Coconut Craze

There is something about a coconut cake that really mesmerizes me.  I don’t know what it is about it.  Like getting sucked into a huge painting, or a great song, or a field of flowers (ok. or just a few flowers in a park)… but I just can’t get enough. Normal, right?

Ever since I watched Ina Garten on the Food Network make her famous coconut cake, it’s always been on my mind…and that was years ago. So needless to say, when my mom wanted to make one for my sister’s baby shower, I was estatic. 

       

Something about covering a cake in shredded sweetened coconut…kind of whimsical and just so simple. No decorating required. The coconut does it for you.

Please ignore the not-so-perfect slice pictured below. I’m at home, on my porch, with friends and family, it’s bloody hot…

…and a little imperfection is sometimes the best.

         

Coconut Cake  (one 3-layer cake)

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon plues 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 8 egg whites

Directions:

- Beat butter at medium speed with mixer until creamy. gradualy add sugar and beat well. Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed after each addition. Stir in flavoring.

-Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.  Pout into three greased and floured 9-inch round bake pans

- 325 degrees for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans; and cool completely on wire racks. 

-Make icing for the cake (see below)

Coconut Frosting

  • 1 cup crisco
  • ¾ cup cake flour
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • almond or vanilla extract (1 teaspoon and add more as desired)
  • 2 lb. powdered sugar
  • Shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:

- Whip together crisco and cake flour.  Slowly add cold water. Add almond or vanilla flavoring.  Slowly add 2 lbs powdered sugar.  Keep in refrigerator for up to a week.

- Cover icing layer with lots of coconut.  YUM.

BAKING NOTES: The cake we made did not have coconut in the batter, but a usual coconut cake does.  But, since we were making it for a lot of people, we didn’t want to over-load on the coconut (not everyone is as passionate about coconut as me).