Ancel coconut cake

Cajuns love coconut, and the Ancel coconut cake makes appearances at cake bingos, birthday parties, and bake sales all over south Louisiana.  Most often, it takes the form of a simple sheet cake, topped while warm with an entire can of Ancel grated coconut in heavy syrup.  That’s the whole recipe:  bake a cake, open can, spread coconut & syrup on top.  So simple, the recipe doesn’t appear in many cookbooks, and if I had to guess, it probably originated on the label of a can or package.  How common is this tooth-achingly sweet cake?  Heck, I’m not even the first person to blog about it.  Surely, this simple cake exists all over the country, but for whatever reason, it is entrenched in south LA, beloved and baked often.

32 thoughts on “Ancel coconut cake

    • Locally, I find it at Super WalMart, Winn Dixie, and Rouse’s supermarkets. Look for it near the baking supplies–next to the flaked coconut in bags, chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc.

    • You send your sister C. Pippins or mom R. Pippins to LA to get it for you. Or, if this is Mom R. Pippins, you send your daughter C. Pippins or son R. Pippins to LA to get it for you.

        • Indeed! I got 4 cans last night, had my cake in the oven this morning. C. Pippins came back from Louisiana with cans in hand! This is the most amazing cake, so simple and yet sooooo flippin delicious. No cool whip, no sour cream, nothing but cake and coconut….YUM!

    • WalMart usually carries it. I just moved to Florida and I found it at WalMart in the Hispanic Foods isle. It’s only $2.13 a can there (bought some yesterday.)

            • Publix is EVERYWHERE in Florida. I bet there’s 3 stores within a 15 mile radius of our house and we live in the sticks!!! Winn Dixie is too high, and WalMart has so many foreign and MEAN people there that I hate going! They are obnoxious from their parking skills, shopping cart driving skills, to food grabbing skills! LOL Every time I go, I swear I’m NEVER going back but eventually I’ll make a fast trip in (Ancel coconut.) The great thing about Publix is there BOGO sales because you can use a coupon on the bought item and the free item. Like Welch’s Essentials Juice is $3.19, so I can get them for $1.60 each, and at times I can find $.75 off coupons, and they let me use a coupon for each bottle, so that makes them each $.85.

  1. Ancel Coconut Cream Cake

    1 pkg. Duncan Hines Butter recipe yellow cake mix
    1 cup sour cream
    1 cup very cold whipping cream
    1 can Ancel coconut, drained (reserve syrup)

    Prepare cake as directed on pkg. and add the syrup. Bake as directed. Cool completely. If not cool enough, icing will melt.

    Combine sour cream and drained coconut and set aside. Whip cream until stiff and fold in sour cream-coconut mixture. Frost and fill cake and refrigerate any leftovers.

    This is the best coconut cake I’ve ever had. Easy but elegant.

  2. pippins – Ancel is a seasonal product as far as WalMart is concerned – it’s only stocked from Nov til Christmas – I stock up when it’s available – there’s nothing like it.

  3. You can buy Ancel cocount online at if you cannot find at your local supermarket. Also Rouses Supermarkets can ship it to you. They just shipped me out two cases to Washington State. This cake is a big hit for pot lucks.

  4. Anybody have any other uses for this product? Although this looks yummy, I would appreciate any other recipes.

  5. Supercenters do carry the product seasonally usually starting with Thanksgiving , Down the bayou stores carry it year round because of demand. This stuff is the best there is !

    • Ancel is not canned coconut in heavy cream. It is grated coconut in a sugar syrup. No dairy involved. Dunno where you can order it online (try Amazon, maybe), but it is sold all over the Deep South at WalMart, Winn Dixie, and other grocery stores. It is often used to make pina coladas and other blender/tiki style drinks, so check the liquor/mixers section of your local supermarket, or try a nearby liquor store.

  6. Gooey Coconut Cake Recipe

    1 box of yellow cake mix
    I can Ancel coconut
    1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
    1 cup milk
    1 small tub of Cool Whip

    Make cake in a 9×13″ pan according to directions on back of box. As soon as cake comes out of the oven, poke about 20 holes with the back end of wooden spoon or a straw (do not remove cake from pan.) Shake can of Ancel coconut, then evenly pour entire contents over cake. Let cool about 20 minutes. Mix vanilla pudding with milk until thoroughly blended, then fold in Cool Whip. Evenly spread the pudding/Cool Whip mixture on top of coconut. Put in refrigerator for a couple hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator (if there are any!)

      • While I do LOVE chocolate, I don’t believe in messing with perfection! And this cake recipe has been in our family for many, many years. I just can’t do it! Another recipe? Maybe, but not this one! It’s just like Heaven in your mouth!!!!

        • Aww, c’mon, start a new tradition. Use a chocolate cake mix, Ancel coconut, white chocolate Jello pudding, and REAL whipped cream. Hell, I might have to make that myself now.

          • I just can’t do it on my own! LOL My mom and her mom are now deceased, but I remember eating their coconut cakes and for me, it just brings me back many years ago and for that, I just cannot mess with perfection (or memories!) HOWEVER, I was thinking of toasting pecans and putting them in there, or maybe even almonds and dark chocolate for an “almond joy” effect! LOL If you make it, please let me know how it comes out and what variation you used. When in a bind before, I used a can of condensed milk with regular bagged coconut flakes and it was good, but not delicious like the Ancel recipe. Like I said, you just cant mess wtih perfection! 🙂

  7. If you want to really want to take this cake to a whole new level try the following:

    Yellow Cake mix cooked per box directions (13×9 pan works best or sheet cake size if you have one)
    2 – cans Ancel Grated Coconut in Heavy Syrup
    2 – cans Evaporated Milk
    2 – Sticks Butter

    Place the coconut (including syrup), evaporated milk, & butter in pot. Heat to a gentle boil and reduce heat to a very slow boil. Stir the mixture frequently and cook until it starts to thicken (45 to 90 min), do not rush this process. When the desired consistency is achieved let mixture cool slightly then spread over cake while it is still warm. Allow time for the cake to absorb the excess moisture, serve.

  8. My grandmother taught me to make this when I was very young. It was her favorite. She used to mix a can of crushed pineapple with all if the juice in with the coconut. It comes out SO moist and delicious. This is what my childhood tastes like!

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