Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weekly Recipe: Coconut Cake

I've been baking again (in case you didn't recognize the red Tupperware cake plate).  I had 2 coworkers birthdays within a 1-week span back in May, plus my Granny's birthday, so I was a busy little baker.  On paper this one should have been my least favorite of the three (the other 2 were yellow cake with caramel icing and a traditional white on white birthday cake) but this turned out to be in the running for my favorite of the 3 - with the yellow/caramel close by.

The coconut flavor really shone through but even more was the consistency of the cake that appealed to me.  It was moist, yet had a tight, dense crumb.  I would imagine if I hadn't refrigerated it, it would have yielded a looser crumb but I preferred it this way.  I did make a few minor modifications but I think the cream of coconut is responsible for putting this one over the top.  I used coconut extract in place of the vanilla - you know just in case there wasn't enough coconut already.  I also cut the amount of shredded coconut in half and used unsweetened since the recipe didn't really specify.  I've noted my changes in red.  If you know a coconut lover, this cake is a must!

adapted from First Look Then Cook (originally from Bon Appetit)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)*
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (coconut extract)
1 cup buttermilk
Pinch of salt

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature (I used 1 1/2 packages)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar (I may have used less - just taste as you go.)
1/2 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)* (I probably used about half)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (coconut extract)
4 cups shredded coconut (2 cups)
*Canned sweetened cream of coconut is available in the liquor section of most supermarkets nationwide.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Whisk (sifted) flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and sweetened cream of coconut in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients and then buttermilk, each just until blended.
Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites with pinch of salt in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.
Divide cake batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.
Make the frosting. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until fluffy. Add butter and beat to blend. Add sugar, sweetened cream of coconut and vanilla extract and beat until well blended.
Place 1 cake layer on cake plate. Spread 1 cup Cream Cheese Frosting over cake layer. Sprinkle 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut over. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle remaining coconut over cake, gently pressing into sides to adhere. (Coconut Layer Cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving.)


  1. You are so talented in the kitchen. That cake looks picture perfect, and delicious too. :)

  2. Looks amazing - great pic!!

    Where do you get your cream of coconut from????

  3. that looks delicious! I love the new layout as well--so summery. I should know this, but when is the baby due?