Ululani Special Feature

Lāhui Rising Series

This educational series is designed to create a safe, respectful and enriching learning space for all audiences to hear and honor various perspectives on matters of Hawaiian interest.

Coconut Milk Cake

Shanelle Puaʿala Hiura

In celebration of the one year anniversary of the Kaʻiwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center, KS Online is featuring selected works from the Hoʻokahua staff. The following is a recipe contributed by Puaʻala Hiura. For more, please visit http://kaiwakiloumoku.ksbe.edu.


This Coconut Milk Cake recipe was shared with me by my grandma, Betty Loraine Tavares.  Many in our family would say that she is the rock that keeps us all grounded.  This particular cake is significant in our family because it is prepared at every family gathering.  I am very blessed to have a family that embraces the importance of time together.  Grandma gladly bakes her cake for all of us as we gather to celebrate, talk story, share, laugh and eat. 

Cake Ingredients

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 box (3.4oz) of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (12oz) of coconut milk, frozen, thawed
½ cup salad oil (light flavored oil)
½ teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend all ingredients except coconut milk for one minute. 
Add thawed coconut milk.
Grease pan.
Bake in 9” x 13” greased pan. 
Bake 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. 
After cake has cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar as desired.  

Optional Topping Ingredients

1 stick of butter
1 cup of shredded coconut
¾ cup milk
¾ cup sugar


Put all of the ingredients in a small pot.
Turn on the stove, medium heat.
Cook milk, sugar and butter on medium heat until thick.
Turn off the stove and add coconut.
You may have to thicken with corn starch.
Let the topping cool before adding it to the cake.