This feature is sponsored by KitchenAid, who is letting us play every day in the TasteSpotting Kitchen with the full suite of stand mixer attachments.
We kind of hate coconut.
So, we don’t know what inspired us to take a stroll down the path blanketed with coconut flakes.
Ok, we do know what inspired us.
It was the slicer attachment for our KitchenAid® Stand Mixer.
It wasn’t so much the taste nor the smell of coconut that we hated. Heck, we’ve enjoyed our fair share of Piña Coladas up on the lido deck, our tanning bodies slathered with Hawaiian Tropic. No, it isn’t even the coconut flavor in some curries, which we’d never order ourselves, but won’t refuse if it’s placed in front of us.
No, what has offended us has always been the texture of actual shredded coconut that is something of the worst hybrid between the residue from a rusty office paper shredder and thee-years expired instant Cup O’ Noodles ramen eaten “unhydrated”
Our mouth is doing that cotton-dry, smacky thing just thinking about it.
So the idea of slicing coconut at home intrigued us. We thought that like so many things done at home, perhaps coconut would taste so much better sliced at home.
You know what?
Fresh coconut sliced and shredded at home not only tastes better, but it’s so different that we didn’t even recognize it as related to that bagged stuff from the store.
There are two very obvious things we could make with coconut, but after researching recipes for Coconut Cake, we were so confused that we almost did take the easy way out and make Coconut Macaroons again.
In the end, we took a basic 1-2-3-4 cake batter, added Coco Lopez (we didn’t quite get how so many other cakes get to call themselves “Coconut Cakes” when there’s no coconut IN the cake, only ON the cake), and borrowed frosting from Italian Cream Cake, which is a sponge cake with pecans and coconut that’s about as Italian as German Chocolate Cake with pecans and coconut is German.
The final cake, in its multi-layered white-on-white-on-white glory, is gorgeous, and looks far more impressive than it should. We thought about toasting the coconut flakes to give them those lightly browned edges, but we sort of just like the snowy effect, something we never get to see here from our TasteSpotting headquarters in LA.
Coconut Cream Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Coco Lopez or other coconut cream
for Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese (2 packages), room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 cups fresh sliced or shredded coconut (lightly toasted in 250 degree oven is optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease, flour 2 9-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms of each pan with buttered parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes at medium speed. Add the eggs one at time, incorporating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and add the flour, alternating with the Coco Lopez and incorporating after each addition, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
Divide the batter between the 2 pans and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each layer comes out clean (start checking at 40 minutes). Transfer pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the layers onto racks to cool completely.
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract. Turn mixer to lowest speed and gradually add sifted confectioner’s sugar &fras12;-cupful at a time.
Assemble cake and frost:
If your cake layers are puffed up quite a bit in the center you can use a long, serrated knife and gently slice off the “bump.”
Or you can be as lazy as we are and flip the cake onto a serving plate with the bump side down, then press down to flatten it slightly.
Spread the flat, top surface of the first layer with frosting, then place the second layer on top with the bump- or sliced-side down. Frost the top and sides of cake. Press shredded/sliced coconut into frosting on top and sides of cake.
What We Used to Make Coconut Cream Cake
- KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer
- KitchenAid Stand® Mixer flat beater attachment (comes standard with mixer)
- KitchenAid Stand® Mixer Slicer/Grinder attachments
- 9-inch round cake pans
- Parchment paper
- Hammer and screwdriver