Coconut Caramel Spice Cake

This homemade coconut caramel spice cake has a secret ingredient that makes it rich and moist. Topped with toasted caramel and drizzled with homemade caramel sauce.

I love finding recipes that have a unique “special ingredient”. An unlikely ingredient that friends and family would never guess. Remember tomato soup cake? You’d probably never think to put tomato soup in cake.

This coconut caramel spice cake has cottage cheese. I’ve baked cottage cheese in quick bread before, so why not in cake?

a piece of cake with whipped cream

About this Coconut Caramel Spice Cake

  • Flavor: This has a traditional spice cake flavor thanks to the cinnamon, allspice and cloves. You’ll notice that coffee granules is an ingredient, but don’t worry. You won’t taste it. It just enhances the spice flavors. The caramel sauce adds sweetness to an otherwise not-so-sweet cake.
  • Texture: This cake is rich and dense. Pecans and coconut give the cake texture, so it is not completely smooth.

Tips for Making the Cake

  • This cake mixes up best by using a hand mixer. This is to ensure the shortening, sugars and eggs get well combined. A hand mixer will work ok, too.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl first. Then add them into the butter & sugar mixture. This will help to make sure everything gets evenly distributed without overmixing.
how to mix coconut caramel spice cake
  • This cake bakes best in a 9×13 baking pan. I use a light colored or glass pan. If it is a darker pan, it can cause the cake to brown more quickly.
  • Test if the cake is done by touching the center. If it bounces back, it is done.
steps to make a caramel sauce for a coconut cake

Caramel Sauce for Cake

This easy and delicious caramel sauce takes just 3 steps:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Stir over low heat until the butter is melted.
  • Add in the milk. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then drizzle or spread over the top of the cake.

If you’d like, you can serve the caramel sauce on the side so people can add their own sauce as they’d like.

overhead view of a coconut spice cake with caramel on top

Storage Instructions

Store this cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The cake will also freeze well for up to 6 weeks.

a piece of caramel coconut spice cake on a plate with whipped cream
a piece of caramel coconut spice cake on a plate with whipped cream

Coconut Caramel Spice Cake

4.5 from 2 votes
This homemade coconut caramel spice cake has a secret ingredient that makes it rich and moist. Topped with toasted caramel and drizzled with homemade caramel sauce.
Servings 15
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the cake:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar 150 grams
  • ½ cup shortening*
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup full-fat cottage cheese small curd if possible
  • cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 195 grams
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules**
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup flaked coconut sweetened

For the glaze:

  • cup salted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 200 grams
  • ¼ cup whole milk***

Instructions
 

Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and shortening using a hand mixer on medium speed.
  • Add in the eggs and mix well again, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the cottage cheese, water and vanilla.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, instant coffee, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on medium speed until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Fold in the chopped pecans.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle the top with the flaked coconut.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it.

Make the glaze:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Stir over low heat until the butter is melted.
  • Add in the milk. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then drizzle or spread over the top of the cake.
  • Top with whipped cream.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

*You can use butter if you’d like. 
**Leave out the instant coffee if you don’t have it. It just enhances the spice flavors.
***You can use a lower fat milk, but the caramel sauce is better with whole milk.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**
Recipe Source: Pillsbury Bake Off Cake Cookbook

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 296
Keyword 9×13 cake, caramel, spice cake recipe

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