Coconut Cake

I’ve been baking for about two years. It took me the entire first year to perfect my chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, and chocolate chip pancakes though, so it’s been just within the last 6 months or so that I’ve been getting into more complicated recipes – like cake! Today I tried a double layer coconut cake (a recipe that I adapted from a blog called “The Bear Cupboard” and can be found at http://bearcupboard.blogspot.com/2013/03/coconut-cake-with-coconut-french.html), and came up with my own recipe for the icing.

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To make the cake, I suggest following the instructions on the Bear Cupboard, but I’ll do a quick summary here with a few of the adjustments that I made.
Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flower
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, soft
1/2 tsp. Diamond kosher salt
2 cups sugar (original used superfine sugar)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
5 tbsp coconut milk (original used 1.5 tsp of coconut flavoring)
1 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp rum

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter and cream with the two cups of sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract, the salt, the rum, and 3 of the tbsp of coconut milk. Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Alternate mixing in the buttermilk and the flour mixture into the butter/sugar. Spray canola oil or line and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Split the batter evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes. The batter seemed a little too fluffy and stiff for what I generally look for, but it turned into a lovely fluffy cake, so just go with it!

P1020154The cake should be lightly browned on the outside when you pull it out.

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Next, icing! Feel free to work on this while the cake bakes, but you will also have to wait for the cake to cool after you pull it out of the oven, so there’s no rush.
Ingredients for the Icing:
14 tablespoons of butter (nearly a cup, I was just two tablespoons short – darn people stealing my butter)
5 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp rum
3 cups sweetened coconut flakes

Instructions:
Let the butter soften, and then use an electric mixer to mix it with half of the powdered sugar. Add the rum, vanilla, and coconut milk, mix thoroughly. Add the other half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Continue to add powdered sugar until the icing becomes as thick as desired. Stir in two of the cups of the coconut flakes.

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To finish the cake, use a butter knife to smooth icing on the top of the one of the layers. Pick up the second layer and place it over top. Cover the top and  sides of the cake with the icing, using the knife to smooth it as you go. Once the cake is completely covered, press the remaining coconut flakes into the top of the cake.

And ta-da! Cake. This is one of the easiest cakes I’ve made thus far, but I thought it might be a good one to start on since it was relatively straightforward – and I was able to find a good starting recipe. If anyone comes up with further improvements on the cake, please let me know! You can never have too much cake.

To

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