Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Coconut Chiffon Cake

Chiffon cakes are light but sturdy and layer so perfectly with fillings since they don't collapse under weight like a Angel Food Cake does.
The scent of the cake in the oven will almost make you feel like you are in the tropics.
This cake can be made a day ahead of your party as long as you use stabilizer in your whipping cream. 
  •  2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake and pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 8 large eggs, separated and the whites put into a freshly washed metal or glass large bowl
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut rum (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Prepare 2 - 9 inch and 1 3/4 inch high sided pans by cutting out rounds of parchment paper and placing them in the bottom of each pan.  Do not grease the pans.  Chiffon cake batter needs to be able to climb the sides of the pans.  The cakes will rise past the top but not run over as long as you do not grease the sides.  Alternately, you could bake them in three 8 inch pans and adjust the baking time.
  3. Combine  the first four dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then run them through a fine sieve three times to combine them well and lighten them.
  4. Add the coconut and make a well in the middle and add in the egg yolks, oil, water, coconut rum, and coconut  and vanilla extract.  Beat together to combine.
  5. Beat the egg whites and the 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form.  You should be able to tip your bowl upside down and the egg whites will stay put. 
  6. Add about 1 cup of beaten egg whites to your batter and beat with a wooden spoon to blend it in.  Repeat this once more.  Now the batter should be light enough for you to fold in the remaining egg whites carefully without deflating the whites.
  7. Divide the batter between the pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before removing the cakes to wire racks to fully cool.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon coconut rum or 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup fine unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Combine the cornstarch and the sugar and stir in egg yolks.
  2. Add the two milks  and the coconut rum (if use rather use the extract add it after cooking) and stir well to combine.
  3. Either bring the mixture to a simmer in the microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals or stir constantly over medium heat until the custard thickens and comes to a light boil.
  4. Remove from heat and add the coconut, and the butter.
  5. Stir for 5 minutes and spread over three of the split layers of cake.
Whipped Cream Frosting
  1. Whip the cream, extract and stabilizer until firm peaks form.  (you do not need sugar since the coconut is sweet).  Be careful not to beat your whipping cream until it is no longer smooth.  Watch it carefully.  It should be firm and it can change in a few seconds so don't walk away from your mixer if it is on a stand.
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
Assembling the cake.
  1. Once the cake layers have cooled.  Split each layer in half and spread the  still warm custard over three  layers.   Reserve one bottom of the cake for the top. 
  2. Allow the custard to set 30 minutes on each layer before stacking layers onto a large cake plate.
  3. Spread the whipped cream over the sides and the top and then sprinkle coconut over the sides the cake always starting at the bottom by cupping the coconut in the palm of your hand.  Work your way up to the top.  Once the sides are evenly coated with coconut, take the bits that have fallen onto your counter and put it on the top of the cake, finishing with additional coconut if needed.  
  4. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  Cover with plastic wrap if you are using it the next day.


  1. This reminds me of my Grandmother. She loved coconut cakes. I will be making this to share with my h&d. Then I tell them about my Grandmother. :)

  2. Good Morning!

    I am a huge fan of your blog! I love the variety of recipes that you share and the fact that you actually prepare them and serve them to your friends and extended families, make them even more special!

    I did not see a direct link for email to you on your home page. I would like to ask you if you have any recipes for BLACKBERRIES. (We have a hillside of them (wild) and I enjoy picking them and cooking with them. I'm having a time trying to adjust the SUGAR to sweeten them in my recipes! Everything seems to still have that "wild" taste. I've made jelly and jam and cobblers. I would love any tips that you would have and also perhaps some good recipes for their use.

    Thank you for sharing your recipes with us as well as your Bread for the Journey!

  3. I love, love, love Coconut Cakes so this will be a "must try" soon.

    Thanks so much.


  4. This cake recipe is a keeper! Thanks so very much. I use milk powder as a stabilizer for whipped cream. It works like a charm. Got this wee tidbit from Anna Olsen on Sugar.
    Thanks again for all the wonderful recipes. Have a grand day!

  5. This cake pulls out all the stops on coconut flavour. What a lovely cake!

  6. This will have to be the next cake I make!

  7. I knew this was your recipe even before I scrolled down-you have awesome photos! Your blog has better recipes and photos than most of my cookbooks. Angharad

  8. Oh boy - now that looks like a "proper" cake! Great pictures and directions too. This reminds me of a cake that used to appear on our table at home. A must make!

  9. Lovella! This cake is absolutely stunning! Beautiful job :)

    Blessings to All..

    Anna (Toronto)

  10. This looks heavenly. I plan to serve it on Easter. I do have one question. Do you use 1 1/4 cups of sugar in the cake and another 1/4 cup with the eggs whites or is it 1 cup and 1/4 cup total? Thanks for sharing all of you wonderful recipes.

    1. It is an extra 1/4 cup of sugar with the egg whites. would be a 1 1/2 total sugar. Happy Easter!

  11. I made this this weekend for my Mom's 60th birthday party! She LOVED it and so did everyone else! So YUMMY!

  12. I made this for my Mom's 60th birthday on Sat. She and everyone LOVED it! Very yummy:)
    Thank you! This recipe came just at the perfect time.

  13. This looks so yummy! I plan on making it for a dear friend for her birthday tomorrow. I have a silly question. Cake and Pastry flour... I have cake flour and I have pastry flour. Neither says both. I am assuming you are talking about pastry flour but I want to make sure before I dive in! Thanks!!

    1. Monica, if you have both...I would use Cake Flour. I have never used only pastry flour.


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