob's Red Mill One-4-One and it comes out fine. But I have never tinkered with the fat component.
suziqcu May 28, 2017
I will post my results when it comes out of the oven......i MISTAKENLY used GF flour....ugh!
fuzzytop May 1, 2017
You can get unsweetened coconut - sliced, shredded, or ground - at your local Indian grocery, a lot cheaper than at most other places. And quite possibly, fresher.
judy April 25, 2017
I was hoping this recipe used coconut flour. The general intro to this recipe of butter vs oil cakes, suggests coconut oil and this one uses butter. The properties of both coconut oil and flour are so different. I am trying to learn to use them. Any suggestions for modifying this recipe? Love coconut. And I'm not so much interested in the gluten-free aspect so much as the fact that coconut has so many great nutrients that butter does not have. (not negating the fact that grass fed/finished butter has its' own excellent nutrient profile. Thank you.
ChefJune April 25, 2017
I have never baked this cake any way other than the way I wrote the recipe above. Unsalted butter and organic, all-purpose flour. I just reread my head note as well as the one written by Food52, and I did not see any reference to coconut oil or flour. I'm a bit confused as to what you were referring.
CongaChile April 28, 2017
It's a link from a Food52 article that landed in email boxes this week. I came here for the same reason. Here's the link.
Just J. November 24, 2015
I was looking for a recipe and stumbled upon this beauty! So I made a cake and oh my I wish you could taste it.
ChefJune November 24, 2015
so glad you enjoyed it.
keg72 May 20, 2015
This was delicious!