Delicious and Moist Coconut Cake Recipe

Imagine sinking your teeth into a light, moist, and flavorful cake that seems to melt in your mouth with every bite. You don’t need to go to the majestic Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii, to experience this. Instead, you can make the famous Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake in the comfort of your own home!

This fabulous cake has been named one of the “Top 5 Must Eats on Oahu” by TripAdvisor, and for a good reason. The light creamy sponge cake is filled with coconut pastry cream and topped with fresh whipped cream for a taste that truly embodies the flavors of Hawaii.

This recipe is easily achievable in any home kitchen, and you’ll be enjoying a delicious slice in no time. So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into how to make this delightful cake that will transport you straight to Oahu!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake
Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake

When it comes to baking, there are few things more delightful than the taste of a light, fluffy and buttery coconut cake. And that’s exactly what you will be preparing with this Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake Recipe. This recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves the tropical flavors of Hawaii and wants to enjoy a fabulous cake filled with the light, creamy sponge, coconut pastry cream and topped with fresh whipped cream.

Firstly, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. The ingredient list is simple and can be found in any supermarket. It requires no special equipment or expertise; even a novice baker could attempt it without any trouble.

Secondly, one of the amazing features of this recipe is its versatility. You could swap out the coconut flavor for other tropical flavors like pineapple or mango or add raspberry coulis on top for an extra touch of fruity sweetness. This recipe can also be scaled up or down based on your needs, making it an excellent choice for serving at larger celebrations or intimate gatherings.

Thirdly, this coconut cake is perfect for various events from afternoon tea parties to Sunday brunches to house parties with friends and family. Impress your guests with a slice of heavenly goodness that will transport them straight to the sandy beaches of Oahu, Hawaii.

Finally, this recipe carries all the authentic flavors of halekulani hotel waikiki’s majestic coconut cake that’s loved by many worldwide. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to experience one of the top 5 must-eats in Honolulu, according to Tripadvisor.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a dessert recipe that’s guaranteed to impress your taste buds and your guests alike, look no further than this delightful Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake Recipe. Yielding 8 servings per cake, it’s bound to be a hit whatever the occasion!

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven awaits you!
A slice of heaven awaits you!

Here’s what you need to make this fabulous Majestic Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake Recipe:

For the Sponge Cake:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) cake flour
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 7 Large eggs, separated

For the Coconut Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (240 ml) half & half, or use 2% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of Amaretto, optional
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


  • Fresh raspberries, for serving
  • Raspberry coulis, for serving

Yield: 8 servings per recipe from Halekulani Hotel

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to fall in love with this coconut delight!
Get ready to fall in love with this coconut delight!

Now that you’ve gathered all the ingredients, let’s dive into the recipe how-to of this fabulous Coconut Cake inspired by the Halekulani Hotel in Oahu, Hawaii. This recipe is a perfect blend of light, creamy sponge cake and coconut pastry cream, topped with fresh whipped cream and sweetened with raspberry coulis. The yield is 8 servings, and you can find this recipe on the Halekulani Hotel website or on various travel sites like TripAdvisor.

Step 1: Making the Sponge Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 F.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together 5 eggs until they reach frothy consistency.
  • Continue beating at high speed while slowly adding in 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, sift together 1 cup cake flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and another 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Slowly fold egg mixture with flour mixture using a spatula.
  • Pour batter into an ungreased 9-inch round cake pan and bake for 35 minutes.

Step 2: Making the Coconut Pastry Cream

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 cups 2% low-fat milk with 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut.
  • In another mixing bowl, whisk together 5 egg yolks, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and another 1/4 cup sugar until it forms a smooth finish.
  • Add egg mixture into the saucepan of coconut milk while continuing to stir until it thickens.
  • Remove from heat and add in 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons Amaretto (optional).
  • Pour mixture into a shallow dish and cover it with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until completely chilled.

Step 3: Assembling the Cake

  • Remove the cake from the oven and cool to room temperature before flipping onto a plate.
  • Cut the cake horizontally into two layers then place one layer on top of another.
  • Spread one half of your chilled pastry cream onto the bottom layer of your cake then repeat with next layer of cake.
  • On top of your second layer of pastry cream, use whipped cream to decorate evenly.
  • Drizzle Raspberry Coulis on top for sweetness.

