Coconut Cake Roll AKA Coconut Cake Roulade

by Alli

Cake Rolls, like this Coconut Cake Roll, can be a tad intimidating if you’ve never made one. Trust me, they are super-duper easy to pull off. I must have had way too much coffee this morning to be using words like super-duper.

This Coconut Cake Roll is a show stopper when you need a festive dessert. It’s so pretty and I enjoy serving this one as the grand finale after a holiday meal.

The best part? You can make this a day ahead because it needs to sit in the fridge overnight. Make sure you remove it from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving. 

Coconut Cake Roll is a family favorite.

Coconut Cake Roll

A cake roll is baked in a 15 x 10 jelly-roll pan. If you don’t have one, you can get one here with my affiliate link. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Jelly Roll Pan for Making Coconut Cake Roll

Don’t let the long instructions fool you. If you’re like me, I always get everything I’m going to need for the cake, including the measuring cups, ingredients, etc. together first. This first step always seems to help make the other steps more manageable.

The cake bakes in 10-15 minutes. Do not overbake. Overbaking causes the cake roll to be dry! 

Just like with my Italian Cream Cake, you will need to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and gently fold them in.

After preheating the oven to 375º F, be sure and grease the bottom and sides of the jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper. Then grease and flour parchment paper.

How to Make a Coconut Cake Roll

This is how the cake looks before baking:

Batter for Coconut Cake Roll

While the cake is baking, sprinkle powdered sugar onto a clean tea towel. Once the cake is done, loosen the edges and invert onto prepared towel. Carefully remove parchment paper.

Don’t Overbake the Coconut Cake Roll

Helpful Hint: Be careful not to overbake the cake roll. It will cause the cake to be dry. 

A cake roll (aka roulade) is not a typical cake. They usually contain no chemical leavening agents like baking soda or powder and are leavened by the aeration of the eggs. 

A cake roll also contains less flour than a traditional cake. This ensures that the roulade is flexible enough to roll. 

Remove parchment paper from the Coconut Cake Roll

Starting at a short side, roll up the cake and towel together.

Roll up the Coconut Cake Roll and Towel together.

Cool completely on a wire rack, seam side down.

Cool Coconut Cake Roll completely.

Unroll cake and spread 1/2 of the filling over the top, leaving a 1-inch border.

Spread filling on Coconut Cake Roll

Roll the cake back up (without the towel). Spread the remaining filling on the outside of the cake. Sprinkle with coconut.

Coconut Cake Roll

Yield: 8 servings

Coconut Cake Roll

Coconut Cake Roll is a family favorite.

Coconut Cake Roll is moist and filled with a delicious coconut cream cheese filling.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar (to dust towel with before rolling cake)


  • 2-1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Grease bottom and sides of 15 x 10" jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper and grease and flour parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. Beat egg whites at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes). Set aside.
  5. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl at high speed. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar. Beat for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Add extracts and 1/3 cup water. Beat well. Add flour and beat just until well combined. Gently fold in egg white mixture. Spread batter into prepared jelly roll pan.
  6. Bake at 375º for 10-15 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly.
  7. Sprinkle 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar evenly over a cloth dish towel.
  8. Loosen the edges of the cake from the pan and invert the cake onto prepared towel. Remove parchment paper. Starting at a short side, roll up cake and towel together. Cool completely on a wire rack, seam side down.
  9. To make the frosting, use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk the cream cheese, sugar, and coconut extract until smooth. Slowly add the heavy cream until mixture is thick and creamy. Stir in one and a half cups of coconut.
  10. Unroll cake and remove towel. Spread a thick layer of the frosting mixture over the top of the cake, leaving a 1" border around the outside of the cake. Roll up, ending with seam side down.
  11. Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.
  12. Sprinkle cake with remaining coconut.
  13. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

one slice

Amount Per Serving Calories 449Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 118mgSodium 216mgCarbohydrates 59gFiber 2gSugar 46gProtein 6g

Nutrition information may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

If you have coconut cake lovers in your family, you need to make this Coconut Cake Roll as soon as possible. It would also be a delicious alternative to a traditional birthday cake.


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robin rue November 27, 2017 - 5:29 am

I just found out that I am hosting Christmas dinner at my house, so I am in need of awesome dessert recipes -like this. I am adding it to my menu.

valmg @ Mom Knows It All November 27, 2017 - 5:49 am

You are so right, roll cakes can be intimidating until you try it and make your first. This would be a hit anytime, and would be perfect for Easter too.

Amber Myers November 27, 2017 - 8:16 am

Oh yum, I do love my coconut stuff. I’ve never tried to make a roll cake on my own. I tend to already purchase them like that. Maybe I’ll try this out!

