December 15, 2011

Coconut Cake

Tracey, who blogs at Notes From A Cottage Industry -- one of my favorite 25 blogs, had a recipe for My easy-peasy-tastes-like-scratch version of Coconut cake.  I love coconut cake.  Tracey's blog post was published around the time I was already considering the Real Food Pledge so I decided to make this recipe from you can call this recipe the "Not So Easy-Peasy But Tastes Better Than Scratch Coconut Cake."  :)

Actually, my mother-in-law made the absolutely most wonderful Coconut Cake from scratch even down to the grating of the real coconut and using the fresh coconut milk to moisten the cake after it was baked.  My mouth begins watering just thinking about it.  I have the recipe for it and plan to someday try to bake one just like hers.  But until then, this recipe is really. really. good.

I decided to use the White Cake recipe my mother-in-law used in her "real" coconut cake.

First, toast about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of coconut in the oven.  Tracey suggests 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then stir, and let toast for another 5 minutes.  This worked perfectly.

White Cake:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup shortening (I have been substituting Coconut Oil {which is a solid} and it works great with no Trans Fatty Acids.)
1 cup milk
3 eggs whites (or 2 whole eggs - which is what I usually use)
1 tsp of vanilla
1 Tbsp coconut flavoring

Combine ingredients in the order listed.  I divided the batter into three 9" pans (or you can do two 8" pans and cut into four layers as Tracey did).  I prepare my pans with cooking spray and then cut out parchment circles to fit my pans...cakes never stick to pans when parchment paper is used.  Bake at 350 degree for 25 - 35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool in pans for about 10 minutes and remove to wire racks for cooling.

While the cake is baking, prepare your coconut filling.

The coconut filling is from The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook I received as a wedding gift in 1987 -- not so "new" any more.

Coconut Filling:

1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut flavoring
3/4 cup of toasted coconut

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Stir in milk, blending until smooth.  Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Blend a small amount of hot mixture with 1 beaten egg.  Return the mixture to saucepan, mixing well.  Cook just until the mixture starts to bubble.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut flavoring and toasted coconut.  Allow to cool.

I used Tracey's Coconut Buttercream Frosting but made a smaller amount since I only made 3 layers:

3/4 bag of confectioners sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 Tbsp coconut flavoring
Milk to thin to desired consistency

Beat all ingredients together adding milk to desired consistency.  For this recipe, I prefer the frosting a little thinner than most frostings on cakes.

Assemble the coconut cake:

Place one cake layer on a decorative plate.  Pipe a fat bead of frosting all around the cake (great idea Tracey!) and fill the inside area with half of the coconut filling.  Sprinkle toasted coconut over filling.  Top with the next cake layer and do the same using the remaining coconut filling.  Top with final cake layer and frost with the remaining buttercream.  Sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut.  Just as Tracey states, you do not need to frost the sides because the cake is already just gorgeous.

This cake is a wonderfully moist coconut cake.  I love the creamy texture of the coconut filling with the cake and buttercream frosting.  Add a cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk and you have the perfect dessert for any holiday or birthday.

Enjoy!  I did.

Judy :)

Disclaimer:  Although this recipe is made from scratch, it is not a "diet" recipe!


  1. Oh, Judy - that cake looks (and sounds) positively heavenly!!! Definitely going on my to-try pile (near the very top!) Thanks so much for sharing!! Smiles & Holiday Hugs ~ Robin

  2. OK – I don't need it but desperate to try it! I, too, love coconut (but then again, I am your brother!).

    Jon ☺

  3. ohmy!! that is one beautiful piece of cake! I love anything coconut and would die for a piece of this right now!
    Merry Christmas!

    p.s. thank you so much for leaving your "calling card" and for your sweet note!
    (I love your header photo!)


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