For several years, I searched for the perfect coconut cake recipe. I was constantly sampling coconut cupcakes at bakeries, etc. But, I was always disappointed because the cake was usually just plain white cake with white frosting and coconut sprinkled on top. It usually tasted too sweet and there was a total lack of coconut flavor, especially in the cake part.
And then, I found the perfect recipe. It uses buttermilk, which I think adds to the richness and balances the sweetness. It has actual coconut flakes in the batter, in between the layers and on the outside of the cake. Love the texture. It's everything a coconut cake should be. Perfect.
Here is the full recipe. Totally straight-forward, no weird ingredients, and it turns out beautiful.
Perfect Coconut Cake FROM TASTE OF HOME
- 5 eggs, separated
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2-1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups flaked coconut, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 4-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1-1/4 teaspoons coconut extract
- 2 cups flaked coconut, toasted
- Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In another large bowl, beat the sugar, butter and oil until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in coconut.
- Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
- Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and extract; beat until smooth.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting and sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.