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Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake

Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake
I am a big fan of coconut in all kinds of baked goods. Not only do I love the sweet, buttery and tropical flavor of coconut, but I like the texture that shredded coconut adds to breads, cakes and pies. This Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake is a buttery, tender cake packed with coconut and topped with a crisp cinnamon toasted coconut streusel! It’s a delicious cake to make for brunch or to serve up for dessert, and it is sure to be a hit with anyone who enjoys coconut.

The buttery cake is easy to make and is absolutely loaded with coconut. In fact, you’ll need just about a whole 15-oz bag of sweetened shredded coconut for this recipe (that’s the standard size that they sell in the baking aisle). I usually suggest that you can use sweetened shredded coconut or unsweetened shredded coconut in most recipes, but in this case I recommend using sweetened shredded coconut. Most shredded coconut that you can find in grocery stores is sweetened. I recommend it because the cake in this recipe is not overly sweet on its own, and the extra sweetness in the coconut helps to boost the coconut flavor.

The cake is buttery, with a touch of vanilla and a hint of tangy buttermilk. It is a relatively thin cake – although it remains very moist despite its stature. It is topped with a streusel layer that is almost, but not quite, as thick as the cake (the streusel is about 1/3 of the total coffee cake height). The streusel is also buttery, but bakes up to be crunchy and with a nice dose of cinnamon. It is also packed with shredded coconut, which toasts up during baking and deepens the overall coconut flavor of the cake.

This is a great brunch cake, but I usually serve it for dessert instead. The recipe makes a sheet cake that can be cut into generous pieces, so don’t feel like you need to wait for a crowd to bake it up – just treat yourself instead!

Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

Streusel Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
Make the cake batter. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Add in shredded coconut and melted butter and stir until batter is uniform. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into and even layer.
Make the streusel. Combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Blend in butter using a mixer at low speed or a pastry blender until mixture resembles wet sand. Stir in shredded coconut. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter, squeezing the streusel mixture in your fist to form larger crumbles.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is golden. Cool completely before slicing.

Serves 9-12.

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