Monday, August 09, 2010


A little while back I made this decadent coconut layer cake, but as you can tell from our lack of post lately, have simply not had the time to post.  It started by first cleaning and prepping a coconut from the tree out front. This is a very dense and heavy cake and one of my all time favorites. I've actually been making this for about 10 years.

Cracking of the coconut and draining the water.
First thing you want to do is remove a bit of the outer green skin and then make an opening to extract the coconut water from. A machete works best for this. Once you have the coconut drained you can remove all of the green skin to reveal the brown hairy looking seed.

Removing the meat of the coconut.
Crack the nut open then, CAREFULLY remove the meat. I take a dull knife and score it in a few places then pry out the smaller chunks.

Once the meat has been removed, peel off the inner brown layer. You can actually eat this as well, but we prefer to remove it.

Once the meat is cleaned, shred with a microplane. You can either leave it to air dry for a few days, making sure to turn it a few times a day or place in the oven on lowest setting to use later. If you want toasted coconut, place in 250 degree oven until it starts to turn a nice golden brown. For this recipe, you will want to use it fresh and moist.
The freshly shredded coconut is added to the batter.
The finished cake layers.
The recipe is as follows:

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

5 extra-large eggs at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

3 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup sour cream + 1/4 cup milk)

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

1 cup fresh shredded coconut (or store bought... try to find unsweetened if you can in the bulk section of your local specialty store.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. 

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Fold in 1 cup of fresh coconut.

Lightly grease and flour 2 round cake pans. Fill each with batter. Place on cookie sheet and bake about 35 - 45 minutes or until edges turn golden and toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn out onto cooling racks and cool completely before frosting. you could even chill the cakes if you like since the whole cake will go in the fridge when finished.

These also make great cupcakes:
Line a muffin pan with paper liners filling each to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and finish cooling then frost and top with shredded coconut.
For the frosting:

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded coconut (either toasted or un-toasted)

Meanwhile, make the frosting. On low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the top of the first layer and place top layer on. Frost entire cake with remaining frosting.
(I usually have a little extra and freeze it. It's great for any cake and even on brownies.)
I prefer to used toasted coconut for the outside. It gives the cake a nice little crunch. Refrigerate until cool and remove 15 - 20 minutes prior to serving.

Spread plain frosting on one layer and stack 2nd layer on top. Frost entire cake then coat with toasted coconut.


Kristin L said...

That looks delicious. I've heard that if you freeze your split coconut and then set it out to thaw, the meat comes out very easily. Haven't actually tried it though.

Conn said...

that's a great tip. will have to try it.

i did freeze a chunk of the meat to see how it reacts and have yet to try shredding it.

Dandy said...

Yum and hooray for the return of recipes! I love fresh coconut. My mom used to buy coconuts at the grocery store, hammer a nail into the soft circle and drain out the juice then let us take the coconut outside and throw it on the sidewalk to crack it. Boy did we love that. Sanctioned destruction! and then we would eat chunks of coconut with the brown on. Still one of my favorites.

Conn said...

i knew you would be happy to see this dandy.
i love " sanctioned destruction".
i usually eat the brown as well, but for cooking/baking it's a little more visually pleasing without.

Dandy said...

Hey, Conn--Yes,you know me by now! Little Miss Sweet Tooth. Especially for your recipes. :)

Magda said...

MIGHT go through all that trouble to make a cake. No thanks. Uh, John are you wearing Crocs in those photos? I hate your stupid Crocs. I would rather see you wearing dead cats on your feet than rubber sandals.

Conn said...

oh mags!!!!
you so jealous. don't be hatin'.
and the cros are perfect for here.
i swore i would never have them and now i have THREE pair! never say never my dear.