There’s almost no greater joy than sliding your fork through a moist cake slathered in lusciously smooth frosting. And, this strawberry coconut cake is just that kind of dessert. It’s a tender-crumb cake that’s light yet decadent—a celebration of tart, sweet strawberries with nutty notes of coconut.

slice of strawberry coconut cake on a plate with full cake in background

Made with a combination of peak-ripe berries and strawberry jello, the cake is perfectly pink and packed with strawberry flavor. Plus, it doubles up on coconut in both the cake and the frosting—yes, please!

slice of strawberry coconut cake on a plate

Beyond being exceptionally tasty, this strawberry coconut cake is a showstopper. Dressed in flakes of desiccated coconut, its buttery white frosting contrasts the ravishing pink center. Each slice is beautiful, from top to bottom. All layer cakes take a bit of effort, but nothing is too precious about this one. Create swoops of frosting, let excess coconut dance around the cake stand, and embrace little moments of strawberry syrup peeking through the sides.

top view of strawberry coconut cake

Tips for Baking a Moist Strawberry Coconut Cake

After several iterations and tests of this strawberry coconut cake, we picked up a few tricks along the way. Here are some tips to ensure a tender, moist crumb every time:

  1. Don’t overmix. Overmixing causes the gluten from the flour to overdevelop, which means a dense, almost chewy texture. Mix until combined, but don’t mix any longer than needed.
  2. Vary your fats. Using a combination of oil, coconut milk, and sour cream helps tenderize the crumb and develop richness.
  3. Don’t overbake. The old rule of thumb to bake “until a toothpick comes out clean” guarantees an overdone cake. If abiding by the toothpick rule, be sure it still holds a few moist crumbs. Better yet, take the cake’s temperature! At 210° Fahrenheit, the cake is finished.
  4. Let it cool. Allowing the cake to cool is pivotal both for frosting and texture. Dive in too soon, and you risk compromising the cake’s crumb. After it’s fully cooled, the cake is all yours—frost it, then slice it or eat it straight off the cake stand.
strawberry coconut cake on a cake platter

More Delicious Cake Recipes

Strawberry Coconut Cake

Katie Calton
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Assembly Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Difficulty: Intermediate
A tender-crumb cake that's light yet decadent, this Strawberry Coconut Cake is a celebration of tart, sweet strawberries with nutty notes of coconut.


Strawberry Coconut Cake

  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 ounces strawberry jello mix
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Coconut Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Filling & Assembly

  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries, plus more for decorating
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1-2 cups shredded coconut


Strawberry Coconut Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Add the strawberries to a blender or food processor and pulse until completely smooth, then set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and jello mix and set aside.
  • Add the oil and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides, then add the eggs, sour cream, coconut milk, coconut extract, and the reserved blended strawberries. Mix on medium speed until homogenous, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture in 2 parts, beating on medium-low speed until just combined, scraping the sides as needed.
  • Spray the bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray, line with parchment, then spray again. Divide the batter between each pan and bake for 27-32 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs or the internal temperature of the cake reaches 210° Fahrenheit. Cool to room temperature, then gently remove each cake from the pan.

Coconut Buttercream

  • Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until creamy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, coconut milk, coconut extract, and salt, then beat to combine, starting on low speed and increasing to medium-high speed until buttercream is light, airy, and pale—about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.*

Filling & Assembly

  • Dice the strawberries and add to a small bowl with the granulated sugar. Toss to combine, then let sit for 10-20 minutes.
  • Level each cake layer with a knife as needed, then add a thin layer of icing across the top of the bottom layer, no more than ¼-inch thick. Strain the macerated strawberries and using a slotted spoon, pile the strawberries on top of the layer of icing, keeping the strawberries about 1 inch from the edges. Top with the second cake layer, flat side on top, then frost the cake in a thin layer on the top and sides. Using your hands, press the coconut flakes all around the cake and top with a few whole and halved strawberries.


  • 2 8-inch cake pans
  • stand mixer or hand mixer


*If assembling the cake within a few hours, set the buttercream aside at room temperature, covered. If frosting later, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove the frosting one hour prior to assembly to bring it to room temperature.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @femalefoodie so we can see what you’re cooking!