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Coconut-Pecan Frosting

Use this frosting on our Chocolate Cake.

  • Yield: Makes enough for one 9-inch 3-layer cake
Coconut-Pecan Frosting

Photography: Kenji Toma

Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 cups (7 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped


  1. Combine egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl.

  2. Stir in vanilla, salt, coconut, and pecans. Let cool completely. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before using.

Reviews (6)

  • speanburg1 21 Jun, 2014

    Made it just like the recipe said, and it came out perfect! The only problem was having enough left to put on the cake, as it was so good my dad wanted to eat it right out of the bowl. This will definitely be my go-to recipe for coconut pecan frosting in the future.

  • lajaxnjj 23 Jul, 2013

    I first made this recipe exactly according to directions and found it just too cloyingly sweet (maybe too much brown sugar?). So, I tried again but this time I substituted sweetened condensed milk for the evaporated milk, and opted for a combination of 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/2 cup caster sugar instead of the 1 1/4 cup of brown sugar the recipe called for and the frosting was just right. I had a hard time keeping the kids and the hubby from eating it while it cooled! Delicious!

  • Canada2 26 Feb, 2012

    This recipe was good but not spectacular. Would not make it again. Would have preferred a more caramel flavour. Suspect there was too much milk for the ratio of sugar and butter. This is a similar recipe of my grandmother's: 2/3 c brown sugar, 1/4 c butter, 1/2 c coconut, 1/2 c walnuts, 2 tbsp milk. Cook together 3 mins (until sugar dissolved), spread on cake and place under the broiler until slightly brown. Enough icing for an 8 inch square cake.

  • LAngelica 22 May, 2011

    The frosting came out perfect! Spread perfect. A go to recipe. Was super easy.

  • Graybaby 10 Jan, 2011

    I actually had to use sweetened condensed milk as a substitute for the evaporated milk and brown sugar (after researching it), and the results were just fabulous! Very tasty and the consistency was perfect.

  • MCrown 26 Sep, 2010

    I loved the frosting and can't imagine ever buying a premade kind again! The recipe calls for toasting the pecans, which can cause a strong taste even if they're only lightly toasted. I think it's a case of personal preference whether or not you'll like the toasting, but it was a hit in my house!

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