Coconut Layer Cake

Last weekend we had my mom's birthday at the house. She wanted an all-coconut cake for her birthday, and this is the cake I made for her. It's a four layer white coconut cake made with lots of egg whites and coconut cream. The frosting is a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream infused with even more coconut cream. I got the recipe through America's Test Kitchen, and while I have to say the recipe - and all their recipes - was fantastic, the cake came out a little bit dry. It could've been a problem with my oven temperature but I followed the recipe to a T and even took it out of the oven early since I sensed it was over-cooked. I think a good soaking syrup of milk and a little vanilla extract would have solved the problem. Visually, the cake is stunning and I love the look of it on the retro blue cake stand. Mom, if you're reading this, happy birthday and I love you!!!

*Note - I re-wrote this recipe in my own words. To get the full/original recipe you need to buy your own America's Test Kitchen membership!

Coconut Layer Cake
Yield: one 9" cake

For the coconut cake layers:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp table salt
1 large egg
5 large egg whites
3/4 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coconut extract
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp

For the coconut swiss meringue buttercream:
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 lb unsalted butter (4 sticks), at room temp
1/4 cup cream of coconut
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp coconut extract
1/4 tsp table salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachments beat together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, egg whites, cream of coconut, water, vanilla and coconut extracts until combined. Set aside.

With the mixer on low speed, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the mixture resemble course sand. Add in 1 cup of the cream of coconut mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the remaining mixture and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream: set the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer set over a bowl of simmering water. Whisk together constantly until the mixture reaches 120 degrees. Remove from the heat and beat with the whisk attachment until cooled and stiff peaks form. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until completely incorporated. Add the cream of coconut, extracts, and salt and beat to combine.

To assemble the cake: slice each cake in half to for four layers. Fill each layer with buttercream before frosting the entire cake. Garnish with more coconut, if desired.

adapted from America's Test Kitchen

2 Response to Coconut Layer Cake

November 10, 2012 at 4:55 AM

Happy belated birthday to your mother. This cake is amazing. I love coconut cake and you did a stellar job. :)

November 21, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Absolutely beautiful cake! I love coconut too and will try this.

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