Sweet Orange and Coconut

Last Monday would have been Grandma’s 82nd birthday.  This was the first year I didn’t get to call her, hear her laugh, and share in another year of her life.  Since Gram’s birthday was typically around Easter, we always double downed and did 2x the celebrating.  If you’re part of the Yoder clan, every birthday my mother (or grandma) will cook you a dinner and dessert of your choice.  Seriously, one of the biggest perks ever.  Anything and everything.  Nothing is off limits.  My gram’s always requested orange cake with whipped coconut icing.  It was her favorite.  One of my favorite photos of her is two years ago blowing out the cake my mom had baked for her.


Today, in my little ode to grams, I decided to make her favorite.  Orange cake with coconut icing.  Now, in normal grandma form, I decided to spruce up something store bought.  Yes, I bought a box cake.  Sue me.  I went with Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow Cake.  This calls for 3 eggs, 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of butter.  By changing the water into orange juice, a dash of orange extract and some orange zest… VOILA, awesome cake that NO ONE would be able to tell was store bought.  Save’s you some time and money, which in my book is always a plus!  

Now, I did make the icing from scratch.  Cream cheese icings are always my favorite and gram’s LOVED whipped sugar icing so I combined the two into one awesome combo.  I know that orange and coconut is not normally a combo most people are used to, but trust me, you’ll enjoy this!  A little tangy with a little sweet.  It’s the perfect combo for the wonderful lady that was grams.  So without further ado, Orange Coconut Cake.


Quick Orange Cake:

  • 1 box cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Butter Recipe Yellow Cake)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 stick softened butter
  • 3 Oranges (to make 1 cup of juice + zest)
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 T orange extract

Preheat oven to 350 °. Open and pour cake mix in a large bowl.  Add butter, eggs, and orange extract.  Zest one orange into mixture.  Juice three oranges to make 1 cup of orange juice (you could just use orange juice as well if you want). Mix all ingredients together well. Pour in pre-greased 8″ cake pan (make sure this is a tall 2.5-3″ pan).  Put in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until inserted knife comes out clean.  Place cake on cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing. 

Make sure someone enjoys the batter with this one haha.  Don’t worry, the hubs licked the bowl first. Now, onto the icing!


Coconut Whipped Icing:

  • 1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (or icing sugar)
  • 1/2 T orange extract
  • 1/2 T of vanilla extract
  • 1-3 T of milk (optional, add to icing if you would like it more runny)
  • 1-2 cups of shredded coconut (put more/less depending on taste)

Place softened butter in bowl.  Beat until creamy.  Add room temperature cream cheese, whip with butter until smooth.  Add both vanilla and orange extract.  Beat until smooth.  Slowly incorporate powder sugar.  If the icing is too thick, add milk a tablespoon at a time to thin out.  Before icing cake, add wax paper around bottom of the cake.  This will make sure that you don’t get icing all over your plate and create a picture perfect cake! Pour icing on cake and spread evenly.  ***Make sure cake is completely cool before doing this.  Once icing is even, sprinkle coconut on top and sides.  Allow icing to set, remove wax paper, and serve.  Enjoy!

Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com (w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com

(e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810




6 Comments on “Sweet Orange and Coconut

  1. Reading this brought a huge smile to my face! Grama is surely celebrating with you in spirit. Well done Lysh!

    Liked by 1 person

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