Sour Cream Coconut Cake

Joyce Kelley


This has been my signature cake for thirty plus years. It is the EXPECTED cake that I have to bring to all social gatherings. It was given to me by a co-worker; I do not know the origin of recipe.
It is a great ‘make-ahead-of-time’ dessert for any time of the year and you will get nothing but rave reviews.
This was always my oldest daughter requested birthday cake. The first time I made the cake after she had joined the Navy, I cried as my ‘baby’ wasn’t there to enjoy her favorite cake. It is a very special cake and I’m honored to share it.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!


★★★★★ 2 votes

1 Hr 30 Min
30 Min


  • 1 box
    duncan hines butter recipe cake mix (do not use pudding-plus cake mix for this recipe)
  • 16 oz
    sour cream
  • 12 oz
    package frozen coconut semi-thawed (two six-oz packages; do not use regular coconut as it is not as moist as frozen)
  • 2 c
  • 1 large
    16 oz container cool whip (less 1 cup)

How to Make Sour Cream Coconut Cake


  1. I have successfully revised the original recipe over the years by adding the frosting as the middle filling of this six-layer cake and increasing the amount of frosting considerably. The original recipe suggest using the 1, 2, 3 day approach (day 1: prepare filling; refrigerate/day 2: prepare cake/day 3: assemble cake). While this isn’t entirely necessary, it is important to prepare at least the filling one day before baking the cake so the flavors of the coconut, sugar and sour cream can unify.
  2. Mix sugar, sour cream and coconut together; refrigerate overnight. Next day, bake cake according to package directions in two 8 inch round cake pans. After cake is completely cooled, split layers, making six layers. Reserve 1 ½ cups sour cream, sugar and coconut which will be combined to make the mixture/filling for frosting (see below). Divide remaining mixture/filling generously between all the layers EXCEPT the middle layer when joining the two cakes together. Here is where you will use the frosting and then proceed to use the filling to complete the layering of the cake. Sorry I don’t have pictures to explain this better.
  3. FROSTING for middle layer, top and sides of cake: combine the 1 ½ cup sour cream, sugar and coconut mixture/filling with the Cool Whip. You will use almost the entire 16 ounce container but start by reserving the 1 cup (for another use) as you don’t want the frosting to be too soft or fluid. The consistency of the frosting should be a little stiff. You can adjust as needed by adding more or less Cool Whip. The original recipe only called for an 8 oz container (don’t think they make the 8 oz size anymore) but I think the added frosting adds to the beauty of the cake.
  4. This cake MUST be kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container (e.g. Tupperware). It is BEST if stored in the fridge for THREE days before serving so the cake can soak up the filling and the frosting. It is an extremely moist cake. For the holidays, you can even sprinkle coconut on top. Caution: you will want to serve in smaller portions (16 slices) as it is very rich and you don’t want to waste a morsel!

Printable Recipe Card

About Sour Cream Coconut Cake

Course/Dish: Cakes
Main Ingredient: Sugar
Regional Style: American
Hashtag: #coconut

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