“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Coincidence? 
I think not.”
~Author Unknown
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We are having yet another snow storm here in New England.  This could not possibly be more pleasing to my daughter, who has had an extra week off from school due to snow days.  Mid terms delayed for the second time in a week.  What’s not to love?  When I’m stuck in the house, my thoughts turn to baking.  I’ve been looking for an excuse to make this cake.  It is Sam Champion’s (of Good Morning America fame) recipe.  I’ve tried other recipes that were just okay, not great.  Now this cake, is great…we loved it!   
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Moist and scrumptious!
The recipe called for 1 cup of coconut milk and I didn’t have any, so I substituted 3/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup coconut rum.  I did however, have the coconut extract and that is not optional…it really makes the cake.  Without it, the cake will taste like a vanilla cake with coconut on it.  Instead of using 1 1/2  sticks of butter, I used 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup vegetable oil.  I find that lightens up the batter and adds moisture.  
Coconut Cake

For cake:
1½ stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar
6 egg whites
2 ¼ cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coconut flavor
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup flaked coconut

For Icing:
2 sticks butter
½ cup shortening
1 ½ pounds confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon coconut flavor
4-5 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ cups flaked coconut
For Garnish:
2 ½ -3 cups flaked coconut (to cover cake)

To Make the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter liberally and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. 
Slowly add the egg whites until incorporated. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, the baking powder and the salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until incorporated but don’t over mix. Add the coconut flavoring, and the coconut milk until combined . Add 1 cup of flaked coconut.
Divide the batter equally between the two prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Let cool in pan on wire racks until cakes are completely cool, then carefully unmold. Using a serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally into 2 equal layers (creating a total of 4 layers).
To Make the Icing:
Cream the butter, shortening, and confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Beat in the coconut flavoring and the coconut milk.
In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of the whipped frosting and 1½ cups of flaked coconut. Set aside.
Assembling the Cake:
When ready to ice the cake, place the first cake layer on serving dish. Dollop 1/3 of the frosting with coconut flake added to it, and spread evenly with an offset metal spatula. Continue this process with each layer, smoothing over the extra frosting that may ooze out between each layer.
With the remaining frosting (that does NOT contain flaked coconut), frost the top and sides of cake. Finish by gently pressing the remaining 2 1/2 – 3 cups of flaked coconut on the frosted cake, covering it entirely.

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