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Let's Eat With Hadrian IV - The Best Coconut Cake

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posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 07:45 PM

I don't know, but the problem with coconut cake seems to be that it's often a white cake with white frosting with some shredded coconut thrown in … very vanilla … and not so much coconut. Though sometimes, people throw in some synthetic coconut flavoring into the cake mix and/or frosting to help with the illusion.

I don't know if it's true, but sometimes it seems like people associate coconut cake with the winter holidays. Ain't nothing wrong with that (and I get the white/snow connection), but I associate it with the summer months. I think of it as a cool, refreshing indulgence for when it's hot outside, but you still want dump massive quantities of sugar and carbs into your system and you need to clog your arteries with some more butter and stuff. This is the perfect cake.

I found this recipe, more or less, years ago to make for someone who is partial to coconut cakes. They absolutely loved it, I loved it and so did everyone who ate it. But I lost/misplaced it until I got serious and needed to make a cake for the same person again. I didn't think this was the right recipe though it was close, but having made it again and remembering things, I do think this is the one. It's pretty pervasive on the Internet, so I don't know it's actual origin. It's called Hawaiian Coconut Cake.

The secret is the use of coconut milk and cream of coconut. The cake is essentially a plain, vanilla cake (though it's very good … it's so hard to resist eating more of it than the allowed test sample, raw eggs or not). But once the cakes are baked and cooled, you "paint" them with coconut milk which soaks in and is the first coconut pay-off. (It also recreates a moist cake even if you overcook them initially.)

Secondly, you add cream of coconut to some of the frosting and that, along with shredded coconut, form the second and third coconut flavor blasts. So the result, assuming you obviously wanted the flavor, is a real coconut experience. And again, the cake and frosting are refrigerated, so it's cool.

I also think the use of almond extract in addition to vanilla takes this cake to places impostor coconut cakes don't know about.

I had to cook the cakes much longer than indicated. This is because I stupidly put all three into the oven simultaneously, which of course, is not a good idea because you get very uneven baking and totally goof up the cooking times. The positive is that this recipe has some leeway in it because though I ended up with overcooked cakes and two of them were half dark brown and half dark yellow, the added coconut milk restores some moisture to the cakes and you cover everything with abundant frosting, so any burned edges or uneven sides are covered.

I also had way more filling than I needed left over. So I would suggest you can be fairly liberal with the filling. I guess I was kinda stingy for fear I wouldn't have enough to finish.


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2¾ cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
¼ cup coconut milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons almond extract
2 tablespoons sugar
another ¼ cup coconut milk

Frosting and Filling:
2½ cups sour cream
2½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups coconut
8 ounces whipped topping
½ cup cream of coconut

For the cake, grease and flour three 9" round cake pans. Combine ¾ cup milk and ¼ cup coconut milk and set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add it to butter mixture alternately with milk/coconut milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in flavorings. Pour batter into the greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350° (325° for dark pans) for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in the center of cake. Cool in pans on wire rack for ten minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Set out whipped topping to thaw a little bit. Combine two tablespoons sugar with coconut milk and heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve sugar. Brush each cake layer with the coconut milk mixture.

For the frosting, stir the sour cream, sugar, extract and coconut in a bowl and mix well (mixture will be thin). Reserve one cup for later.

Put bottom cake layer on cake plate and frost with filling. Add the second layer and repeat. Top with final cake layer.

Add whipped topping and ½ cup cream of coconut to the reserved frosting. Mix well. Frost top and sides of cake. Add additional coconut to top and sides of cake (if desired). Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Store refrigerated.

posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 09:38 PM
My grandmother used to make something like this. She used coconut milk in it as well as a liberal amount of coconut sprinkled onto the outside and on the frosting in between the layers. It was always one of my favorites. She made this just about any time of the year. Some times to make it more colorful she would slightly toast some of the coconut to add on top.

posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 07:59 AM
I noticed this cake picture in your profile (just doing a bit of stalking around) and it made me lick my lips so I came to see what the thread was about. This cake looks absolutely wondrous and now I have to try it! Thanks for posting the recipe and tips!

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:01 PM
reply to post by dbates

yeah, i kinda forgot that part, dbates: after your done with the cake, some people like to go ahead and ... basically, cover the cake (top and sides) with additional coconut. it's easy for the top, you just kinda pour it on and maybe gently press with your hands or something just to make sure it's adhered. for the sides, you put the coconut in your palms and kinda, gently and quickly press it to the sides 'til your satisfied.

for me, this exponential increase in the coconut and the fact that this coconut is just straight becomes a little bit of a texture problem for me. so i don't do this. but a lot of people dig it real hard.

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:09 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

hiya, ben-her. glad it enticed you. if you ever do get around to making it (and assuming you do indeed like it), let me know. as many recipes as i've posted in various places, i've never known for a fact that anyone's used one. that'd be cool to know ... again, if you like it. otherwise, you should lie and say you loved it anyhow.

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 02:41 AM
That cake looks nice,and thanks for sharing the recipe,i want to have a try to make a lovely cake.

posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 10:24 PM
reply to post by skyvia

My pleasure. I hope you make it and I hope you like it, but I can't imagine you wouldn't. I would so love to make one this weekend, but no can do the calories right now. I once contemplated actually counting up the calories for this cake, but it would really be an exercise in tortuous futility. I mean, tons of butter, tons of sugar, a bunch of eggs, sour cream, Cool-Whip and cream of coconut (which is shocking on and of itself with respect to calories). I don't know how you could squeeze more fat and calories into it, except for maybe wrapping the whole thing in bacon, breading it and deep frying (don't laugh ... you'll probably see it at some state fair next year).

But, hey, it's cake. Once in a while.

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