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Monday, July 19, 2010

Coconut Cake

Picnik collage

for a friend's birthday recently i made her a coconut cake. the recipe called for three layers but i only have TWO pans of the same size and being pressed for time last weekend, i decided to make just two layers, they'd just be a little bit thicker. so the baking time was a bit off. the recipe i'll post will be straight from the original with my notes in italics.


Coconut Cake
adapted from Scott Peacock, Better Homes and Gardens, April 2010

Batter - made the day before
5 eggs
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk (i used coconut milk)
3 cups sifted cake flour (AP for me)
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups sugar (cut back to 1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbl pure vanilla extract

Frosting - made the day of celebration
1 fresh coconut, husk & peel removed, grated or finely shredded, 3-4 cups (i ain't lying, i used packaged sweetened coconut flakes! who has time for that shit?)
3 egg whites
2 cups sugar (again, cut back to 1 cup)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup water (i may have cut it to just 1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (nixed it, i ran out!)

Allow eggs, butter and milk to get to room temp for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. in a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and kosher salt. grease cake pans (i used 2 8" round pans, recipe calls for 3 of them or 3 8X8X2 square pans), set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, add the vanilla and eggs one at a time until well combined. alternately, add in the flour mixture and milk to the batter, beating on low after each addition until just combined. it should be really smooth. divide the batter among the pans.

for 3 pans, bake for 20-25 minutes until tops spring back when lightly touched. (i baked it for an additional 15 minutes, i hawked it very closely every five minutes.) cool on wire racks. from here, i covered them up really well with plastic wrap and left at room temp till the next day when i could make the icing.

for the icing, make the sugar syrup by putting the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a saucepan. cook & stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. leave it alone for a bit, then cook until temp reaches 240F with candy thermometer. meanwhile, make sure the egg whites have reached room temp before beating them until frothy. add the salt and beat until stiff peaks begin to form. with the mixer running on low, slowly pour the hot syrup and vanilla. increase the speed to medium-high, until light and fluffy and a dollop of whites lifted off the beater holds its shape.

to assemble, arrange the first cake layer on two pieces of waxed paper. (in the first pic, you'll see the uneven layer. i had nuria cut the top off to make it even because i was doing the dishes and i wasn't paying attention. bless her heart, she messed up something fierce. the best way to evenly cut the top of a cake is to turn the cake with the knife still in it and saw in slow-mo. she was cutting it straight across and well... you can see how that is not the way to go...) Spread top of each layer with frosting, then sprinkle generously with shredded coconut. when cake is completely frosted, heap with additional coconut, pressing gently with your fingers to bed the flakes.

remove waxed paper on the bottom. makes about 16 servings.

if using all original ingredients, each serving: 482cal, 19g fat, 98mg chol, 219mg sodium, 74g carbo, 2g fiber, 6g pro.

we dug in after the final world cup game... not only celebrating Spain's victory but ana's birth.

today's song: Chuck Prophet, No Other Love

gorgeous song.


  1. Coconut is one of those foods that I've only started to like as I got older. This looks amazing.

  2. Coconut is one of those foods that I've only started to like as I got older. This looks amazing.