Coconut Buttermilk Pound Cake

Coconut Buttermilk Pound Cake

Fluffy, moist, and filled with all kinds of coconut, this Coconut Buttermilk Pound Cake is a true crowd pleaser. Don’t skip the toasted flakes on top—the subtle crunch makes this cake absolutely irresistible.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Coconut Buttermilk Pound Cake
Makes 2 (9x5-inch) loaves
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs (250 grams)
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole buttermilk
  • 2 cups (100 grams) sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and divided
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (360 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh lemon juice
  1. Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with baking spray with flour. Line pans with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan. Spray pans again.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in 1¼ cups (63 grams) coconut and vanilla. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Place in a cold oven. Bake at 300°F (150°C) until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over loaves; sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup (38 grams) coconut.


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    • Hi Judy,

      thank you for reaching out. We’re sorry you’re having trouble finding whole buttermilk in your area. We purchase it at our local Piggly Wiggly and Whole Foods. Some curb markets also carry it. In a pinch, you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a scant cup of whole milk. Stir it together, and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to curdle. It won’t be quite as thick as what you can purchase in a store, but it should work. Happy Baking!

    • Hi Carmen Lee,

      Thank you for reaching out! What the directions mean by this is to place the pans in the oven before you pre-heat the oven. First, put the pans in the oven and then turn the oven on to 300°F and keep the pans in the oven even as the oven pre-heats. Hope this clears things up for you. Happy Baking!

  1. This is the cake if you love love love coconut. Made this a few times for coworkers and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

  2. My cake did not rise. I followed the directions to the letter and it didn’t rise. Could out of date [July 2019} baking powder be the cause? I whipped butter and sugar for 4 min. Then added eggs one at a time and beat for 1 min between additions . What is wrong.? Tom

    • Hey Tom,

      Expired baking powder could definitely be the culprit here. A great way to check if your baking powder is still active is to conduct a quick test. To test if baking powder is still active, spoon 1/2 teaspoon in a bowl and pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over it. Right away it should bubble up violently. If it does, it’s still good. If it doesn’t, discard it and open a new tin. Another issue might have been overmixing once the flour was added, creating a denser, less-likely to rise cake. We hope this helps!

  3. I just made this and it turned out perfectly. The only things I did differently were: made one loaf instead of two, since I have a small family and we’ve all been doing a lot of baking lately to amuse ourselves; and I used unsweetened shredded coconut instead of sweetened—it was plenty sweet without the added sugar. This was my first experience with this recipe, and I am very pleased.

  4. Since I only have one 5×9 pan could you use the remaining mix to make cupcakes and if so what would the temperature and time be. Thanks. Tom

    • Hi Tom,

      Thank you for your question!

      Unfortunately, we’ve only tested this recipe in the 9×5-inch pan called for, and therefore could not be certain how this batter would perform in a cupcake pan. That being said, you could probably keep the oven temperature the same, but the bake time would need to be decreased. You’ll have to use doneness tests to determine whether the cupcakes are thoroughly cooked (in this case, a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean).

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!

    • Thank you for your question!

      Because pound cakes aren’t looking to achieve a light or delicate crumb, the rising power of baking soda reacting with buttermilk is less important in this instance. Instead, the baking powder gives the cake just enough rise, while allowing it to remain rich and dense.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!

    • Hi Amy,

      Even with buttermilk, sometimes both are needed. When a recipe contains baking powder and baking soda, the baking powder does most of the leavening while the baking soda is added to neutralize the acids in the recipe plus to add tenderness and some leavening.

      Happy baking!

  5. Even though I am not crazy about pound cake I made it. I had butter milk to use and I love coconut. I thought the cake was good. The glaze was not thin enough and way to much for my taste. Next time will thin out the glaze and half the amount. My husband’s coworkers loved it and asked for the recipe


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