The Best Coconut Loaf Cake

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This coconut loaf cake is buttery and full of coconut flavor! It’s easy to make and has a 3 ingredient homemade coconut glaze poured over the top. The perfect recipe for brunch, Easter, and even Christmas!

coconut loaf cake with a slice taken off.

In the fall we are obsessed with making our pumpkin loaf and starting in spring, we’re all about our banana bread (it’s the best) and using coconut in our recipes to make this delicious loaf!

The tropical flavor makes us excited for warmer days, sitting outside with a coconut rum pineapple popsicle or a coconut margarita in hand and enjoying the beautiful spring evenings!

If you’re looking for a deliciously, sweet and buttery bread to add to your spring menu you must try this coconut loaf cake. It’s the perfect dessert to add to your brunch menu. It has a rich and super moist texture and is one of our most popular recipes to date!

Loaf cake with coconut glaze poured over the top.

You may also love our monkey bread recipe as well as monkey bread muffins for brunch too.

Coconut Loaf Cake Video

What Is a Loaf Cake?

A loaf cake is a buttery, moist cake. It usually features fruit flavors such as strawberry, pumpkin, and, in this case, coconut. Then it’s usually topped with a glaze or icing and served at room temperature.

Canned coconut milk, eggs, shredded coconut and flour on a marble table.

How to Make a Coconut Loaf Cake

We’ll cover everything you need to know to make this recipe, answer questions and share our tips. If you prefer to head to the recipe card, scroll to the bottom of this post.


Here are a few items you’ll need to make this cake:

Ingredient Notes

  • Butter – Unsalted butter. Use good quality butter when making this recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar – Used to sweeten this loaf cake.
  • Eggs – Use organic eggs if possible. Eggs help stabilize and add moisture to the recipe.
  • Vanilla Extract + Almond Extract – Both should be pure extracts.
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk – Canned coconut milk is great.
  • Shredded Coconut – Any brand of shredded coconut you like.
  • Salt – Enhances the flavor of other ingredients.
Batter in a white ceramic loaf pan.

Tip: Leave a small amount of parchment paper hanging out for easy removal of the loaf.

Golden brown coconut loaf cake in a ceramic loaf pan.

Tips for Making a Loaf Cake

  • Always use the highest quality ingredients when making loaf cake. This means, whole butter, good flour, organic eggs, and good quality extracts.
  • Use a ceramic loaf pan for even baking.
  • We estimate the cooking time to be 60-70 minutes. However, everyone’s oven is different so check the loaf after 50 minutes. Always use a toothpick to check the center before removing the loaf from the oven.
  • Use room temperature ingredients when possible.
  • Always scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

The pan you use affects the cooking time. Glass, tin, or ceramic are all completely different materials and the cooking time will vary depending on this.

We personally like the ceramic loaf pan and the cake does bake a little quicker when using it. The bottom line is, bake the cake until it’s done! The middle will rise and the cake will be done.

Coconut glaze dripping off a slice of coconut bread.

How to Make Coconut Glaze

The coconut glaze is created with only 3 simple ingredients, one bowl, and no mixer! It’s poured over the top of the loaf and adds a little extra sweetness and flavor.

If you don’t want to make this glaze, you can also try our homemade caramel sauce over the top.

Powdered sugar and coconut milk on a measuring cup.

Ingredients for Coconut Glaze

Coconut Milk – Use the leftover milk in the can from the loaf.

Confections’ Sugar – Used to sweeten glaze and frostings.

Vanilla Extract – Enhances and adds flavor.

Pro Tip – Use canned coconut milk as it’s different from the coconut milk you drink in the carton. Canned is thicker and has more coconut fat.

Coconut bread with a side of glaze.

Removing the Loaf

When the loaf cake is done, you serve it from the pan, with the glaze poured over the top OR remove the loaf cake from the pan, serve it on a small platter, and pour the glaze over it.

The easiest way to remove the loaf cake is by pulling it up on the two sides of the parchment paper. This is why we always suggest leaving a small amount at the top to grab for easy removal.

How can you tell if a cake is done without a toothpick?

Insert the toothpick into the center of the cake and if the toothpick comes out clean the cake is done. If it comes out with batter, the cake needs more time to cook.

If you take the loaf out too early it will fall in the center. However, we personally do like to take it out about a minute before it is fully done cooking so it’s not overcooked.

Additionally, you don’t have to have a toothpick to test the center. A clean sharp knife will work as well.

loaf cake on a platter, an empty loaf pan and a piece of parchment paper.

Loaf Pan

A loaf pan is a rectangular pan used for baking bread and loaves. If you like to bake, it’s a good idea to invest in one good loaf pan that you will have forever.

