A coconut cake log and a coconut cake slice on a black plate.

East Indian Coconut Cake Recipe

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This traditional East Indian coconut cake is different from regular coconut cakes. It’s dense and moist, and a delight to eat. Traditionally made with fresh coconut, you can also use desiccated coconut.

A coconut cake log and a coconut cake slice on a black plate.
A coconut cake log and a coconut cake slice on a black plate.

My cousin Dan says this coconut cake is his favorite East Indian sweet. It’s mine too! The coconut cake is just a little different from the traditional East Indian Thali Sweet. Okay, maybe it’s a lot different. After all, it’s got loads more eggs in it. But if you don’t have time to make the batter and leave it overnight, the coconut cake is an easier option. So let’s get to it.

ingredients needed to make East Indian Coconut cake

To make the East Indian coconut cake, you need eggs and extra egg yolks, butter, fine sugar, vanilla essence, sojee (semolina), and grated coconut. The traditional East Indian recipe calls for freshly grated coconut, but we use desiccated coconut too. It’s a perfectly easy substitute! Free from maida, it tastes just as awesome but lasts a tad longer!

How to make this simple version of the East Indian Coconut Cake?

Some people say you should beat the yellows and the whites separately, but we don’t do it. Well, we do it for other cakes, but for this one it’s not necessary. Saves time! Just put all the eggs in a toap (that’s what we call a vessel in Eastya) and beat together till they’re light and fluffy.

Mom tells us ‘Don’t Dafrao!’ She means don’t just throw things together. But really, this is just how this recipe works traditionally too. So it works!

Eggs with yolks in a vessel - Pic by Sarah from TheWingedFork.
Take eggs in a vessel
Eggs that have been beaten with a fork till light and fluffy - Pic by Sarah from TheWingedFork.
Beat eggs till light and fluffy

Add in the butter and sugar along with a teaspoon of vanilla essence and mix well.

Butter and sugar being mixed with the beaten eggs - Pic by Sarah from TheWingedFork.
Mix butter and sugar

Then in another vessel, mix the baking powder and sojee (semolina) together before adding in the grated coconut. Sojee or suji is just great, isn’t it? You can use it in so many dishes, from sweet to savory. We love sojee upma, and cutlets encrusted with suji, my sister’s chocolate sojee cake, and my granny’s version of East Indian honey balls.

Sojee (semolina), baking powder, grated coconut are added to the  egg, butter, sugar mixture and mixed well - Pic by Sarah from TheWingedFork.
Add in sojee baking powder, grated coconut and mix well
Baking trays have been lined with butter paper and filled with the batter - Pic by Sarah from TheWingedFork.
Line baking trays with butter paper and fill with the batter

Line trays with butter paper and grease them with butter. Fill in the batter and leave to rise for an hour or so. Then preheat your oven for 5 minutes to about 200 degrees Celsius. Put your cake trays in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes.

Cake in a baking tray that has risen beautifully - Pic by Sarah from TheWingedFork.
Bake till the cake has risen beautifully

And that’s it! The easy East Indian Coconut Cake is ready. Eat it hot or eat it cold, it tastes as delicious as my sister’s gluten free sand cake!

Coconut Cake log with a brown crust on steel plate.
Love how this coconut cake log turned out!
Coconut cake log with a slice cut and placed on a black plate.
Cut into the cake and see the dense goodness

Cooking Tips for the Moistest Densest coconut Cake

  • Add ground cashew nuts or almonds to the coconut cake to make it richer.
  • Add about 50 ml of rose water for a more flavorful cake.
  • Add a bit of colour and essence to make a layered cake.
  • Add half a tsp of orange oil for an absolutely amazing cake!

FAQ’s about Coconut Cakes

Can I use dry or desiccated coconut?

Yes, if you do not have freshly grated coconut, you can use desiccated coconut.

What is desiccated coconut?

Dessicated coconut is coconut flesh that has been dried and shredded into tiny pieces. Use the regular or unsweetened variety for this recipe.

Do you beat the eggs by hand or a mixer?

We beat them by hand using a whisk or a fork but you can use a hand mixer if you want to.

How long will coconut cake last?

It will last for 3 or 4 days if it is refrigerated.

Can you freeze the leftover coconut cake?

Yes, put the leftover cake in an airtight container and freeze it. It will last for up to 3 months.

Can you freeze homemade coconut cake?

Again, yes!

What’s the best dense coconut cake?

If you like a moist and dense coconut cake, this recipe of ours is the perfect one to try!

What flavours do you mix coconut cake?

You can make many flavours of coconut cake. There are lemon and coconut cake, lime and coconut cake, frosted coconut cake, rum and coconut cake, cake with raspberry filling, cake with pineapple filling, coconut cake with chocolate chunks, coconut cake with cream, coconut cake with buttercream, coconut cake with coffee, coconut cake with quinoa, coconut and zucchini cake, and so many more.

Other Recipes you might like

Did you try out this recipe? Give us your review below! And make sure to share your delicious creations by tagging us on Instagram or join TheWingedFork Facebook group and share your lovely food pics and results of your food experiments there!

A coconut cake log and a coconut cake slice on a black plate.

East Indian Coconut Cake

Sarah
This traditional East Indian coconut cake is different from regular coconut cakes. It's dense and moist, and a delight to eat. Traditionally made with fresh coconut, you can also use desiccated coconut.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Christmas, Dessert
Cuisine East Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 7 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 380 gms Butter
  • 480 gms Fine Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 420 gms Semolina (Semolina)
  • 300 gms Coconut Grated

Instructions
 

  • Beat the eggs till they're light and fluffy.
  • Add in the butter and sugar and mix together till smooth.
  • Next add in sojee, baking powder, grated coconut and mix well.
  • Line baking trays with butter paper and grease well.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
  • Bake the cakes for 50 minutes.
  • Cut and serve.

Notes

The traditional recipe calls for fresh grated coconut, but we use desiccated coconut too. It’s the perfect easy substitute! It tastes just as awesome and lasts a tad longer!
Pinterest images of cake logs for a post about how to make dense coconut cake.
Pinterest image of cake batter and Coconut Cake for a post about how to make the dense coconut cake.
Pinterest image of a pot with eggs and a baking tray with Coconut Cake for a post about how to make the dense coconut cake.
Pinterest image of cake log for a post about how to make dense coconut cake.

5 thoughts on “East Indian Coconut Cake Recipe”

  1. This conversation at the beginning is of goankars not east Indians because they are the ones who always say men. What men, no men etc. They are also called pavwallas as when they came from Goa they used to sell pavs. East Indians used to make handbreads and bhaat is a goan cake similar to EIs thali sweet.

    Reply
    • Hi Shanila, are you referring to the conversation in this post? https://thewingedfork.com/east-indian-christmas/
      In the post, they’re sprinkled in liberally for poetic effect, but we sometimes use these terms when we’re around family or other East Indians too. “What men?” “No men!” “Come on men!” “How men?” “Yes men, tomorrow!” Don’t you think that these colloquialisms are part of East Indian conversation just like “re” has become a part of it?

      Reply
  2. I’m trying this cake right now!
    Dafrao!!! I can hear my mother in law’s voice when I read that . And she always meant don’t fuck it up4 stars

    Reply

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