My niece came to visit my site a couple of weeks ago. She was interested in the recipes and said, “Do you have a recipe for Coconut Cake? It’s my favorite!” I agreed to post a coconut cake recipe, but was almost embarrassed. “How is it that I live in the Caribbean and don’t have a coconut cake recipe?” ran through my mind. I mean, they grow in my
backyard for gosh sakes! So…, I went in search of the perfect coconut cake recipe. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks tweaking it into perfection. I even made “guinea pigs” out of my book club. The result? I think the sighs of pleasure at book club have convinced me I’ve come up with the perfect Coconut Cake! Moist, strong taste of coconut, not overly sweet, and the coconut has been used toasted as well to add more dimension to the flavor.
I adapted this recipe from Alton Brown’s recipe on Food Network. It takes a bit of time to prepare but it’s so worth it! There are actually two steps to this recipe that can be done on different days if time is a consideration. The first part is preparing the coconut cream, coconut milk, and coconut water that will be used for the cake. The second step is adding all that goodness to the cake.
: Rich and moist with lots of coconut flavor. This cake is pure tropical bliss!
- For the Coconut Cream, Milk, and Water;
- 2 Cups Dessicated Coconut
- 3/4 Cup evaporated milk
- 4 Cups water.
- For the Cake;
- 4 egg whites, whipped to the stiff peak stage
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Cup coconut milk
- 1/2 Cup coconut cream
- 2 sticks of butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- 2 Cups of Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons White Coconut Rum or 1 teaspoon coconut extract.
- 3/4 Cup Coconut water with 2 Tablespoons Coconut Rum added.
- For the Filling;
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1-1/2 Cups Sour Cream
- 6 Tablespoons Coconut Milk
- 3/4 Cup Coconut
- For the Frosting;
- 1-1/2 Cups Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 Cup water
- 2 egg whites
- 1-1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- Remainder of Coconut in 14 oz package toasted
To make the coconut cream, milk, and water;
- For each step you are going to use the same 2 Cups of coconut you started with. For the Coconut Cream; Place 2 cups of Coconut in a medium saucepan and add 3/4 Cup evaporated milk. Put on medium high heat and stir frequently until the mixture looks frothy. About 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool. Place lint free tea towel over a measuring cup or small bowl. Place contents of pan into towel. Gather up and squeeze liquid out of coconut. Return coconut to pan.
- Coconut milk; To the coconut you returned to the pan add 2 Cups of water.
Repeat the process above squeezing out into a second small bowl or cup. Return coconut to pan.
- Coconut water; To the same coconut add another 2 Cups of water and repeat the process above. When this step is completed, discard the coconut.
- You should now have three cups or bowl each containing a different liquid. If you wish, you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week until you are ready to make the cake.
For the Cake;
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Because I only have one bowl that fits my stand mixer, I start by whipping the egg whites (using the balloon whisk attachment) with cream of tartar added, until a meringue with stiff peaks forms. Alternately you could start the cake batter and beat the egg whites with a second hand mixer but I think that’s just too much work. While the egg whites are beating, mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) and sift them together. When the meringue is formed. Put it into another bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Wipe out the stand mixer bowl and place the pieces of room temperature butter into it. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until lighter in color and texture. Add sugar gradually. I add it at a rate of about 1/3 Cup each time. Let each addition become fully incorporated before the next addition. If you are using a stand mixer this is a good time to prep your pans. You’ll need 2 8-9 inch cake pans. Spray with cooking spray, line with wax paper, spray again with cooking spray. Once the sugar is all added beat the mixture for another 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the coconut rum or coconut extract and continue beating until absorbed.
- Mix together the coconut cream and coconut milk.
- You are going to add the flour and the coconut liquid in 3-4 additions. Turn the mixer down to low speed before adding. Start and end with the flour. Let each addition to completely mix in before adding the next. You may need to scrape down the bowl several times during this process.
- When all the flour and liquid has been added take the bowl off the stand and fold in the egg whites from the first step. To maintain the maximum amount of air in your egg white add in three additions.
- Once you have folded in the egg whites put the batter into your prepared pans and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. When done they will be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
For the Filling;
- Mix the sour cream, sugar, coconut milk, and coconut together and set aside in refrigerator until ready to use.
- For the Frosting;
- You will need a hand mixer, a heat proof bowl, and a pan the bowl fits on top of.
- Put water in pan. About 1/3 full. Put on stove to boil.
- Put egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, water, and salt into bowl.
- Beat for 1 minute before placing over boiling water.
- Turn water down to simmer.
- Place bowl on top of pan and beat contents for 7 minutes. Mixture will be white and fluffy and will begin to hold it’s shape. When it reaches this stage, add the vanilla and beat for 1 more minute.
- Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before using.
Assemble the Cake;
- Take the Coconut water you made and add two tablespoons of coconut rum or 2 teaspoons coconut extract.
- Remove cooled cakes from pans. Slice each one in half along the axis. Place the first half on your dish. Using a pastry brush apply 1/4 of the coconut water mixture. Top with 1/3 of the filling mixture. Place second half of cake on top and repeat process until all layers are assembled. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow it to set before frosting.
- In the mean time, place remaining coconut from package on baking sheet. Put in oven at 350F for 5 minutes until toasted. Once coconut begins to toast, it can go to burnt very quickly. You may need to take it out and stir it half way through. Don’t walk away, keep an eye on it.
- Frost the cake. After cake is completely covered apply toasted coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
So thank you Anne for suggesting a Coconut Cake! My book club and friends also wish to thank you!
Preparation time: 2 hour(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 2 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
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