Creatively Transforming Food

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Coconut Buttercream Frosting is absolutely amazing! It’s luscious and creamy with a tropical twist deserving of completing the finest of cakes, specifically, the legendary  1-2-3-4 Cake.  Coconut cake is one of my favorite childhood memories.

My grandmother was quite the baker. She would often bake for others in our small town of Berlin located on the “Eastern Shore” of Maryland about 7 miles west of Ocean City. She had a huge chest freezer located on the porch area just off of her kitchen. A coconut cake awaiting pick up would be placed on top of the freezer, the base of which was eyeball height to me at the time.

My quest to recreate her coconut cake is ongoing. My search for the perfect recipe has often met dead ends. So I guess I’ll have to go it alone for now. The struggle is real, but the journey is never-ending. Praying for divine intervention as I cook in my kitchen lab will continue. So close…Now, My grandmother, I believe used a 7-minute type of icing before applying the coconut. However, in this case, the weather was humid and wet so I opted to go with a buttercream this time. I’ll save that adventure for another day.

After following the directions to achieve the result shown above, I begin to dollop the frosting on layer one. Disclosure: I split the recipe for 1-2-3-4 Cake in half which was just enough for 2- 6″ layers. I therefore split the frosting recipe in half as well. It was the perfect amount for these two small layers.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Prep time: 

Total time: 

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 2 lbs. confectioners sugar
  • ½ c. milk
  • 1 T. coconut extract
  • 2 T. cream of coconut
  • 7 oz. bag of sweetened coconut
  1. Whip butter until softened.
  2. Add 1 cup of sugar at a time, blending after each addition, until all sugar is used.
  3. Slowly add milk until well combined.
  4. Blend in vanilla, coconut extract, and cream of coconut.
  5. Continue to whip until its consistency is light and fluffy.
  6. Spread on cooled cake and lightly press coconut flakes into buttercream frosting.