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:
- 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.
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.