Saturday, March 28, 2015

Southern Style Coconut Cake with a Whipped Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

I am a life long member of the "I love coconut" fan club.  I must really love coconut cake, because I've already shared three different coconut cake recipes on my blog (starting in 2009). My favorite cake is white cake. Hands down. End of story.  I prefer an all egg-white cake, or it's not a genuine white cake. Am I right? 

But, did I really need another coconut cake recipe?  Maybe. Maybe not.  But, when you have five egg whites leftover from a lemon custard recipe, white cake seems like a good way to use them.  Coconut seems to be synonymous with Easter treats, and I hadn't baked a cake in a while. 

We were having dinner guests, so this seemed like the perfect time to bake a cake.  I'm loving this brand of USA cake pans, and I just got these square ones.   I wanted a cake recipe that wouldn't be too fussy to make-- but I wanted a lot of coconut flavor.  I'm a fan of LorAnn oils and flavors and their coconut flavor is something I keep on hand.  King Arthur unbleached cake flour is also a "must" in my pantry, because I always get tender cakes when I use it.

The batter isn't complicated, either.  The dry ingredients are measured into a mixing bowl, then butter and coconut milk is mixed in.  The wet ingredients are whole milk, eggs whites and coconut flavor and a little pure vanilla extract. 

I prepped the pans with non-stick spray and lined the bottom with parchment paper.  The recipe said to bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes.  Erring on the side of caution, I always set two timers-- one to check 5 minutes earlier.  Ding! The cakes were baked at 30 minutes.

The reason I love these cake pans so much, is that the cakes baked evenly and released without any problems. Whew!

There are two versions of frosting, for this cake.  First, a buttercream frosting is made with a combination of cream cheese and butter. Win!  Let's up the ante a bit.  How about making a filling with real whipped cream, and some of the buttercream whipped into it?

Uh-huh. Brilliant.  It's silky and billowy and just the right balance of sweet.

The final step is to frost the remaining cake with the cream cheese/buttercream frosting...and you need coconut, of course.

You definitely want to refrigerate this cake for at least two hours, before serving.

Here's why:  The cake slice on the left isn't chilled as much. You can see that the filling is softer and the cake crumb is very loose.  The slice on the right is chilled, and slightly brought to room temperature. The "crumb" is a bit tighter and the filling is set.  

TASTING NOTES:  The cake was super moist, thank goodness.  I loved the beautiful white color, and the sweetness wasn't overpowering. In fact, this cake had the perfect balance of coconut flavor without being over-the-top sweet.  The filling was my favorite part because the whipped cream toned down the sugary sweetness of buttercream frosting.  How can anyone not love a cream cheese/buttercream frosting? There's that subtle tartness of the cream cheese and the crunch of sweetened coconut. NOTE: This time I chose not to toast the coconut, only because I wanted a pure white cake.  If you want toasted coconut cake, go for it!

In case you are wondering if you can make these into cupcakes-- I would say "yes", but you'd have to choose which frosting you'd want to use. Or, you could pipe in a filling and then frost them-- but that sounds like a lot of work.   

I also chose to make a square cake, because it seemed like fun to make a different shape.  Otherwise, I'd bake these in round cake pans and split the layers for a spectacular tower cake.    This recipe is very slightly adapted from "Completely Delicious" and a printable recipe is at the very end of this post.

Here are my other three coconut cake recipes:

Here's the recipe:

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June Burns said...

That looks delicious! I love coconut, it really is a great springy flavor--this cake sounds like a great way to use it :)

Anne @ Webicurean said...

For me, the coconut craving began with Gilligan's Island and Mary Ann's coconut cream pies! This looks divine--can't want try it!

Anne @ Webicurean said...

For me, the coconut craving began with Gilligan's Island and Mary Ann's coconut cream pies! This looks divine--can't wait to try it!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I LOVE coconut cake but still haven't made one. I never thought to use egg whites only in a cake, but now I know what to do with the ones in my freezer. Any of your coconut cakes would be a winner. Which one is your favorite?

hobby baker said...

Oh yes please! Sounds like the coconut milk would make a wonderfully moist cake. I love coconut too, even made a totally sweet coconut cream pie for pi day. I love how nicely your cakes turn out of the pans. Those are KA pans, yes? I keep ogling them in the catalog. Thanks for sharing!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Gorgeous. I love coconut, and there really just seems to be something fitting about coconut desserts on Easter. Maybe because it's fuzzy like bunnies? I have a go-to coconut cake recipe and 3 coconut pies in my recipe box. You make me realize I need another cake.

Kate said...

Coconut is the absolute best and in a cake is the best.....lovely photos!

Joanne said...

I really think one could ALWAYS use another coconut cake recipe. The cake part looks so glorious coconut cake should be!

Debby Foodiewife said...

To answer your question, Ciao Chow Linda... all of my coconut cake recipes are good. I think this one is my favorite, because the frosting isn't as fussy as making Swiss Buttercream.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I would die for a piece of this right now!

Roz Corieri Paige said...

I love coconut cake so much that this year for my birthday, my husband went to our favorite restaurant that bakes the best recipe on the planet (and won't share the recipe of course) and ordered a whole cake for us. I have yet to bake one and thank you so much for sharing so many recipes for my favorite cake. I don't know which one to start with . . . oh such a problem, huh?

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I'm making your cake right now for a dinner tonight. I plan to blog about it soon (assuming it turns out ok. I forgot to put the sugar in and had to scoop everything out of the pans before it hit the oven. oops!)