Because my mom is a strong coconut lover, I wanted to make her a coconut cake for her birthday. I knew I wanted each bite to be a taste-bud-explosion of coconut. I searched online for a recipe and finally found one for the cake. I decided to go on a whim and not use a recipe for the filling–which turned out to be a delicious decision. For the topping I whipped up heavy cream and added shredded coconut to it.
The recipe for the cake called for coconut milk. Now, my mom and I may be coconut lovers, but I have to admit coconut milk is not a regular item in our fridge. Not wanting to substitute it, I looked up a recipe on how to make it. Surprisingly, not only is it easy to make, you don’t use milk to make it: the only ingredients are water and shredded coconut. Strange that coconut milk can be made without milk, hu? But don’t worry, it tastes delicious!
To make the cake, combine the coconut milk, buttermilk, and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract) in a small bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer, beat the butter until creamy; add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Next add in the eggs, mixing well after each addition.
Pour the batter into a prepared baking pan (9-inch diameter)
Bake until golden brown (about 40 minutes)…
…and evenly spread it all over the layer. Top with the second cake layer, put it in the fridge, and ignore it for the moment.
Combine the whipped cream (I used heavy whipping cream but any whipped cream will work) and shredded coconut . Then take your cake out of the fridge, apologize to it for ignoring it…
After refrigerating the cake for a while, frost it with the rest of the whipped cream. Refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving.
- 1 1/2 cups sifted flour (sift 3-4 times)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk *_see note below_
- 1 bag of vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 6 tbsp butter,softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2-3 cups vanilla pudding
- 1-3 cups shredded coconut
- 2-3 cups whipped cream
- 1-3 cups shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a round cake pan (9-by-2 inches)
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk, coconut milk, and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract).
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, beating well after each addition.
- At low speed beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches; between each batch add half of the buttermilk mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the surface. Bake until the cake is golden (about 40 minutes). Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a plate or cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, cut the cake horizontally into two layers.
- Prepare the vanilla pudding according to the manufacturer's instructions, leaving out about 1/4 cup of the liquid needed. Once the pudding is cooled, mix in the shredded coconut.
- Combine the shredded coconut with the whipped cream and refrigerate until use.
- Place one of the cake layers (cut-side up) on the serving dish. Spread with the filling and place the other cake layer (cut-side up) on top. Refrigerate for at least ten minutes. Then, using about a third of the topping, frost the top and sides of the cake for a crumb coat. Refrigerate again for at least 20 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set. Afterwards frost with the rest of the topping and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Recipe for cake adapted from Food&Wine
*I used the recipe for the coconut milk linked to above; however, I did not strain the mixture like the recipe called for. If you prefer not to have shredded coconut in the cake, then strain the mixture like the recipe calls for