Coconut Cloud Cake


A light, tender vanilla cake is covered in silky seven-minute frosting and finished with flakes of coconut for this must-make dessert.


This cloud cake recipe creates a dessert as light as, well, a cloud. The cake flour and superfine sugar are sifted four times and the delicate batter is leavened by 14 beaten egg whites. The result is a light and tender vanilla cake made without butter or egg yolks—similar to an angel food cake.

We bake our cloud cake in a tube pan; then, it's sliced, filled, and frosted with silky seven-minute frosting that's the perfect complement. Coconut flakes are the final touch, bringing flavor and a light crunch. It's a perfect dessert for a birthday or any celebration (and also pairs wonderfully with a cup of tea).


For the Seven-Minute Frosting

  • 3 large egg whites

  • 1 ¼ cups sugar

  • 5 tablespoons cold water

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake

  • 1 cup sifted cake flour

  • 1 ½ cups superfine sugar

  • 14 large egg whites (1 ¾ cups), room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon warm water

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Topping

  • 3 to 4 cups flaked coconut


coconut cloud cake slice
  1. Preheat oven and sift cake flour and sugar:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a fine sieve, sift together flour and 3/4 cups sugar four times.

  2. Beat egg whites:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat together egg whites and water until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium-high and sprinkle in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff but not dry.

  3. Sift dry ingredients over meringue:

    Transfer to a large bowl. In six additions, sift dry ingredients over meringue, folding in quickly but gently.

  4. Transfer batter to tube pan:

    Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom. Smooth top with an offset spatula. Run a knife through batter to release air bubbles. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.

  5. Invert pan over bottle to cool:

    Invert pan on its legs or over the neck of a glass bottle, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

    If your tube pan has feet, you can skip the inverting and simply cool the cake in the tube pan on a cooling rack.

  6. Make frosting:

    In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

  7. Beat frosting and add vanilla:

    Attach the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous, about 7 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

  8. Release cake from pan:

    Carefully run a long offset spatula or knife around the inner and outer perimeter of the cake pan to release cake.

  9. Slice cake and spread icing over bottom layer:

    Place on a plate, bottom side up. Using a long serrated knife, carefully slice off 1 1/2 inches from the top of the cake, being sure not to break the layer. Set aside. Cut out a 1-inch-wide, 1-inch-deep channel halfway between the center and edge of cake. Spread icing into channel and over entire layer. Sprinkle with coconut.

  10. Add top layer and spread with frosting:

    Gently place reserved layer on top and ice with remaining frosting. Sprinkle with coconut and serve immediately.

    This coconut cloud cake tastes best the day it's made.

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