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May 30, 2011 / katelynb

Coconut Layer Cake

We made this cake for Emma’s 2nd Birthday party with the family way back in April and did a trial run before that just to make sure it was up to snuff to serve to our party guests.  It was amazing – literally the best cake I have ever eaten!  We got so many compliments from party guests and Tony, Emma and I couldn’t stop eating it ourselves.  The recipe is below but I must warn you, this is finish your neighbor’s slice, lick the serving platter kind of good!

Coconut Layer Cake from America’s Test Kitchen.

Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), sifted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 12 pieces, softened, but still cool
  • 2 cups packed sweetened shredded coconut (about 8 ounces)
Buttercream
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  •   Pinch table salt
  • 1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks), each stick cut into 6 pieces, softened, but still cool
  • 1/4 cup cream of coconut
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  • 1. For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with shortening and dust with flour.
  • 2. Beat egg whites and whole egg in large measuring cup with fork to combine. Add cream of coconut, water, vanilla, and coconut extract and beat with fork until thoroughly combined.
  • 3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed to combine, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on lowest speed, add butter 1 piece at a time, then beat until mixture resembles coarse meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
  • 4. With mixer still running, add 1 cup liquid. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer still running, add remaining 1 cup liquid in steady stream (this should take about 15 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. (Batter will be thick.)
  • 5. Divide batter between cake pans and level with offset or rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown, cakes pull away from sides of pans, and toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes (rotate cakes after about 20 minutes). Do not turn off oven.
  • 6. Cool in pans on wire racks about 10 minutes, then loosen cakes from sides of pans with paring knife, invert cakes onto racks and then re-invert; cool to room temperature.
  • 7. While cakes are cooling, spread shredded coconut on rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until shreds are a mix of golden brown and white, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Cool to room temperature.
  • 8. For the Buttercream: Combine whites, sugar, and salt in bowl of standing mixer; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 1/2-inches of barely simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is opaque and warm to the touch and registers about 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
  • 9. Transfer bowl to mixer and beat whites on high speed with whisk attachment until barely warm (about 80 degrees) and whites are glossy and sticky, about 7 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-high and beat in butter 1 piece at a time. Beat in cream of coconut and coconut and vanilla extracts. Stop mixer and scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Continue to beat at medium-high speed until well-combined, about 1 minute.

Make sure to use a long, sharp bread knife for the layer cutting.  A rotating table or Lazy Susan helps too.

Make your butter cream

and taste to make sure it is good

Next time we will measure out the butter cream so we have more  even layers.

keep on layering and frosting and layering and frosting

when you get to your top layer, add the rest of the butter cream and frost the top as you normally would and work it down the sides and all around, completely covering the cake

fins someone to help you cover the cake in toasted coconut

pose with your cake

add candles and sing Happy Birthday

and finally, DIG IN!

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. itsybitsybrianna / May 30 2011 8:17 am

    this looks delicious:)
    xoxo
    bB
    Please stop by and say hi
    http://www.itsybitsybrianna.wordpress.com

  2. Casey / May 30 2011 4:21 pm

    Drooling!

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