Coconut Sheet Cake

We’ve been lucky this year.  We’ve celebrated every birthday together as a family.  Which means there haven’t been any trips to the post-office to send birthday cookies.  Instead, there have been Cherry Hand Pies (enjoyed together for dessert and breakfast), Pumpkin Granola (personally delivered to the birthday boy in my favorite Indiana town) and this cake.  This, my friends, is a true recipe remembered.  Straight from the spiral bound blue recipe book.  Made every year for this girl on her birthday.

The little ones circa 1996 at the ElDoret Club in Kenya

Like the photo above, this cake brings back memories.  It’s so simple to make, so delicious and like all good recipes, tastes exactly the same every time.  It’s light and fluffy with just the right amount of coconut flavor, balanced perfectly by cool whip and shredded coconut on top.

With cousin Cate at cousin Meghan's wedding, Summer 2011

She may be all grown up and off to college this fall, but she’ll always be the baby in our family.  And we will always celebrate her birthday with a big slice of this deliciously simple Coconut Sheet Cake.

Coconut Sheet Cake
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I’ve thought many times about doctoring things up – making the sheet cake from scratch, using homemade whipped cream, etc.  But I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.  I’m sure it would taste great all homemade and everything but it wouldn’t be the same cake my grandma used to make.  And that is the only cake this birthday girl ever wants.  (If you’re wondering about the cake mix, I always use Duncan Hines.  You can find the cream of coconut in the mixed drinks aisle, right next to the margarita mix.).

1 box white cake mix (and necessary ingredients to bake the cake)
1 8 oz. container Cool Whip
1 cup cream of coconut
Sweetened shredded coconut
candles, for celebrating

1.  Make the cake according to the box directions.

2.  Remove cake from oven and set on heat-proof surface.  Immediately poke all over with holes.  Pour cream of coconut over the top of the warm cake and spread with a spatula.  Allow cake to cool.

3.  Once cool, top cake with Cool Whip and a handful of sweetened shredded coconut.

4.  Top with candles, turn out the lights and sing someone happy birthday.  Leftovers, if you’re lucky enough to have them, should be covered and stored in the refrigerator.

Source: Recipes Remembered by Ann Schneider

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2 thoughts on “Coconut Sheet Cake

  1. I made a vegan version of this last night for a friend’s birthday (he loves coconut), and it turned out well! (Though I’m pretty sure my southern-Indiana roots rolled over in their graves at the thought of soy Cool Whip.)

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