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Coconut Caramel Cake covered in toasted coconut on a white cake stand.
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5 from 5 votes

Coconut Caramel Cake

Coconut cake layers with dulce de leche, toasted coconut, and coconut caramel buttercream.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: caramel coconut cake, Coconut Buttercream, Coconut Cake, coconut caramel cake
Servings: 20 people



  • 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 whole eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp (16 g) coconut emulsion
  • 1 tsp (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (231 g) canned coconut milk, the canned coconut milk usually separates, so be sure to mix the cream and the liquid really well before measuring.


  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 1/4 cup (57.7 g) cream of coconut, this is from the bottle, not the can (linked above)
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1/4 cup (80 g) dulce de leche, get one 13 ounce can of dulce de leche. You'll use the rest in the filling.
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • *This buttercream recipe will make enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you'll want to make an extra 1/4 to 1/2 batch


  • Dulce de leche, after you've made the buttercream, split the remainder of the dulce de leche between layers
  • Toasted coconut, about a cup, pre-toasted coconut linked above.
  • Flakey salt, optional



  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture should be light, fluffy, and smooth.
  • Gradually add the egg whites and whole eggs, making sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl between additions. Mix on medium-high for 2 minutes after all the eggs are added. The mixture should be smooth, light in color, and nearly doubled in volume.
  • Add the coconut extract and vanilla extract.
  • Turn the mixer on low speed and alternately add the flour mixture and the coconut milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and fold the batter a few times.
  • Evenly distribute the batter in your pans, about 16 ounces in each 8-inch pan and about 12 ounces in each 6-inch pan.
  • Bake for about 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Remember, the cake continues to bake in the pan for about 5 minutes while it's cooling.
  • Let cool in pans for 15 minutes and then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely.


  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the salt, coconut cream, and dulce de leche.
  • Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir out air bubbles.


  • Place your first cake layer, right-side up, on a cake plate or cake board. Cover the cake layer with about 1/2 cup frosting.
  • Carefully spread about half of the remaining dulce de leche over the buttercream. Sprinkle with flakey salt, if using, and toasted coconut.
  • Repeat step 2 for the second layer, and then place the final cake layer on top, bottom-side up.
  • Lightly coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the frosting.
  • Finish frosting and decorating the cake with the remaining buttercream.
  • Cover the sides of the cake with toasted coconut, if desired.