Tomi C November 27, 2017 - 10:05 am

I remember my grandma used to have these roll cakes called tortes that she ordered from some company during the holidays. I always thought she baked them until one day she revealed her secret. I wish I could make one of these for her. She would have loved it.

Diana Villa November 27, 2017 - 10:12 am

That coconut cake roll looks so delicious, perfect for the holidays 😀

Tessa November 27, 2017 - 11:03 am

This looks so good! I am not usually a coconut fan, but this looks so great, I might try it!

Dogvills November 27, 2017 - 1:19 pm

This looks absolutely perfect! I have not tried making a coconut cake roll but I think I will soon! Thank you for sharing your recipe. My family will love this and I am going to make sure I will let them know who I got the recipe from. 🙂

Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh November 27, 2017 - 1:57 pm

Cake rolls always turn out so beautiful. My husband’s grandmother makes a version with pumpkin. Yum!

Melanie November 27, 2017 - 4:49 pm

I don’t know if my mind told me that i have to bake that or it was my belly!! It looks so good!!!

Amanda November 27, 2017 - 5:56 pm

I am not much of a baker so I have never made a cake roll before. You make it look so easy! Maybe I will give it a try thanks to your inspiration and it will actually look like yours!

Jenn @ EngineerMommy November 27, 2017 - 7:06 pm

I have never made a coconut cake roll but this looks incredibly do-able. It’s not too intimidating so I think I’d love to give this a try. Sounds delicious!

Liz Mays November 27, 2017 - 8:19 pm

This so pretty and it sounds absolutely delicious. I think my daughter would like a roll like this!

Jeanine November 28, 2017 - 8:41 am

I have always wanted to make a cake roll! Although I’m not a fan of coconut my husband is and would love a treat like this! Looks great!

Chubskulit Rose November 28, 2017 - 9:57 am

Wow, I love anything with coconut and you made me crave for sweets with this one. Such a fluffy looking cake roll, I’d love me a slice!

Anosa November 28, 2017 - 4:09 pm

My husband would love this! He adores coconut. It seems simple but I bet mine would not turn out as nice looking as this, I have a feeling it will fall apart when I try it lol

Kita Bryant November 28, 2017 - 4:33 pm

This looks super delicious. I will have to make this for my son for his birthday!

Bonnie G November 28, 2017 - 9:00 pm

That came out really good. I always wondered how to make a cake roll. I will have to try your recipe.

Marti J May 22, 2018 - 9:51 pm

I’m going to a spring “Garden Party” with the ladies from my local church and was asked to contribute one fo the desserts. How many servings does this make? Any idea?

Susan Hill November 22, 2018 - 9:52 am

First time making a cake like this very easy to make and came out nice

Crissy February 27, 2019 - 10:23 pm

This cake was yummy but I wish there was a little butter or oil in it, I found it a little dry. Other rolled cakes I’ve made have been more moist! Love the frosting though!

Alli February 28, 2019 - 6:31 am

Glad you liked the frosting. The cake roll is always light and moist when I make it. It’s a sponge cake (therefore no butter or oil) and relies on the beaten egg whites to make it lighter. It’s also important to not overmix, which can decrease the volume of the batter and result in a tough cake.

Devaki Gomez September 7, 2020 - 2:57 pm

When you say coconut, do you mean desiccated coconut? Because I live in Sri Lanka and we have fresh grated coconut in abundance, so I was wondering if I could use fresh gated coconut. Also when you say coconut extract, is it the coconut milk? Your early response would be appreciated as I am impatient to make this. Thank you!

Alli September 7, 2020 - 3:07 pm

Yes. You can replace the shredded coconut with freshly grated coconut. Freshly grated coconut is lighter so you need more when substituting. For every ¾ cup of shredded coconut required in your recipe, use 1 cup fresh coconut.
Coconut extract can be replaced with coconut milk or coconut water.

Marie-France Péladeau August 2, 2021 - 10:48 am

OMG this is good thank you for this recipe

Norma Myers December 4, 2021 - 3:06 pm

Rolled cakes CAN be intimidating but once you make your first, you’ll be hooked!!! Kinda like your first time of roasting the holiday turkey….or dressing…..but there’s nothing to making these either. This Coconut Cake is light and soooo moist….but like she said, dont overbake it or you will have a rather dry dessert and be disappointed! Great recipe!!!!

Arlene December 5, 2021 - 11:24 am

Can this cake roll be made ahead and frozen

Alli December 5, 2021 - 1:06 pm

A prepared cake roll, with filling, should freeze well for up to 2 – 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before slicing and serving.

Arlene December 5, 2021 - 1:08 pm

Can this be frozen topped with a mascarpone and whipped cream frosting

Alli December 6, 2021 - 5:13 am

Yes, it can!


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