Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 0 mins

VERY MOIST!!! Calling all coconut cake lovers! This one is for you! The secret to this cake is the use of frozen coconut (because of its wetness), the blend of sour cream and the required refrigeration time. Also, the use of the 'real butter' yellow cake mix, not a white cake mix. A true winner for flavor and moistness. My granddaughter requested a coconut cake for her birthday. I remembered that this was the popular recipe my mother used in the 1960s for her coconut cake. To get the best flavor it is required to let the cake "mellow" in the refrigerator at least a day before cutting and the longer, the better it gets. Therefore, patience is required. It has been known to be called "The 3 Day Coconut Cake". May be kept refrigerated up to one week. I normally use 2 square 8x8 cake pans for prettier slices and trim the brown off of the outer cake edges after cooling. Makes a great presentation for a birthday cake celebration. Time stated for recipe does not include refrigeration time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Approximately 8 hours prior to making cake, combine sour cream, thawed coconut and sugar. Refrigerate 8 hours and let flavors blend.
  2. Mix cake mix, butter, eggs and water per instructions on box and pour batter into two 8" greased baking cake pans. Bake as per instructions and allow to cool. Cut cake layers in half making a total of four layers. (I have found that using dental floss cuts a layer nicely into halves. I also trim the brown off of the outer cake edges.).
  3. Frost with sour cream mixture and stack layers. Spread cool whip evenly on outer cake edges and on top. Sprinkle top with coconut flakes.
  4. Keep refrigerated at least one day before cutting cake. Better if you can wait two or three days, but it's very hard to do that!
  5. Enjoy this very moist cake!
Most Helpful

5 5

This cake is INSANELY DELICIOUS!! The only thing I did differently was replace half the amount of water called for in the cake mix with coconut milk. It was ready to eat this morning, and there is just one little piece left tonight. Perfect amount of sweetness. Really the best coconut cake Ive ever had! THANK YOU!

2 5

I hate, hate, hate to be negative, but (there's always a but) this recipe was pretty disappointing. I couldn't find my tired and true sour cream coconut cake recipe, so I searched the Internet. This one came up with 5 stars, so I thought I'd try it. After being very disappointed, I searched and search and finally found my recipe. I started comparing the two. First, 16 oz of sour cream is way too much, and the fact that you don't mix anything with it makes it just plain Cool Whip-tasting - yuck. Mine calls for mixing some of the coconut mixture with the Cool Whip - gives it a great taste. I personally don't like eating straight Cool Whip. Then, only 1 cup of sugar for the coconut mixture just isn't enough (and I don't like things too sweet). Lastly, frozen coconut - I know, I know, everyone says to only use frozen coconut because it's very moist. I couldn't tell that it was more most than non-frozen coconut. But, the biggest letdown was the size of the frozen coconut. It's so thinly shredded that it just didn't taste like coconut. The texture is just weird. I will never use frozen coconut again. One other thing, there was so much sour cream and all that plain Cool Whip that the cake was just a liquid-like amateur cake. I've been baking for years, but this cake looked like my kids assembled it. I did appreciate the callout to purchase Duncan Hines and the tips on preparing the cake in advance.

5 5

This was the best Birthday cake ever!!!! I loved it!!! Very moist and full of coconut flavor. Will request it again.