Friday, July 31, 2015

Coconut Cake

To say we've had a busy summer is an understatement. Work is extremely busy and stressful and it's not leaving me much time for baking. When I do have some free time, I'm making new versions of some classics. Let's just say that Nutella Brownies and Nutella Rice Krispie Treats were a huge flop. And the conversation from BP's dad, Papa C, is that we should stick to the classics - and after all the baking fails I've had lately, I agree.

Things have been really stressful for me and just when I'm having one of the worst day ever, BP comes out and proposes to me. So suddenly my worst day has turned into the best day ever. And it kicked off my birthday weekend in the best way. I'm now engaged to my best friend, the man who I couldn't love more than I do and who completely gets me and loves me for me. He truly is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Papa C and I have birthdays two days apart. And of course I was going to bake him a cake for his birthday - whatever he wanted. It took him some time, but he finally came in with a request for Coconut Cake. Done. Not a problem at all. We go out for a joint birthday dinner celebration and head home for some cake. And man oh man were the men excited.

To say this was a huge hit in our household is an understatement. Papa C LOVED this cake. Ate a piece of it every day all week. That cake didn't stand a chance. Coconut lovers rejoice - here is your new favorite cake.

Coconut Cake
Makes one 9" square or round layer cake

1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature 
3 1/2 all purpose flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs plus 4 large egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk plus more for topping

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9" cake pans. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and shredded coconut. Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes. Add whole eggs and egg whites; mix until combined. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. With mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture and stir until combined. Add in milk, stir until combined. Add in the remaining flour mixture and stir until combined. 

3.  Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake, rotating Galway through, until cakes are golden brown, 50-55 minutes. Let cool completely.

Coconut White Frosting
2 lbs (8 cups) confectioners sugar
3 cups shortening
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4-6 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
Shredded coconut

1.  In large bowl, beat shortening on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

2.  Add confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time, alternating beating on high for 10 seconds after every second addition. Repeat until all the confectioners sugar has been added.

3.  Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Add coconut milk one tbsp at a time until you reach desired consistency. Beat on high for 10 seconds. Frost cake immediately. Add shredded coconut to the top of the cake.