Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2006 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Variations: Classic Coconut Layer Cake with Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting and filled and decorated with Toba's Pineapple Curd; Classic Coconut Layer Cake with Seven Minute Vanilla Bean Icing filled with Apricot Jam, decorated with pomegrante seeds and raspberries; Coconut Rum Cake with Pineapple Filling; Filling and Frosting Variations; Mother’s Day Coconut Cake Tutorial
Cake and photo by sugarpie, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips
This recipe is as incredible as it is beautiful. It perfect to serve for Christmas or Easter or in between. I love to pair this dense and moist cake with a tangy and rich cream cheese frosting and fill it with pineapple curd. To make this recipe, you’ll need to buy one 15-ounce can of sweetened cream of coconut (not coconut milk), typically found in liquor section of most grocery stores. SARAH SAYS: You can use eggs, butter and buttermilk right from the refrigerator.
CAKE RECIPE HELP
NOTE: Cream of Coconut, Coco Lopez brand: *Shake can before opening, and then open and whisk together well after measuring; it will not blend together smoothly, though. This is what it looks like after blending.
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour; spoon into dry measuring cup and level to rim
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut - DO NOT SUBSTITUTE - such as Coco Lopez brand (15-ounce can = 1 1/3 cups) order online; *Shake can before opening, and then open and whisk together well after measuring; it will not blend together smoothly, though
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar; for egg whites
1. Position the oven shelf to the middle and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line with greased parchment paper, and then lightly flour two 9- x 2-inch- cake pans. preferably light colored, heavy NOT nonstick pans. This cake really sticks to its pan unless you properly prepare the pans. (If you use dark, nonstick baking pans or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pans, be sure to reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F).
SARAH SAYS: I love to make it for special occasions, and bake the recipe in three 8 x 2-inch cake pans for 30 minutes.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on low until softened. (If the butter is cold, it will warm quickly from the beaters - taking about 60 seconds). Add the sugar and beat until well combined and aerated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
3. Add the cream of coconut.
4. Turn on the mixer to medium and beat for 2 minutes until really fluffy.
3. With the mixer on low, add the egg yolks one at a time and beat for 20 seconds after each addition.
After the egg yolks have been added, stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
4. Turn on the mixer to medium-low and beat the mixture for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
5. Add the vanilla and optional coconut extract to the buttermilk and stir.
6. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 2 equal portions, beginning and ending with the flour. (If the buttermilk is cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together when you add the flour.)
Add the flour and liquid ingredients in increments quickly; do not wait in between additions too long as you don't want to overmix the batter.
7. After completing the last addition of flour, stop the mixer, and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
Then, let the mixer run for 30 seconds on LOW. The batter will be very thick. STOP the mixer. Do NOT overmix.
8. In a clean mixing bowl, free from any fat or grease, beat the egg whites: Fit a hand-held mixer with the beater attachments, and beat the egg whites with cream of tartar on low until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high until the soft peak stage is reached when the peaks of the whites droop slightly, when the beater is turned off and lifted. Then, increase the mixer speed to HIGH until FIRM peaks just form. DO NOT OVERBEAT. The egg white foam Beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. If egg whites are beaten to dry and dull, they are overbeaten -- Watch carefully, because egg whites can go from stiff to dry and overbeaten in as little as 30 seconds.
9. Fold the egg whites into the batter: Unclamp the mixer bowl from the mixer. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
Scoop the egg whites on top of the batter and fold until the ingredients are combined. Stop when the batter looks homogenized.
10. Carefully divide the batter between the prepared baking pans and lightly smooth their tops.
11. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tops feel firm and give slightly when touched and will shrink slightly from the side of the pan. The cakes will be browned on top. If you insert a toothpick in the middle and remove, there should be a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter.
Remove cakes to cool on wire racks for 10 to 15 minutes.
Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula or sharp knife, taking care not to scratch the cake pan. Invert onto cake rack, remove the parchment paper, and place upright to cool completely. Be careful, the cakes are delicate when warm.
Cake layers can be stored, well wrapped, at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, or frozen for one to two months.
