Three pieces of white cake topped with frosting and toasted coconut on individual blue glass plates with forks resting on the side.
Dana Gallagher
1 of 10

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

For this tres leches cake with coconut, rich coconut flavor meets creamy milk-soaked sponge cake. Sweet frosting, lime zest, and toasted coconut crown this classic dessert.
An ice cream cone with a scoop of toasted coconut ice cream on a white wood background.
Deposit Photos
2 of 10

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

This toasted coconut ice cream from David Lebovitz is essentially custardy homemade vanilla ice cream infused with the complex taste of toasted coconut. Not too sweet and really sorta perfect.

Awesome. The best ice cream I’ve ever made. We lapped up every drop, and now I’m lusting to make the recipe again. I really liked the smoothness of the finished product, which wouldn’t have been the case had there been flakes of coconut.

A banana coconut rum bundt cake on a metal try with a slice cut from in on a plate nearby.
Ana Zelić
3 of 10

Banana Coconut Rum Bundt Cake

This is one of my favorite bakes in this chapter, because it comes together really quickly and the combination of banana, coconut and my beloved rum make it taste both a little tropical and festive. It’s perfect when you want to make something special, but with no fuss in the kitchen.
A white old-fashioned coconut cake with 7-minute frosting topped sprinkled with shredded coconut on a glass cake stand.
David Leite
4 of 10

Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake

This traditional coconut layer cake is made up of delicate, moist vanilla cake layers, creamy coconut filling, and a fluffy meringue frosting. On top is a sprinkling of shredded coconut. An excellent cake for any celebration.

This old-fashioned coconut layer cake was absolutely fantastic! And it was actually easy to put together. Initially, reading the recipe, I was a bit intimidated, as layer cakes are not my often go-to, but hubby loves, loves, loves coconut cake, so I wanted to give it a go.

I’m SO glad I was brave enough to do it! Turned out perfect!

JOan M.
A partially sliced coconut crème brûlée tart topped with raspberries on a white linen cloth with a fork and napkin beside it.
Lucy Schaeffer
5 of 10

Coconut Crème Brûlée Tart

Coconut crème brûlée tart is a bit of a showstopper—creamy coconut filling, buttery pastry and a sweet and crackly top. What’s not to love?
A coconut panna cotta topped with peanut brittle crunch on a white plate.
Armando Rafael Moutela
6 of 10

Coconut Panna Cotta

Chopped homemade peanut brittle sits atop a creamy coconut milk panna cotta.

Thanks for sharing this coconut panna cotta recipe. My panna cotta turned out perfect! It had a very delicate taste and texture. My husband loved it.

A coconut cream pie with a meringue top and sprinkled with toasted shredded coconut.
David Leite
7 of 10

Coconut Cream Pie

This coconut cream pie is an old-fashioned recipe for bliss. A luscious coconut custard is topped with billows of meringue and sprinkled with shredded coconut. A buttery, flaky crust instead of a graham cracker crust adds just the right savoriness.
Coconut lime cookies drizzled with icing and garnished with lime zest on wax paper.
Ty Mecham
8 of 10

Coconut Lime Cookies

Coconut and lime go hand in hand and these crispy sugar cookies with lime glaze are no exception. They're like a tropical vacation, in cookie form.

These coconut lime cookies are RIDICULOUSLY good!

Cake stand with 7 frosted coconut cupcakes, four unfrosted cupcakes on the table, and a bowl of frosting.
Alexander Grablewski
9 of 10

Coconut Cupcakes

Adding coconut to the batter and the frosting gives these cupcakes an incredible depth of flavor.
Nine Portuguese coconut custard tarts on a wire rack.
Cenk Sönmezsoy
10 of 10

Portuguese Coconut Custard Tarts

These Portuguese coconut custard tarts are little pastries that look like cupcakes. They’re a classic in which the best parts of creamy milk custard and eggy macaroon come together in very Portuguese fashion.

These coconut custard tarts were so good… There are no words to describe how fabulous these are. If you’re considering trying these, you should. What a find.


Coconut FAQs

What’s the difference between Coconut Milk and coconut cream?

Coconut milk and coconut cream are both made from the flesh of the coconut, which is pressed through a fine mesh sieve to extract liquid. The liquid that’s expressed is coconut milk, which has a fat content of about 20%. You will find this sold in cans in the supermarket, and it makes an excellent addition to soups and curries.

Coconut cream is made by skimming the fat from coconut milk as it rises to the top. Due to the increased fat content, coconut cream has a much thicker texture than milk.

Cream of coconut is made from coconut cream and has sugar added to it during processing. As a result, it is much sweeter than cream and is typically used for cocktails, like creamy piña coladas.

What’s the easiest way to toast coconut flakes?

I find it easiest to toast coconut in a 325°F oven. For even browning, spread the coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment.

Watch them closely as they toast, and shake the baking sheet gently once or twice while it’s in the oven. They should turn a lovely golden shade of brown in 5 to 10 minutes. Let them cool completely before using.

How long does shredded coconut last?

If stored in an airtight container or sealed bag, shredded coconut will last for several months in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer. If your coconut has an off taste or smell, or any visible signs of mold, it’s time to toss it.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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