Vanilla Sponge Cake with Coconut Cream Icing

Coconut cake makes a great dessert any time of the year. I add coconut to all aspects of this dessert from the cake to the icing to the garnish. This cake can be made in full size or in mini tea cakes!

Servings:10 mini cakes

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time:  30 minutes   |   Cook Time: 10 minutes   |   Total Time: 60 minutes


  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 dashes coconut extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus extra for decorating

Coconut Cream Icing

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (from the can)
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13 x 8 x 1 inch sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the top of the parchment with a bit of vegetable oil. Set aside.

Use an electric mixer to beat eggs on high for 3 minutes until they turn a pale yellow in color and have doubled in volume. Continue to beat the eggs and add in the sugar 1/4 cup at a time, incorporating the sugar thoroughly after each addition. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, add the oil, milk, cider vinegar, and vanilla. Continue to beat the mixture for a minute until everything is combined.

Place a fine mesh sifter over the egg mixture and add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift the ingredients over the egg mixture and combine using the mixer for 15 seconds or so. Add the coconut flakes and finish incorporating the ingredients by folding the batter with a rubber spatula until you do not see any streaks of flour in the batter. It should still be light and airy.

Carefully pour batter into the pan and use a spatula to spread the batter evenly.

Place the cake in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until it springs back when touched. The cake should be slightly golden brown in colour on top. Set the cake aside to cool completely while we make the icing.

In a medium sized bowl, add the butter and salt. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and salt on high speed until the butter has softened, has no lumps, and turns a light yellow colour.

Sift the icing sugar over the butter and add the coconut milk. Use the electric mixer to combine these ingredients together, starting at a low speed and working your way up to high. Beat the mixture until the sugar has mostly dissolved into the butter and so that there are no lumps. This normally takes about 4-5 minutes. Once combined, add the coconut flakes and mix to combine.

Transfer the icing to a piping bag and set aside while you prepare the cake.

To make mini cakes, use a square cookie cutter (or any shape) to cut out as many squares as you can from the cake. If you are making a full-size cake, cut the cake into four even rectangles using a sharp knife and ruler as a guide.

Place the bottom layer of the cake on a piece of parchment paper to avoid sticking. Pipe the icing on the first layer to cover the entire top of the cake. Repeat this process for the remaining layers. The mini cakes should have two layers and the full-size cake should have four.

Finally, sprinkle the top of the cakes with some more coconut flakes for garnish.

Cover the cake(s) in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set up for at least 30 minutes.

Serve with a nice cup of tea and you have a wonderful dessert! Enjoy!