That’s it! You have made an excellent replica of Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake recipe right in your kitchen! Do not forget to share it with friends at gatherings or special occasions!

Substitutions and Variations

 A tropical paradise in every bite!
A tropical paradise in every bite!

One of the great things about this Halekulani Hotel coconut cake recipe is its versatility. There are many substitutions and variations you can make to customize your cake and fit your dietary needs or preferences. Here are some substitution ideas:

– Flour: Instead of using cake flour, you can substitute with all-purpose flour. However, keep in mind that the texture of the cake will slightly differ.

– Milk: We use 2% low-fat milk in this recipe but feel free to use whole milk or skim milk.

– Sweetened Flaked Coconut: While sweetened flaked coconut is used in this recipe, unsweetened flaked coconut or shredded coconut will work as well.

– Amaretto: If you prefer not to use alcohol, substitute with 1 tsp of almond extract.

– Butter: Salted or unsalted butter can be used interchangeably.

As for variations, here are a few ideas on how you can make the cake unique:

– Chocolate Coconut Cake: Add 3/4 cup cocoa powder to the dry ingredients and decrease the flour by 3/4 cup. Use chocolate pastry cream instead of coconut pastry cream to fill the layers.

– Piña Colada Cake: Substitute the Amaretto with rum extract and add 1/2 cup crushed pineapple into the coconut pastry cream.

– Lemon Coconut Cake: Add grated lemon zest to both the cake batter and whipped cream topping. Fill the layers with lemon curd instead of coconut pastry cream.

Remember, there’s never a wrong way to make a cake! Be creative and have fun experimenting with different flavors and textures.

Serving and Pairing

 A cake so divine, it’ll leave you asking for more!
A cake so divine, it’ll leave you asking for more!

This magnificent cake is perfect for any special occasion or celebration. The light and creamy sponge cake filled with coconut pastry cream, topped with fresh whipped cream and garnished with sweetened flaked coconut offers an unforgettable dessert experience to the lucky guests who get to indulge in it.

To serve this fabulous cake, slice it with a sharp serrated knife using a sawing motion. Each slice should be about 1 inch thick. Optionally, top the individual serving with raspberry coulis or sprinkle it with more sweetened flaked coconut.

The coconut cake pairs well with a wide range of beverages, including coffee, tea, milk, and even Champagne. The recipe’s unique flavors can be enhanced by pairing it with some fresh tropical fruits such as mangoes, pineapples or berries. For added indulgence, scoop some coconut ice cream on the side or serve a shot of Amaretto on the top.

The majestic Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake is famous worldwide, but now you can delight your senses at home with its wonderful flavors and textures. Savor every bite of this heavenly cake and enjoy its well-balanced taste that has been perfected over time by the artisans at the Halekulani bakery.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You can't have just one slice of this creamy coconut cake!
You can’t have just one slice of this creamy coconut cake!

One of the best things about the Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later. In fact, it’s recommended that you make the cake a day or two before serving to allow the flavors to fully develop.

To store the cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

When you’re ready to serve the cake, it’s best to bring it to room temperature first. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the temperature and humidity of your environment. It’s important not to rush this step or you risk drying out the cake.

If you need to reheat slices of the cake, do so in the microwave for only 10-15 seconds at a time until just warmed through. Be careful not to overheat as this can cause the frosting to melt and become runny.

Pro tip: For an extra special touch, consider serving the Coconut Cake with a side of raspberry coulis or fresh fruit. The tartness will balance out the sweetness of the cake and make for a truly decadent dessert experience.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A true taste of the tropics right in your own kitchen!
A true taste of the tropics right in your own kitchen!

To ensure that your Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake is as delicious as the one served at the majestic Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, here are some tips and tricks.

Firstly, be sure to follow the recipe exactly. Baking requires precise measurements and deviations from the recipe can result in unpleasant outcomes.

Use quality ingredients, especially when it comes to the coconut pastry cream. It is one of the main elements of this cake and enhances its flavor substantially. Use premium sweetened flaked coconut, which can be found at most grocery stores.

Properly whip your eggs to ensure that your cake batter has a consistent structure. Be sure to separate the egg whites and yolks before beating them separately. Add cream of tartar when whipping the egg whites to allow them to hold onto their volume.

