This cake makes me think of Christmas in a hot country lol, 😂 mainly as the cake is covered in desiccated coconut which looks like snow and as it’s a coconut cake it always makes me think of a desert island somewhere. I know, totally odd combination right? I have been Christmas in a hot country once and really didn’t enjoy it, as much as I hate feeling cold, it just didn’t feel like Christmas at all.

I’ve always wanted to make a Raffello cake, I like the taste and textures of them and how they are crisp, light and creamy. I wanted to incorporate these into the cake. But the main feature being coconut of course, I wanted the cake to be spongy and taste of coconut through and through!

I adjusted the recipe slightly, I added malibu to make it more coconutty (and desert island theme of course 💁🏽) and slightly alcoholic. I also added coconut wafers in between the layer to recapture the taste of them Raffellos. These are all optional but I just wanted to I bring extra elements. Of course, I made cream cheese frosting, my fav and it works so much better as it’s creamy yum yum 😋 😋 😋 .

This cake was really moist and coconutty, if you love coconuts you will like this cake. I couldn’t taste the Malibu that much but I didn’t want to alter the texture and add too much Malibu as it could have made the cake too wet.


Raffello Coconut Cake
A coconut creamy, crispy Raffello cake
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 170g - soft unsalted butter
  2. 2 cups - plain flour
  3. 11/2 tsp - baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp - salt
  5. 1 cup - caster sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp - vanilla extract
  7. 3 large - eggs
  8. 2 tbsp - Malibu
  9. 1 cup - canned coconut milk (reserve remaining from can)
  10. 11/2 cups - sweetened shredded coconut
Cream cheese frosting
  1. 2-23/4 cups - icing sugar
  2. 115g - soft unsalted butter
  3. 230g - cream cheese
Optional for decorating
  1. 1/2 - 1 cup - Desiccated Coconut
  2. 12 - coconut wafers
  3. 6 - Raffellos
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 175°gas/160°fan. Grease and line three 7" tins or 2 8" tins.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. 3. In a stand mixer or handheld, beat together the butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add in the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes so it's light and creamy. Add in the vanilla extract. Beat in one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. (scrap down the bowl as needed).
  4. 3. Add in the sifted flour mixture and coconut milk in three additions on low speed. Add 1/3 flour, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tbsp Malibu, 1/3 flour, 1/2 cup milk and finish with the remaining flour. Do not overmix.
  5. 4. Fold in the 11/2 cups shredded coconut. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.
For the cream cheese frosting
  1. 1. Whisk the butter for a few mins at a high speed, add the icing sugar on a slow speed at first then once incorporated change to fast speed, make sure it's smooth and free from lumps.
  2. 2. Add the cream cheese and whip until smooth.
  1. 1. Put one layer of the cake on a cake board or plate then add a quarter of the frosting and spread around the cake. Add 4 crushed wafers, then add the next layer, repeat for the other two layers. Spread the remaining 1/4 frosting all around the cake. Then add desiccated coconut all around the cake. Then add Raffellos, best to add them when serving the cake as they tend to get dry.