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Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting

The amazing flavors of this Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting are irresistible. Such a delicious and beautiful cake!

slices of Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting on white and beige plates

While I do appreciate a dessert that focuses on a single flavor, I really love combining some favorite flavors to create something extra special. That’s the case with this Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting. It combines a simple coconut cake with a sweet, rich frosting for a delicious and decadent dessert.

For those of you with an abiding love of coconut cake, this one is a little off that tried and true path. The cake itself is a simple one made with coconut milk. It’s an easy one to make and a delightful one to devour. It’s soft and sweet and pretty perfect in my book. (And check out my Coconut Sheet Cake for something a bit more traditional.)

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Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting on a parchment covered serving board

The really big flavor boost comes in the form of one of my favorite frostings. It’s made simply with just three ingredients! The star here is dulce de leche. It’s such a great flavor to pair with coconut. The bold flavor of dulce de leche plus the more delicate flavor of coconut is really a winner.

Add to that some toasted coconut on top of the cake, and you’ve got a cake that’s both beautiful and delicious. And, I must say, it’s one of my favorite cakes I’ve had in a long time.

slice of Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting on a white and beige plate

One of the other great things about this cake that keeps it on the good side of the simplicity scale is that it’s a single-layer cake. No layering required! I like to line the pan with parchment paper so that I can lift the baked and cooled cake out of the pan and onto a serving platter. You can, of course, serve it straight from the pan if you like. Just remember the parchment paper option for when you want to serve it differently.

Remember this cake when you want a sweet, flavorful indulgence. I hope you’ll enjoy its amazing flavor as much as I do!

Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Coconut Desserts

Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Dulce de leche and coconut are an amazing pair in this Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting!

slices of Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting on white and beige plates


For the cake:

  • 3 & 1/4 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cups coconut milk (canned)

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 13 ounces (368g) dulce de leche
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • toasted coconut flakes, for garnish*


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9"x 13"x 2" baking pan with parchment paper. Grease (or butter and flour) the paper.**
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of coconut milk. Mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of large air pockets.
  6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or the cake is golden brown and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.

To make the frosting:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and dulce de leche until well-blended. Mix in the vanilla, beating until combined.
  2. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.


*If you need a refresher, see my tips for How to Toast Coconut.

**If you prefer to serve the cake directly from the pan, then you can simply grease the pan and skip the parchment paper.

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    7 Comments on “Coconut Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting”

  1. Some of peanut i used on top with coconut slice. It’s looking beautiful and taste delicious. thank dear for a great recipe.

  2. May I ask what kind of coconut milk you used? Like from a can, or the “coconut milk beverage” that is sold as a non-dairy milk?

  3. I’ve just taken mine out of the oven, not frosted it yet but already it looks great. I didn’t have any coconut milk so substituted with condensed milk. Also used coconut extract instead of vanilla. Yum!

  4. Can I use a plant based sour cream instead of cream cheese?
    Thank you for this recipe, I’m using it for my mom’s birthday!

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