Coconut-Rum Cake Recipe

This delicious coconut-rum cake will have you feeling all kinds of tropical. This vanilla, coconut-rum infused cake is layered with a coordinating coconut-rum buttercream. The addition of a turquoise ombre effect makes the cake all the more inviting!

For the Cake


  • Box of Duncan Hines white cake
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 2 tsp Rum Extract
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup of Malibu coconut rum (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
  • Turquoise gel color


Place the cake mix in a large clean bowl and add softened butter, mix until combined and then continue to mix until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Add eggs, milk, extracts, and rum and beat at medium-high speed for 4 minutes. Fold in coconut.

Add 4 drops of gel color and mix to combine. Spoon 1 cup of the mixture into a 6-inch round cake pan.

Add 4 more drops of gel color to the mix and beat to combine. Take out another cup of batter and place into a second 6-inch cake pan.

Add another 4-6 drops of gel color and beat to combine. Place the remaining cup of batter into a third 6-inch cake pan.

Tap the pans to release air bubbles and to level the mix.

Place into a preheated oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Buttercream

  • 8 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 (2lb) bags of confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbs rum extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of coconut rum (optional)
  • 4 tbs milk


Place the butter into a large clean bowl and whip at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.

Add confectioners sugar 2 cups at a time, combining after each addition.

Add extracts, rum and milk and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

Add a tiny drop of violet food color and whip to counteract any yellow tones in the buttercream.

To Assemble

Remove the tops from the cakes and reserve.

Torte each cake into two layers.

Starting with the deepest color, place a round of cake onto a 6-inch cake board and cover with a layer of buttercream, add the next layer of the same color. Repeat this process until all layers of cake have been placed.

Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and chill until firm.

Add a second layer of buttercream and using a bench scraper, remove any excess and level the top.

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