FROSTING AND FILLING VARIATIONS
VARIATION 1: Classic Coconut Layer Cake with Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting and filled and decorated with Toba's Pineapple Curd
Cake and photo by sugarpie, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips
1 recipe Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting; Add in 2 tablespoons Coco Lopez brand to the cream cheese frosting with 1 teaspoon coconut extract, plus a little extra powdered sugar add beat!
1/2 recipe Toba Garrett's Pineapple Curd, optional or Easy Pineapple or Any Flavor Pastry Cream Filling
4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1. Trim (two) cake layers.
2. Torte each layer: cut each horizontally in half with a long serrated knife to form a total of 4 thin layers.
3. Put 1 cake layer, cut side up, on a cake plate. Spread 6 tablespoons of the pineapple curd filling over it.
Top with another cake layer, cut side up. Spread 6 tablespoons of the pineapple curd filling over it.
Top with a third cake layer and Spread 6 tablespoons of the pineapple curd filling over it.
Top with fourth layer, cut side down.
4. Frost sides and top of cake with cream cheese frosting. Coat with coconut, lightly pressing it to adhere.
SARAH SAYS: I toast the coconut that will go on the outside of the cake.
5. Refrigerate cake for about 2 to 4 hours or up to 24 hours in advance to set frosting and filling. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Coconut Layer Cake can be filled and frosted up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let stand to warm to room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Cakes filled with pineapple curd and frosted with cream cheese frosting must be refrigerated. It will keep for 3 days or so.
Cake and photo by Lindat, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips
VARIATION 2: Classic Coconut Layer Cake with Seven Minute Vanilla Bean Icing filled with Apricot Jam, decorated with pomegranate seeds and raspberries
Cake and photo by Sarah Phillips © Sarah Phillips
1 recipe Seven Minute Vanilla Bean Icing
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 pomegranate, de-seeded
1. Heat apricot jam with lemon juice on stove top, under gentle heat until fluid.
2. Spread on one cake layer, top side down on cake platter.
3. Place next cake layer on top, bottom side down.
SARAH SAYS: My filling oozed out a bit, so with a small icing spatula, I scooped some out.
4. Frost the top, and then sides of the cake with the Seven Minute Icing. You don't have to be neat about it.
5. Before the frosting sets, immediately press the coconut into the top and sides of the cake.
Remove the wax paper on the cake platter.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds and raspberries.
The cake can remain at room temperature for a few days, best kept in a cake keeper.
VARIATION 3: Coconut Rum Cake with Pineapple Filling
Bake Coconut Cake in two 9 x 2-inch cake pans. Cool completely.
2 2/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut (7-oz package) or 3 1/2 cups fresh coconut shavings
1 recipe Italian Meringue or Mousseline Buttercream or IMBC flavored with 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 (20-oz) can crushed pineapple, including juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Make pineapple filling: Stir together crushed pineapple and juice, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan until cornstarch is dissolved. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then simmer, stirring, 3 minutes. Cool filling completely, stirring occasionally. Store in the refrigerator. Can be prepared 2 to 3 days in advance.
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light rum
Make rum syrup: Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Transfer to a small bowl and chill until ready to use. Keep refrigerated. Can be made a week in advance.
1. Torte each Coconut Cake layer: cut each horizontally in half with a long serrated knife to form a total of 4 thin layers.
2. Put 1 cake layer, cut side up, on a cake plate and brush top with a very thin layer of warm rum syrup.
Spread 1/2 cup of the cooled pineapple filling over it.
3. Top with another cake layer, cut side up, and brush lightly with syrup. Then spread with about 1/2 cup buttercream.
4. Top with a third cake layer and brush with syrup, then spread 1/2 cup pineapple over it. Top with fourth layer, cut side down, and brush with remaining syrup.
5. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining buttercream, then immediately coat with coconut, lightly pressing it to adhere.
SARAH SAYS: Use a frosting dam from stiff buttercream icing when using more pineapple filling than the assembly instructions call for. You can then choose to frost the cake with buttercream icing, as well.
6. Refrigerate cake for about 2 to 4 hours or up to 24 hours in advance to set frosting and filling. Keep refrigerated.
7. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serve the remaining pineapple filling on the side.