Vanilla Rum Coconut Cake

Vanilla Rum Coconut Cake



  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 sticks butter ½ pound

  • 2 cups sugar divided

  • 8 egg whites


  • 2 cups butter

  • 3 boxes powdered sugar 12 ounces each

  • ¼ to ½ cup coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

  • Sugar Fondant Starfish


  1. For cake: Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper rounds, then grease and flour the paper.

  2. In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a glass measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla.

  3. In a mixer fitted with paddle, cream butter and 12⁄3 cups sugar until fluffy. Alternating flour mixture and milk mixture, add to batter one-third at a time. Mix until just blended.

  4. In another clean bowl, with a whisk, beat egg whites until frothy. Slowly whisk in remaining 1⁄3 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. 

  5. Divide batter evenly among cake pans. Bake until lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans. 

  6. For frosting: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, combine butter, sugar, and rum on low speed. Increase to medium and beat until creamy and fluffy. While still beating, add coconut milk, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached. 

  7. To assemble, with a long serrated knife, slice cake rounds in half horizontally for a total of 6 layers. Place a cake layer down and spread with ½ cup frosting. Continue stacking and frosting the layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake and, using a small palette knife or spreader, decorate with your best ocean wave swirl. Decorate the top with fondant starfish.

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