Irish Coconut Cake

What do you get when you add Baileys Irish Cream, chocolate and toasted coconut together?


I never thought that I could love a cake so much. Love may not even be a strong enough word to express the feelings I have towards this cake—it’s every sort of mood booster that one could need, even with this doesn’t-make-sense-of-a-week coming up.

My sweets loving friends, have you ever heard that “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” saying? Well, let me just tell you, March has been coming in like a lion on vacation or something, this entire next week will be in the 70’s. Yes. Basically beach weather and I am still deeply in my winter tan mode—you know, when you’ll burn at even the mention of warm sun. Do I believe that St. Patrick’s Day is in less than two weeks? Nope! That Easter is at the end of the month? Not even possible.

So here I am, trying to decide whether or not to keep our fleece sheets on the bed, whether iced coffee is the route to go these days, and what light spring jacket I should be wearing at the beginning of March! Seeing as those decisions are way to difficult for this season-confused girl, I put it all on pause, put on my cropped jeans and decided to make a season-confused cake!

I know you all knew something with Baileys Irish Cream was coming—I mean it is March and I love any excuse to put Baileys in anything! And then I was like, well, if I have the option to show my pasty, clear legs to the world this week in shorts, I better toast some coconut for this cake to add some more craziness to the month!

And here you have it—my very confused Irish Coconut Cake that has vanished in the yummiest of ways after only 3 days!

We start with a very simple, very moist, deliciously simple Baileys vanilla cake. I have recently discovered coconut butter (yes, please!), so I subbed some of the butter for that, which is optional of course. So, if you only take a few bites of this ridiculously good cake batter before baking, you will have a beautiful 8” cake all ready to be smothered in buttercream!

Between the layers, I used coconut milk in place of a simple syrup, also optional, to bring even more moistness to the cake as well as coconut flavor. Then bring on the Baileys Chocolate Buttercream and the snowstorm of toasted coconut and you have yourself THE cake of the month!

Luckily, I have friends and a fiancé who just as cake obsessed as I am and devoured 90% of the cake—I mean I am sweatin’ for the wedding…


So, while we are all just slightly confused by the lack of snow in this beautiful month of March, why not make a cake that is just as unique in flavors, but, luckily enough, is absolutely delicious—and basically heaven!

cake ingredients

Flour—10 oz, or 2 C

Baking Powder—½ tsp

Baking Soda—½ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Butter, room temperature—5 oz, or 10 TBL

Coconut Butter*—1 oz, or 2 TBL

Sugar—10 oz, or 1 ¼ C



Milk—4 oz, or ½ C

Baileys Irish Cream—2 oz, or ¼ C



Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter, coconut butter and sugar until light and smooth.

*You do not have to use coconut butter, this is 100% optional. You may just replace with regular, unsalted butter*

Slowly add in your eggs and yolks, one at a time, and making sure to scrape after each addition.

When all of your eggs have been added, alternate adding the dry sifted ingredients and your wet ingredients, making sure to end with the Baileys/milk.

Mix until just combined.

Prepare an 8” cake pan by spraying with nonstick spray and then either lightly coating with flour or with parchment.

This recipe makes exactly 1-8” cake.

Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes—it is done when the cake springs back when you touch it.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.


buttercream ingredients

Butter, room temperature—4 oz, or 1 stick

Confectioner’s Sugar—7.5 oz, or 1 ½ C

Cocoa Powder—1.25 oz, or ½ C

Baileys Irish Cream—2.5 oz, or 1/3 C

Milk—1 oz, or 2 TBL


Coconut Milk—for brushing on the bottom layer

Toasted Coconut—1-2 C, optional for decorating



In the bowl of your mixer, cream your butter until smooth—about 5 minutes.

In another bowl, sift together your confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder.

With the mixer on low, slowly add in your sifted ingredients to the butter.

Once all added, scrape the sides of the bowl.

Slowly stream in the Baileys Irish Cream, and then the milk, making sure to scrape the sides as needed.

Once all of your ingredients have been added, turn your mixer up to a medium speed and whip for about 10 seconds, just to make it nice and smooth, very easy to work with!


to decorate

Once your cake has cooled completely and you have removed it from the pan, trim the top of your cake, making it flat.

Now, cut your cake into to even layers.

With the first layer on your cake stand, or even a plate, brush on a nice, thin layer of the coconut milk—this will seal in any crumbs and keep this layer from drying out too much.

Coconut milk is completely optional as well. If you would prefer a simple syrup, Baileys, other alcohol, that is up to you!

Put on a good-sized dollop of your whipped buttercream and spread evenly over the bottom later.

Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Place the second half of your cake on top.

Put the rest of your buttercream on top of the cake, spread evenly on the top and sides of your cake.

It helps to spread evenly on the top of your cake first, allowing some of the buttercream to fall over the sides, and then you can just use that to smooth out the sides of the cake with!

Now you may either leave like this, or make it extra amazing by covering the rest of your cake with the toasted coconut—all over the top and the sides.

To toast the coconut- preheat your oven to 300˚F, spread the coconut on a sheet pan and toast for about 8 minutes. Every couple of minutes, check on the coconut, re-spreading it around so that it browns evenly! You will know it is finished by the wonderful smell!

Cut whatever sized slice you would like and enjoy!


Bon Appétit!