Vanilla wafer coconut cake is a recent discovery for me. I was curious about this novelty and did a little research. It didn’t take long for me to conclude that every Southern family has their own version of this cake, so it seems. Naturally, my curiosity was peaked—I had to make one. Let me tell you, it is DEE-li-cious! It is decadent, rich, moist, and sweeeeeeet!

The only dilemma I had was deciding which recipe to use. In the end, I went with Trishia Yearwood’s because I had seen her make it on her cooking show. Another deciding factor was her coconut lemon glaze which sounded luscious.

After having made this cake three times, I have a few tips that I like to share.  First, if you decide to use a fancy bundt pan, make sure to prep it REALLY well for easy unmolding. The first time I made the cake was for my sister’s birthday. I used an intricately designed bundt pan with lots indentations and curvatures. I had greased and floured it, but when I tried to unmold the cake, the sucker would not come out! The pretty presentation I had in mind never came to fruition. In the end, I poured the glaze over the unmolded cake, stuck in a few candles, and called it a day. Thank goodness the cake was amazing, and neither the birthday girl nor anyone else cared that it they didn’t get a perfect slice.


Note; If using an 11 oz. box of vanilla wafers, add 1/8 cup flour to the recipe.

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 box (12 oz.) vanilla wafers, finely crushed
  • 6 oz. coconut flakes (reduce sugar by 1/4 cup if using sweetened coconut)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Coconut Lemon Glaze;

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 oz. coconut flakes (reduce sugar by 1/4 cup if using sweetened coconut)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Generously coat a 9-inch bundt cake pan with cooking spray and a light dusting of flour. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla extract. Beat well.  Add vanilla wafer, coconut flakes, and pecans. Mix until well incorporated.  Pour batter in pan and bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool completely. Use a knife to loosen the cake from the edges and interior of the pan. Invert onto a plate and give it a couple of good taps to unmold. 
  3. For the glaze, place all ingredients in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Cook, stirring until thickened (about 15 minutes). Using skewers, poke holes on top of cake and drizzle glaze over cake. 

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