When baking the sponge cake, do not open the oven door until it is finished baking. This will cause the sponge cake to fall and lose its delicate structure.

Let all parts of the cake cool fully before layering and frosting with whipped cream as directed by the recipe. If your cake layers are not completely cool, they may sag or sink when you add your filling or frosting.

To make a raspberry coulis for serving, heat fresh or frozen raspberries in a pot over low heat, stirring frequently until they release juices. Strain out any seeds or pulp through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth before serving alongside slices of coconut cake.

Lastly, let your creativity shine through by substituting various toppings or fillings such as fresh fruit and flavored whipped cream. Enjoy trying out these tips to make an unforgettable tropical dessert!


Asking questions and learning from the experiences of others can be a great way to improve your cooking skills. In this section, we have compiled some frequently asked questions about Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake Recipe. Whether you are a seasoned baker or new to the world of pastry making, these FAQs will surely help you understand the recipe better and guide you towards creating a delicious and perfect cake every time.

Is coconut cake a southern thing?

As we welcome the arrival of Spring, our minds may wander to the traditions that come with this season, including indulging in delectable desserts like coconut cake. For many generations, coconut cake has been a staple in southern households, passed down and loved for over a century.

Who invented coconut cake?

It wasn’t until the year 1881 that the first coconut layer cake made its debut, which was featured in “What Mrs. Fisher Knows about Old Southern Cooking”, a cookbook written by an African American author named Abby Fisher. Along with her skills in pickling, preserving, and making jams, Abby Fisher was also recognized with numerous culinary awards. The coconut layer cake quickly became a favorite among many due to its unique flavor and texture.

Bottom Line

As a lover of sweets, I can safely say that the Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake Recipe is truly a must-try. From its light creamy sponge cake to its sweetened flaked coconut and coconut pastry cream, every bite is like a tropical paradise in your mouth.

If you want to experience the flavors of Hawaii in the comfort of your own home, try making this fabulous cake filled with pastry cream and topped with fresh whipped cream. Not only is it perfect for any occasion – from Sunday brunch to afternoon tea – but it will also impress your family and friends.

So what are you waiting for? Head to the kitchen and whip up this majestic Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake. Even if you haven’t been to the hotel bakery in Honolulu, you can transport yourself there with every bite of this delectable treat. Don’t miss out on one of the top 5 must-eats while you’re in Oahu, Hawaii!

Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake

Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake Recipe

This fabulous cake comes from the majestic Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, where it has been the hotel’s signature cake for years. It’s a light, creamy concoction that sings “spring.” The cake is a light sponge cake, filled with pastry cream, and topped off with whipped cream. I saw this in the local Relish magazine that comes with our newspaper. I had to post it and share it with my zaar friends. 😉
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Brunch, Coconut, Dessert, Easy, Fruit, Nuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 584.1kcal


Sponge Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups 2% low-fat milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup Amaretto

Whipped Cream

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut


  • To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
  • To prepare the cake, sift together cake flour, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. In separate bowl, combine oil, egg and water; add to flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
  • Whip egg whites and cream of tartar. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter until just combined.
  • Pour into pan and bake about 30 minutes or until center is set. Remove from pan set aside to cool. Store in the refrigerator several hours before cutting.
  • To prepare the pastry cream, combine 1 3/4 cups milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles form.
  • Combine remaining milk with cornstarch; add eggs and beat several times. Add ½ cup hot milk mixture to egg mixture; mix well. Pour egg mixture back into milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Scrape custard into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator.
  • To prepare the whipped cream, combine heavy cream and sugar in a mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
  • Add 1 cup of whipped cream, amaretto and 1 1/4 cups coconut to pastry cream; stir well. Set remaining whipped cream and coconut aside.
  • When cake is completely cooled, cut into three layers using a serrated knife. Place one layer on a 9-inch cake board or a serving plate. Place half the pastry cream on top and spread to edge evenly. Place second layer of cake on top of pastry cream and spread remaining pastry cream on top. Place third layer of cake on top. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 225g | Calories: 584.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 58.6g | Protein: 8.9g | Fat: 35.9g | Saturated Fat: 20.8g | Cholesterol: 151.9mg | Sodium: 337.5mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 39.1g

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