Coconut Layer Cake

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Apparently we are all about cakes and desserts lately.

Mother’s Day fell just a few short days after Adam’s birthday, and we hosted Adam’s parents to celebrate. Adam’s mom is a huge fan of coconut, so I was on the lookout for good coconut-based desserts. My friend Betsy (who is a much more innovative baker than I am… I’m trying to convince her to start her own baking blog, in fact) sent me this recipe to try. She highly highly recommended it – said she’d made it before and it was always a big hit. Good enough for me!

And boy am I glad I listened to Betsy. Such a good cake! Not particularly complicated and full of really yummy things. The frosting was *amazing*, though it was a bit difficult to work with as it was quite soft. Next time I might add a bit more powdered sugar to it to try to stiffen it up a bit (that would work, right?), but my lack of experience frosting giant layer cakes certainly had a lot to do with the final frosting job. It’s especially tough to get shredded coconut to stick to the sides. Perhaps I should’ve tried Betty Crocker’s method of rolling the cake into the coconut, but I was afraid of it completely falling apart given how much filling is in the middle of the cake (a full cup of frosting AND a full cup of shredded coconut!). I didn’t trust myself to not have a big disaster if I tried that.

I’m not going to bother reposting the entire recipe, as I followed it fairly exactly:

Coconut Layer Cake

My notes/adjustments:

  • I didn’t bother buying buttermilk, and just used the powdered type instead. So, I mixed the powder in with the flour and then added water for the buttermilk. This worked very well and didn’t waste any purchased buttermilk.
  • The Cream of Coconut was harder to find than I expected. Turns out it’s kept in the booze mix-in aisle… to be used for Piña Coladas. Glad I found it!
  • I didn’t really measure the shredded coconut, but I doubt I used a full 4 cups. Perhaps I should’ve? Ah well, it had plenty of coconut!
  • The frosting was AMAZING. I want to find another use for it.
  • This makes a *big* cake. Making a cake this size for a dinner for 5 means you’re going to have more than half leftover. Find other people to eat it!

Overall, a big big hit not only at dinner, but the leftovers vanished quickly Monday night at Italian lessons as well.

Next time I may try halving it and turning it into cupcakes… Mmm, cupcakes.

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June 21st, 2010 – editing to add:

Made mini cupcakes out of this, and they were heavenly. I should’ve listened to the above and halved it as it made a gazillion mini cupcakes. I stopped at 72, and refrigerated the rest. I did at least halve the frosting, which was plenty.

I will say I prefer cupcake form. Little bites of coconut heaven instead of a giant slab of it, which can be a bit overwhelming.

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3 Responses to “Coconut Layer Cake”

  1. Amy / Mom Says:

    Just to say thanks to you both for making this awesome cake for me (ok and you too) on Mother’s Day. From the moistness of the cake to the incredible frosting and oh that coconut. YUMMY!

  2. Piña Colada Sundae « Life at No. 71 Says:

    […] been on a bit of a piña colada kick lately. I give full credit to this Coconut Layer Cake, which I’ve now made twice – once in layer cake form, and once as mini cupcakes. If you […]

  3. 2010 Food-In-Review « Life at No. 71 Says:

    […] Coconut Layer Cake – This cake was delicious, but INTENSE.  Luckily we made it shortly afterwards in the form of mini cupcakes.  This was about perfect as you get bite sized morsels of amazing flavour without the crazy overload of a big slab of cake. […]

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