Cake & Cheesecake | October 10, 2010

Nan’s Yummy Coconut Cake

Nan's Yummy Coconut Cake

Nan's Yummy Coconut Cake

Nan’s Yummy Coconut Cake
October 11, 1984.

Grant was in his second year of school at the University of Utah. We lived on 6th and M, with a view of the SLC cemetery. I was p.g. as we called it back then, with our first child.

After about 12 hours of labor, Corrine was born. Too much epidural, too early. Our baby was born without a heartbeat and not breathing…she was rushed to a table out of my sight, where CPR was performed on her tiny 6 lb 13 oz body. Miracles occurred, and several days later, on the snowiest day -to that day, in Utah history (22 inches), we bundled her up and took her home.
I still remember being overwhelmed at the thought of being a mom. What was I thinking? I had no idea how to take care of a baby, let alone raise a child. I felt like an imposter. First reality check, my milk coming in…
I seriously had no idea this was going to happen. My mom didn’t nurse me or my brother (yeah, that’s what’s wrong with me) so she didn’t have a clue in this department. Neither did I.
Can you say ENGOURGED?
Corrine’s neck was so long and floppy,
we had to hold her head up for about 6 months.
Like my BIG 80’s hair?? Attractive, I know.
This is what people looked like before PHOTOSHOP.
Corrine was our only child for almost six years. She went to Grant’s graduation from the U, and then again when he graduated from law school.

U of U 1986
She lived through daycare and babysitters, while I worked and Grant went to school. She spent lots of hours with Grant while he studied. Corrine remembers our days of apartment living, and then later the promise of getting her first bike at age 6, if she would tolerate house hunting for our first house in Seattle. She’s our only child who remembers my dad, and how much he loved being a grandfather. She escaped with Grandpa at 5 AM in his big gold truck to his restaurant, where he would order up pie for breakfast.
Twin black eyes. Don’t ask.
When I was about 9 months pregnant with Brookie- Grant, Corrine and I all came down with a horrible stomach flu. We were all in the bathroom for two days, living in our pj’s. As we knelt down to say a family prayer after surviving the first night, Corrine prayed we would
“All get better, and that Dad (Grant) would have the strength to pull the baby out, when it was time for ‘it’ to be born.” Where did she get the idea he was delivering the baby?? We all had a big laugh.
1990 first house
Corrine has grown up to be a kind, generous, beautiful, talented and loving daughter. For 26 years now, she has been a blessing in our family.
Happy Birthday, Corriney! Keep looking up. We love you more than you will ever know.
Brookie and Corriney
My two fave girls…
Oh, PS. My dear friend Nan made this cake the other night, and I liked it so much, I made it (along with some super chocolaty brownies because  she loves chocolate) for Corrine’s birthday. One word: yum. Yes, it’s a doctored up cake mix recipe. Now, you know how I feel about mixes…so you know I wouldn’t share it unless it was really yummy. I’ve tried from scratch coconut cakes, namely Bf Contessa’s Coconut Cake. It’s delish, but really heavy. Nan’s cake has great flavor, is moist and not too rich. And did I mention simple? This one goes in the seriously simple category. You’re going to love it.
Nan's Yummy Coconut Cake
5 from 3 votes

Nan's Yummy Coconut Cake

Nan Bruske


  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 small package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk canned or half and half


  1. Combine eggs, sour cream, vanilla, water and coconut milk until blended well. Add cake mix and pudding. Mix till smooth.
  2. our into two well greased and floured 9 inch round pans. Sprinkle a little coconut on top of cakes, if desired. bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Invert onto cooling rack.
  3. Blend butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and milk until desired consistency. If desired add half of a 7 oz package of coconut. Combine well, spread on cooled cake. Sprinkle remaining coconut on top and sides of cake.
  4. Decorate with fresh raspberries and blueberries if desired.
  5. Chill until serving. Remove about 30 minutes before serving for best results.
  6. Store covered in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

-You may use coconut pudding in place of the vanilla pudding.

-I think this cake would be wonderful with a custard filling instead of the frosting. -If you like the look of toasted coconut, place coconut on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Top cake with toasted coconut.

-I think this cake is better the second day.

-This cake can be made in a jelly roll pan with great results! I like to place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan before spreading on the batter.

34 thoughts on “Nan’s Yummy Coconut Cake

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Recipe Rating

  1. Wow I can't believe our kids are this old. Great story and pics. I love Coconut Cake and usually have one for my B-Day. We will definitely be trying this one.

  2. I too have a 26 year old daughter; our oldest. Time flies too fast. (And I had the same hair, only yours is much prettier). I know what you mean about Ina' cake. Love the flavor, hate the heft of it. I will for sure give this one a try.

  3. My sister bought a (white) cake for my niece's birthday but she got mad because it wasn't chocolate so she made the no fail chocolate bundt (Can you tell who is the princess in the family? 🙂 as 2 layers and it was a hit with all the ppl at the party! They were all asking for the recipe and so we started talking about your blog and decided that this one is next!! Thanks, LOVE coconut

  4. I am making this cake today! I had to go to 3 different stores to get all the ingredients here in Shanghai. The pudding I found is printed only in German, so I'm not sure if it's instant or not. 🙁 Wish me luck!

  5. Just made this cake today for Valentine's Day. Toasted some coconut for sprinkling on top as you suggested, and substituted a Pineapple Cake Mix because it looked good! Had to make it is a bundt cake. It turned out so well! Thank you for the recipe.

  6. Made this cake today for a church fundraiser for the youth. It earned $180! Cake looked amazing and tasted super good! Thank you!

    1. There is another coconut cake on a bountiful kitchen that has a pineapple filling it is delicious look in the index or use the search bar. Or use this cake and make a vanilla custard filling!

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  8. You are such a lovely person! Your love for your family is evident, and your children are so lucky. Can’t wait to try this amazing-looking cake! Thank you for sharing your talents so freely.

  9. I really want to make this this weekend . Due to my rusty rounds, I am thinking of using my brand new bundt pan. Would it work and how long should I bake it? Also, would you recommend doing anything different with the frosting?

  10. I am a conniseur of coconut cake so I tried this recipe. It was outstanding. This is my first recipe of yours I’ve tried. I’m already a big fan!

    1. Diane,
      So glad you love this recipe! I haven’t met a coconut lover that doesn’t love this cake. I do have a Pina Colada Cake on this site as well. Let me know if you try it sometime. Thanks for reading ABK and thanks for your comments.

    1. Hi Becky, this is one of our family’s favorite desserts of all time. It’s perfect for any occasion and stays moist and flavorful. I’m so glad this recipe turned out well for you and thanks for reading ABK!


    1. Hi Jessica, a can of coconut milk works just fine. And it should turn out great in a bundt pan as well. Thanks for asking!

  11. This is probably my favorite cake & since I won’t have any kids around this year on Mother’s Day I’M MAKING IT FOR MYSELF!! 😂

    1. You deserve it, Carla, and I could eat plenty of this cake by myself too. Thanks for sharing and Happy Mother’s Day!

  12. 5 stars
    I love your story. Nan is mom to one of my dear high school friends. I have so many fond memories of her baking in her kitchen making the best and yummiest food to take to the neighbors. This cake is so yummy. I love how soft and delicious it is and the raspberries just add the right touch.

  13. 5 stars
    This cake is incredible!! Every time I make it people dye over it! I fill they layers with Si’s pastry cream (found with the Boston cream pie recipe) and it is just absolutely perfect! And SO easy too!