Our contributor, Tessa Huff, is back today with a lovely new cake recipe….
Coconut usually reminds us white-sand beaches and flavor combinations boosting pineapple and mango. With such beautiful textures and versatile flavors, I vow not to limit coconut to only tropical palettes ever again.
Old-fashion coconut cake is a quintessential Southern treat. There is something nostalgic about a big slice of velvety butter cake and rich cream cheese frosting. The fluffy flakes and creamy flavors are like comfort food, but for dessert. The rustic finish can be dressed-down for a weekday indulgent or dressed-up with fresh florals for a spring shower or Easter celebration. This is the type of cake I can imagine being shared on a sunny patio with sweet tea and great friends.
For Spring, I wanted to create a whimsical yet classic coconut cake. I developed a velvety butter cake made with rich coconut milk and paired with classic coconut cream cheese frosting. The tangy red raspberry filling added just the right amount of sweetness and vibrance to the creamy cake. I chose the largest flakes I could find and left them un-toasted for a light-as-a-feather look. The two-tiers of heavenly flakes make for a gorgeous center piece for any dessert or brunch spread.
a recipe by Tessa Huff
For the Coconut Cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cups sugar
3 whole eggs + 3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 3 x 6 inch cake pans and an 8 inch square cake pan and set aside.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Place the butter and coconut oil in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until combined with a paddle attachment.
- Add sugar and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy.
- Turn mixer to medium-low and add in the eggs, egg whites, vanilla bean paste, and coconut extract.
- Stop mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In alternating batches, add in the dry ingredients and milks – starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until done (about 22-24 minutes).
For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup cream cheese
3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoons coconut milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Mix butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until lightened. Slowly add in the remaining ingredients. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Add more or less sugar and milk until desired consistency.
To Assemble Cake:
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Raspberry Fruit Preserves
STEP 1 : De-pan cakes from the 6 inch pans. Trim to level.
STEP 2 : Run a knife around the edges of the square cake pan and un-mold cake onto a cutting board. Use a 3-4 inch cake ring to cut out three cake layers.
STEP 3 : Place cream cheese frosting in a piping bag fitted with a plain, round piping tip. Place a 6 inch round cake on a cake board or cake stand. Pipe a frosting dam around the top edge of the cake. Fill in with the raspberry preserves. Top with second layer of cake and repeat. Ice the 6 inch cake with cream cheese frosting. Cover cake with coconut flakes. NOTE: No need to worry about icing the cake perfectly since the sides will be covered with coconut flakes.
STEP 4 : Repeat with the mini cake layers. Ice and cover with coconut flakes before carefully transferring cake on to of the 6 inch round cake. Decorate with fresh flowers.
NOTE : To serve, remove the top tier with an off-set spatula before slicing.