I have been researching coconut cake recipes all summer on a quest to find the perfect one. It turns out, there isn’t one perfect recipe for coconut cake. But, if you take the best parts of all of the ones you think have a chance at being perfect, well – then you end up with a perfect coconut cake.
I know coconut can be a polarizing subject. I get it, it’s a texture thing. So, I say even if you are borderline into coconut, there is a good chance that you will like this cake. It’s pretty darn good.
I just trace with a pencil and then cut out my circles. I spray a little bit of baking spray in the bottom of the pan and place my circles inside and then spray some more baking spray on top of the paper and the sides of the pan.
If you like using real butter and flour – go for it.
Then add in a portion of your dry ingredients. Mix carefully or you will have flour everywhere.
For some reason, I always use my stand mixer. I was surprised to find that my hand mixer worked really well.
You are aiming for soft peaks.
This adds a lightness to the cake.
Its really important that they all are room temperature.
I’m not sure what possessed me, but I decided to split each layer into two. Thus making this a four layer cake.
In hindsight, I might have just left it at two layers.
To frost the cake, you need to first do a crumb coat. This ensures that the crumbs only get in that first layer and don’t come out in the final product.
After that, let it harden up a bit in the fridge and then do the final frost.
You could toast the coconut a bit to give it more color.
In my opinion, the coconut, coupled with the 4 layers makes it look a tad on the messy side.
You won’t notice the mess once you take a bite. So, just overlook that – okay?!
So, I had to split this cake up amongst friends (I can’t have things like this sitting around the house) and immediately the texts, emails and Facebook posts started rolling in. Make this cake and I promise, you will receive accolades too.
Classic Coconut Cake
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups (loosely packed) sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
5 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites, room temperature
3 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 8-ounce package Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (about) sweetened flaked coconut
Quick Buttercream Frosting
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 11/2-inch- high sides with nonstick spray; line bottom of pans with parchment paper rounds. Mix flour and coconut in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and baking soda in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beating just to blend after each addition. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another large bowl until peaks form. Add 1/3 of egg white mixture to batter; fold into batter just to blend. Fold in remaining egg white mixture in 2 additions. Divide batter between pans.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around sides of cake pans. Invert cakes onto racks. Carefully peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in large bowl until blended. Fold in coconut. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Place on next layer of cake.
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle some of coconut over top of cake; pat more coconut on sides of cake.00