Mrs. Dollie’s Coconut Cake

A long time ago, when my sister was about eight years old, she wanted a recipe for some (long-forgotten) chocolate dessert at a church potluck.  Since we didn’t know who had made it, the Moomer advised her to put a note under the dish.  In the usual potluck confusion, dishes got switched, and we ended up getting this delightful coconut cake recipe by accident.  It was one of the most fortunate accidents in our family history, as you will see.

Here’s what you’ll need:

The Ingredients

Not pictured: Eagle Brand Milk, which ran away in the move

Bake the cake in a 9×13 baking dish according to the directions on the package.  My particular cake mix called for separating the eggs, but I used the whole egg and the cake was just fine.  (Please note the fine 49-cent price on my cake mix!)

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, viciously attack it with a fork until it’s all full of holes.

You want it to look like this. Or else you’ll be in trouble in a minute.

Pour Eagle Brand milk all over the cake. It has to be sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk, or you’ll end up with a really weird cake.

Pour coconut milk over it too.  You’ll have some weird goop in there; just kinda spread it out with your trusty rubber spatula (or a knife, or whatever).  Your cake will begin to look like it flooded. That’s exactly how it should be.

The floodwaters — ahem, coconut milk — will recede shortly.  To make sure all this nice stuff gets into the middle of the cake and not just the edges, you can kinda scoop some back up into the center.

At this point, I put a lid on the cake and popped it in the fridge overnight, since it was late and I didn’t want to wait for it to cool.  If you’re more patient, you can cool it and then finish up before refrigerating.

Spread Cool Whip over cake.  A spatula works nicely.  Then sprinkle coconut all over it.  Mine was clumpy because it was the frozen variety, but I kinda liked it that way.  My mother prefers the kind that you find in the baking aisle.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.  And then it probably won’t stay around very long.  Be sure to snatch a corner piece — they’re the tastiest.

And, if you want the recipe without my ramblings, here it is:

Mrs. Dollie’s Coconut Cake

Makes: 1 9×13″ cake


  •  1 white cake mix (or yellow, but we think it’s prettier with white)
  • Eggs, water, and oil, according to your cake mix directions
  • 1 can coconut milk (found in the Asian food aisle of your grocery store)
  • 1 can Eagle Brand milk — be sure to get sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk
  • 1 small carton Cool Whip
  • 1 small package coconut


Bake cake according to package directions in 9×13 pan.  Immediately after removing from oven, punch it all full of holes with a fork. Pour Eagle Brand milk over hot cake, then coconut milk.  Let cool.  Spread 8 oz. Cool Whip over cooled cake, and then sprinkle coconut over top.  Let set in refrigerator for about 8 hours (or more).

About Charity

I have an inexcusable number of cookbooks (and like to experiment with them), have worked in architectural antiques, and have been sewing most of my life. I recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Apparel, Merchandising, & Design from Iowa State University. Doing household things (except for cleaning!) and hunting for antiques are my favorite pastimes.
This entry was posted in Desserts, In the Kitchen. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mrs. Dollie’s Coconut Cake

  1. Alyssa says:

    Loving the new kitchen!!! 🙂

  2. Ruth Calvin says:

    Try poking holes in the cake with a drinking straw! I usually put in about 50 or so.
    Also try shaking the coconut milk for a few mins. I mix my two milks together , thenpour over cake. Don’t know about your cake but mine needs to be taken out of the pan witha spoon!

  3. Joyce says:

    This is a very good cake!! I add chopped pecan to batter and on top!!

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