Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Almost Ultimate Coconut Cake

Coconut cake is becoming a traditional Easter Dessert in our house. It started a few years ago when I made a coconut bundt cake for Easter. The main reason I wanted a coconut cake was I had a new awesome bundt cake pan that looked like pineapples, and thought coconut cake would be good in it.

Well, that was a hit. Ever since then, I have been perfecting my coconut cake recipe. I finally settled on a heavily modified recipe, losely based on Ina Garten's Coconut Cake recipe. There were some things that I insisted must be in a coconut cake which weren't in hers, but I really liked the solidness of her recipe.

After changing many ingredients, I was finally happy with the cake, now on to the frosting. For a few years now, I have been making a coconut version of one of my favorite frostings, one made with flour paste. So, I was set there.

Now, on to the filling - lets be honest here, this cake isn't filled - yet. I haven't come up with a good filling recipe. I thought I had it this year - a coconut vanilla bean home made pudding, mixed with whipped cream. But, it didn't taste right, so back to the drawing board for that one. It's ok, really, no one but me noticed it missing the filling.

This is a very rich, dense, coconuty cake. The entire cake and frosting is infused with coconut flavor, mostly thanks to the heavy use of coconut milk. And, yes, this picture of my cake slice looks like I stuck my finger in it, because, well, I stuck my finger in it. You should see the other side.
Coconut Cake with Coconut Frosting:

For the cake

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 room temperature eggs
2 teas. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/2 teas salt
1 cup coconut milk (be sure you shake the can well to mix the coconut milk before opening and measuring)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I use the sweetened from a bag), chopped fine.

For the frosting

5 tablespoons flour
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 t. vanilla

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 9" round cake pans. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.

In another bowl, mix together the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing well. Follow the dry ingredients with 1/3 of the coconut milk. Repeat this twice until all ingredients are incorporated into the batter. Once you are confident the batter is uniformly mixed, add the coconut in, and divide the batter between two pans.

This cake batter is very thick and rich, so be sure to smooth out the pans. Bake at 350 for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before taking out of the pan.

While the cake is in the oven, you can start the frosting: In a saucepan, mix the flour and coconut milk together and cook on medium heat until very thick - the consistency of a thick pudding. Place in a bowl and put in the refrigerator until very cold.

When the flour paste is ready, beat the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Add the flour paste and vanilla and beat the frosting until you can't feel the grains of sugar between your fingers.

A note on this recipe - this is a fairly good size cake, and while I enjoyed the amount of frosting, my brother mentioned his wasn't frosted enough. So, if you like a little cake with your frosting, you may want to double the frosting recipe.

1 comment:

  1. Came across your blog via The Daring Baker's.

    I see you have the same love for coconut that I do. If you ever want a to-die-for coconut cake, check this one out:

    Based off Bobby Flay's (of the Food Network) cake. Be forewarned though, it's a lot of work to make this cake, but well worth the effort.