Our favorite is Emile Henry’s ceramic pan. It’s made from Burgundian clay, which absorbs, distributes, and retains heat evenly, so bread and casseroles bake and brown to perfection.

When to Serve this Coconut Loaf Cake

This buttery loaf cake is perfect for so many occasions! Here are a few of our favorites:

Easter Brunch


Tea Party

Spring Snack

Birthday Parties

Mother’s Day Brunch


What to Serve with Coconut Loaf Cake

We love this recipe year-round! Here are some recipes you can serve with this coconut bread:

Homemade coconut loaf cake with a coconut glaze and topped with shredded coconut.

Frequently Asked Questions

The challenge that every baker faces is learning how to get each of their favorite recipes perfect. This often takes years of practice. Many bakers will tell you some recipes are more fickle than others.

How, for example, do you make the perfect coconut cake recipe? What prevents it from drying out in the oven? What’s the best pan to bake it in?

These are excellent questions that experienced bakers ask themselves before starting a new recipe. Read on for some great baking tips and answers to your coconut cake questions.

Why Is My Coconut Cake Dry?

A dry loaf cake is a problem many bakers discover when trying a new recipe. There are two reasons why you might find your fresh-baked coconut cake dry:
Too much flour
Baked too long
Both of these issues either absorb or evaporate the liquid in the batter. As a result, you find your coconut cake dry when you pull it out.

How Do You Store a Coconut Loaf?

Your loaf cake doesn’t have preservatives in it, so it’s best to eat it quickly if you want it to stay on your kitchen counter until it’s gone. Otherwise, storing it in the fridge or freezer is probably a good idea.

What Makes a Cake Moist?

A moist cake comes out of the oven that way because of the fluids used in it. In this case, this would be the butter, eggs, and coconut milk.

Why Does My Loaf Cake Crack?

It’s very common for a loaf cake to crack on top. When the batter bakes, the heat causes it to rise. When it starts rising over the top of the pan, then it spreads outward. This often causes the top to crack.

Is Loaf Cake the Same as Pound Cake?

No, loaf cake and pound cake are not the same. A pound cake gets its name from the traditional way of making it. This requires a pound of each ingredient to make the batter.

Slices of loaf cake with coconut on top.

More Cake Recipes You’ll Love

If you love this coconut loaf, then you have to try these cake recipes!

The Best Lavender Cake Recipe

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

The Best Buttermilk Cake

Orange Chocolate Cake

The Best Cheesecake Recipe

Easy Pistachio Cake

Let us know what you think!

Let us know if you make this coconut loaf cake by leaving a comment and review below! We love to hear your thoughts!

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Coconut cake sliced with glaze.

Coconut Loaf Cake

A buttery, coconut loaf cake topped with homemade coconut glaze. This cake is moist and delicious! Perfect for brunch!
4.31 from 291 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 1 loaf cake
Calories: 5119kcal
Author: Eden


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, canned
  • 1 cup shredded coconut , sweetened

Coconut Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk, canned
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar for about 3 minutes. 
  • While the butter and sugar are beating, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and give it a stir with a fork.
  • Add-in one egg at a time, beating just to incorporate.
  • Next, beat in extracts.
  • Turn the mixer to low and alternate flour mixture and coconut milk until combined.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
    coconut cake batter in a white mixing bowl.
  • Add shredded coconut to the batter and give it one more quick mix.
  • Prepare a loaf pan (we use a ceramic loaf pan) with a strip of parchment paper and butter. 
  • Pour batter into the loaf pan, spread evenly, and bake for about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. THE TIME WILL VARY PER OVEN. You have to check the loaf and make sure it's finished. The top will be a golden brown and the center comes out (almost) clean with a toothpick. Please check the center with a toothpick to ensure the loaf is finished. If it's not, it will fall in the middle when you take it out.
    coconut cake batter in a loaf pan.

Coconut Glaze

  • In a small bowl combines all of the ingredients and whisk using a fork until combined! 
    Powdered sugar in a mixing bowl to make a glaze.
  • Pour over the bread once it’s cooled for 10-15 minutes.
    Coconut loaf cake and glaze on a marble table.
  • Top the coconut loaf and glaze with shredded coconut. 


Cooking time varies. Use the toothpick method to check the loaf. Make sure the center is fully cooked before removing it from the oven. 
TIP – The pan you use will affect the cooking time. Glass, tin, or ceramic are all completely different materials and the cooking time will vary depending on this.
We like the ceramic loaf pan; the cake bakes a little quicker when using it. The bottom line is, bake the cake until it’s done! The middle will rise and the cake will be done. If it takes 1 hour, 1 1/2 hours, or 2 hours.
NOTE – The pan you use will also affect cooking time. It’s OKAY if the loaf takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours as long as you’re checking it and the middle has risen. Once the middle rises remove it.


