Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Coconut Cake that is. I have been occupied with many other things lately. One of them being my parents were visiting for a while. We had a very impromptu dinner one evening. While I had no dessert planned, being it was so last minute, I walked over to a local bakery and purchased one of their famous coconut cream pies with confidence that my family would enjoy it.
Did they like it? Yes. Actually, they loved it. While they all enjoyed bite after bite, all I could think about was that coconut cake I made. A very moist coconut cake, layered with cream cheese icing, and sprinkled with sweetened shredded coconut. The coconut cake I promised in my last entry here that I would tell you all about and pass along the recipe. At that moment the cake was dominating my mind and I was racked with guilt for not getting to this point sooner to tell you all about Coconut Cake!!!
Now, I have made many cakes in my day and I have tried a few different recipes for coconut ones. In all my trials, and taste testing of cakes I was never truly satisfied. There was a part of me that knew it could be better. So one day a dragged out all the recipes I previously tried. I looked them over carefully comparing each of them. I jotted down my notes on it all and then formed this recipe. Headed into the kitchen, mixed up my cake and baked it off. I let the cake cool overnight, and the following day I fitted it with all it’s fixings. When the cake was complete we sliced away and served it up. We had one slice of layered coconut cake a piece and enjoyed it with tea. To be extra sure of this recipe we each indulged in another slice. That second one we both agreed was as good as the first.
I cut the remaining cake in half and wrapped each half up. We each took a half with us to work the following day. My fellow cooks in the kitchen were very gracious in their compliments. and it was gone before the morning shift was in full swing. Brian said his half was quickly gone at his office and some asked for the recipe. This is usually the gratification I need when testing a recipe. It is one thing for you to be satisfied with something you make, but it is a whole other thing when fellow cooks are fighting over the last little piece. When more than one person asks you for the recipe you know its great! I guess you can say I am now satisfied with my coconut cake recipe. I just wish I had some to serve my family in place of that coconut cream pie. I guess there is always next time.
Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing (makes one 8 - 9 inch cake, feeds 12+)
12 oz (1 1/2 cups) coconut oil, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place your coconut oil and sugar. Mix together until fluffy and well combined. Add your eggs one at a time, be sure each one is well mixed in and scrape down the bowl with a spatula in-between each addition. Once eggs are added stir in your extracts.
Next, in a bowl place your flour, shredded coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk it together. Add this mixture in thirds, alternating it with your coconut milk. You want to slowly combine your flour mix it to your egg mixture, once all is combined add the coconut milk and combine. Repeat this until all your batter is well combined.
Then, prepare your 8 - 9 inch baking pan. I like to brush the pan down with oil and line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle a bit of flour along the sides of the pan tapping out the excess. Pour your batter into the prepared pan smoothing out the top. Place in the center of your oven and bake about an hour (rotating it half way though). Remove from the oven when a knife is inserted into the center of the cake and tests cleanly.
Finally, you can eat the cake as is if you like, but it is best to allow the cake to cool to room temperature before wrapping the cake in plastic and placing the cake in the refrigerator overnight. Chilling the cake like this allows the cake to pop out of the pan cleanly and slice neatly for filling and icing.
Cream Cheese Icing (more than enough for one cake)
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut milk or regular milk as needed
First, place your cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on a medium speed until it is well combined. You can stir in the extract at this time.
Then, on a very low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar until all is combined and fluffy. Add a bit of coconut or regular milk (a tablespoon at a time) until you achieve the smoothing, spreadability you desire. Set aside to assemble.
1 Coconut Cake (recipe above)
1 batch of Cream Cheese Icing, at room temperature (recipe above)
2 cups (plus more if needed) of sweetened shredded coconut
Fresh Flowers (optional)
First, remove your cake from the pan and peel away the parchment paper. Carefully slice the cake horizontally into three even pieces.
Next, place the bottom layer of your cake onto your serving plate. Scoop a portion of your cream cheese icing onto it and evenly spread it out to the edges. Top your icing with the next layer of cake and repeat. You will end up with three layers of cake and two layers of cream cheese icing.
Then, gently spread the top and sides of your cake with the remaining cream cheese icing. Be sure to coat the cake evenly and as smoothly as possible. (It is okay if you so not use all of your cream cheese icing.)
Finally, wipe your plate clean of any cake crumbs or icing that may have dripped. Gently, with your hands, scoop the sweetened shredded coconut onto the cake lightly pressing it into the icing to stick. Continue this until the whole cake is coated. You can serve it like this if you wish. If you desire you can also top the cake with fresh flowers as you feel fit. I like to use a bit of the left over icing to help hold the flowers in place. Serve the cake at room temperature. Can be refrigerated and stored up to four days.