Coconut Layer Cake
a triumvirate of coconut products puts maximum coconut flavor in this 
tender cake too often, a coconut cake is just plain white cake with 
frosting and lacks real coconut flavor throughout. 
the goal is a dreamy, light cake, moist and tender, with a creamy 
perfumed with coconut essence. 
this cake recipes includes coconut extract, cream of coconut, and 
shredded coconut in the cake and the buttercream icing. 
makes one 9-inch, 4-layer cake, serving 8 to 10 
cream of coconut is often found in the soda and drink-mix aisle in the 
grocery store. one 15-ounce can is enough for both the cake and the 
buttercream; make sure to stir it well before using because it separates 
upon standing. 
1 large  egg plus 5 large egg whites 3/4 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup  water
1 tsp  vanilla extract
1 tsp  coconut extract
2-1/4 cup  (9 ounces) cake flour, sifted
1 cup  sugar
1 Tbsp  baking powder
3/4 tsp  salt
12 Tbsp  (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces,
  softened, but
  still cool
2 cup  packed (about 8 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
4 large  egg whites
1 cup  sugar
pinch  salt
1 lb.  (4 sticks) unsalted butter, each stick cut into 6 pieces,
  softened, but
  still cool
1/4 cup  cream of coconut
1 tsp  coconut extract
1 tsp  vanilla extract
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. 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. 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. 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.) 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. 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. to toast the coconut: 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. 
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. 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. 
to assemble cake: frost each layer and stack. frost top. cut into slices 
and serve. (wrap leftover cake in plastic and refrigerate; bring to room 
temperature before serving.) 
(ID: 7593) Mirror: Fri, May 21, 2004

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