Recipe Review

I Made Martha Stewart’s Famous “Cloud Cake” and I Totally Get the Hype

published Sep 7, 2023
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fluffy coconut cloud cake, a slice of cake on a plate with full cake in background
Credit: Molly Allen

Nothing beats a cake that’s light and fluffy and tastes delicious. And because I’m a diehard coconut fan, I firmly believe a dessert is even better when you add some coconut flavor and that signature flaked texture. Of course, Martha Stewart covers all the bases for coconut lovers with her Coconut Cloud Cake.

This vintage-inspired cake starts with very simple ingredients but has quite a few steps. You have to put together an egg white-based meringue batter and gently fold in the dry ingredients, then assemble with Martha’s fluffy seven-minute frosting and top with plenty of flaked coconut. With such a combination, I knew I had to give it a try to see if the effort was actually worth it!

Credit: Molly Allen

How to Make Martha Stewart’s Coconut Cloud Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Sift the cake flour and a portion of the super-fine sugar.
  2. Mix the egg whites and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium until the mixture is foamy. Add in the cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla extract. Turn the speed up to medium-high to beat until soft peaks form. Finish the meringue mixture by mixing in the remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Transfer the meringue mixture to a very large bowl. Sift the flour and sugar mixture over the meringue and fold it in. It’s important to fold it in gently but quickly, doing about six additions.
  4. Transfer the batter to an ungreased tube pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula and bake the cake for 35 minutes until it’s golden brown. Once baked, invert the cake pan and let it cool for one hour.
  5. To make the frosting, place a heatproof mixing bowl over top of a saucepan with simmering water to create a double boiler. Whisk together egg whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Continue whisking the mixture over heat until it is foamy and the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for seven minutes until the frosting is glossy, and mix in the vanilla.
  7. To assemble the cake, use a serrated knife to cut 1 1/2 inches off the top. Cut a well into the bottom layer, fill it with icing and flaked coconut, and place the cake layer back on top. Frost the entire cake and sprinkle with flaked coconut. 

My Honest Review of Coconut Cloud Cake

Before I dove into making this recipe, I watched Martha’s step-by-step video detailing the process. I knew I was getting myself into quite the baking session. Separating a total of 17 egg whites for both the cake and frosting took a while, but once my ingredients were prepped, I was well on my way.

Whipping the meringue to make the cake batter was simple and straightforward, but I was shocked by just how full my mixer’s bowl was. I made this cake in a 6-quart KitchenAid and almost ran out of room. I imagine it would be quite a mess if I had tried to use a smaller bowl and mixer.

It was tricky to cut slices out of the cake, but once I took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised. I had assumed the final cake would taste too strongly of egg whites, given how many are in it, but I was wrong. The texture is wonderfully airy and almost melts in your mouth. The flavor from the flaked coconut blends perfectly with notes of vanilla, without the cake being too sweet. It truly was as light and fluffy as a cloud and worth the extra effort of separating all of those egg whites and egg yolks after all.

Credit: Molly Allen

Three Tips for Making Coconut Cloud Cake

  • Don’t skip the sifting: The key to this cake’s texture is all in the whipping of egg whites. However, cake flour is necessary to add structure. Sifting the light cake flour ensures you won’t weigh your cake down.
  • Use a springform pan instead: I opted to use a springform pan instead of a tube pan, which worked perfectly fine. Because this cake is baked in an ungreased pan, using an option with a removable base is crucial to getting your cake out of the pan.
  • Amp up the coconut flavor: While this cake has great flavor, it could be made even better. If you’re a diehard coconut lover, consider using coconut extract in place of or in addition to vanilla extract. Toasting the coconut flakes before assembling and decorating the cake will also infuse it with a more robust flavor.