Calories: 5119kcal | Carbohydrates: 620g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 282g | Saturated Fat: 193g | Cholesterol: 1121mg | Sodium: 2870mg | Potassium: 1572mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 465g | Vitamin A: 6591IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 332mg | Iron: 17mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @sugarandcharm or tag us #sugarandcharm!
coconut loaf cake.

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110 thoughts on “The Best Coconut Loaf Cake”

  1. 5 stars
    It’s easy to get jaded after seeing so many recipes described as “the best” or “the best ever!” but this one lives up to the description. I’ve been baking for several decades and this is one of the best cake recipes I’ve ever come across. It’s buttery, moist, flavorful and not too sweet. The shredded coconut sort of melts into the batter, so it’s not chewy. The recipe calls for more butter and one more egg than the standard loaf-sized pound cake.That and the coconut milk make it truly exceptional.

    Since I used a metal pan, I raised the oven temperature to 350 degrees. It took the cake 1 hour and 10 minutes to get done. I laid a piece of foil loosely over the top during the last 10 minutes so it wouldn’t get too brown. The only other adjustment was to use only half of the 1/3 cup of coconut milk for the glaze. I thought it was already thin enough. This cake will get raves.

  2. The glaze came out watery. Gray color.
    I think in the photo, looks like small amt of water used instead of coconut milk. That’s what keeps it firm and white.
    Cake tastes good.

    • If your vanilla extract is a dark color, it can turn your glaze an off-color. It all depends on the brand you buy. The coconut extract I purchased was a clear color. (McCormack’s)

  3. I love coconut I love the flavor, but I have one question… with the shredded coconut I really don’t care for the texture of it, can I pulverize it in a food processor and combine it into the Batter???

    Thank you!

  4. The vanilla made the glaze tan colored. Not loving the color. In the pics the glaze looks pure white. Was vanilla used?

  5. one of the best loaves ever. Can’t keep hubby out of it. Definitely on my to make regularly list. This will be a hit with my farmers market customers.

  6. So I’m confused here. Your recipe says oven should be 325 degrees yet you said to one of the people writing you that you cook it at 300 degrees. Which is it? I hope I didn’t just waste a bunch of good ingredients. Between that and the wide range of cooking time ( 1 hr to 2 hours)……I’ve never had a recipe be off by more than 15 minutes for any reason ( difference in ovens, pans, etc).

    • 325 or even 350 is fine for temperature. It will still cook and the loaf wouldn’t be wasted. You need to check to see when it’s done. As for the cooking time it depends on the pan you’re using, true oven temp and more factors. The bottom line is, check it and when it’s done, it’s done.

  7. 5 stars
    My second time making this cake! It’s so wonderfully delicious! I used canned coconut milk, I did notice in your photo the coconut milk was quite a bit thicker. I used the called for amount in the cake however I used half the amount in the glaze the second time around as the full amount made the glaze very, very thin. Great recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Made this cake yesterday and took it to my granddaughter’s house for dessert last night. It was sooo delicious! Everyone loved it and I seriously could have eaten the whole thing if it wasn’t so rich! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This will be on my Easter table for sure, with pastel dyed coconut!!

  9. I used this recipe to bake moms birthday cake.Baked it in two cake tins with almond chocolate filling and coconut cream frosting. It was yum, light, fluffy, moist with nice soft crust. Thank you Eden,all loved the cake.

    • Hi Linda – You can try that. The cooking times will change and I’m not sure how the overall texture would be but I think it would work!

  10. Just finished first one Definitely had to bake longer than recommended time but it’s delicious and the top crust texture is perfect! Love it even without glaze! This will go in my quick bread Rotation!!

  11. 3 stars
    Made this cake using a regular sized metal loaf pan and it seeped over during baking. It was not big enough.
    Cleaned my oven, put it back in with a sheet pan under it and baked til done. Sunk in the middle bad.
    Removed from pan and stuck in one corner. I was done at this point and threw it out.

    • I had the same issue with the batter going over the sides in a standard loaf pan. Made a big mess in my oven. I would however like to try it again but don’t want to buy a special pan to do it. If using a standard loaf pan how much space should you leave when pouring the batter into the pan? I’d rather have left over batter than cleaning the oven again.

      • You should never fill your loaf pan to the top with batter. A little less than 3/4 of the way full leaving a good amount of space at the top of the pan for the cake to rise is crucial when making any cake recipes. Just because there is extra batter in the bowl does not mean you use it all. Every pan is so different, so you have to determine how much to fill it. We will clarify this in the post.

  12. This looks SO delicious! I plan to make it. Can you please confirm the calories preserving? I read it as, 5119 per serving.
    Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Unfortunately, it does not calculate per serving. It’s an estimated calculation, however, it serves about 12 so about 426 per serving.


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