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Food & Recipes

Dolly Parton’s 6-Ingredient Southern Coconut Cake Is a Comforting Easter Confection

You'll love this delish dessert recipe!


Coconut cake has been a staple of southern picnics and potlucks for over a century. With its rich, creamy frosting and unmistakably sweet flavor, it only takes one bite to understand why it’s such a classic. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s a Dolly Parton recipe for coconut cake — after all, the musical icon was proudly born and bred in the south.

Like any iconic regional dessert, recipes for this cake vary from one family to the next. This Dolly Parton recipe is less labor-intensive than others: With just six ingredients, including her Duncan Hines® Southern Style Coconut Cake Mix and Creamy Buttercream Frosting (both of which can also be used for her signature cupcakes!), it’s pretty much foolproof. This scrumptious cake will instantly transport you to Dolly’s “Tennessee Mountain Home” — no plane ticket necessary.

Southern Coconut Cake

Ingredients (Serves 12):

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) package Duncan Hines® Dolly Parton’s Southern Style Coconut Cake Mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (16-ounce) container Duncan Hines® Dolly Parton’s Creamy Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray. On low speed, beat cake mix with milk, melted butter, and eggs until blended, about 30 seconds; on medium speed, beat until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
  2. Evenly divide batter between pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 26 to 32 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool in pans 15 minutes. Transfer from pans to rack; let cool completely.
  3. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; Spread top with about ½ cup frosting. Place remaining cake on top. Spread top and side with remaining frosting. Press coconut on top and side of cake.
Coconut cake on cake stand
Courtesy of Dolly Parton

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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