Christmas Coconut Cake

makes one 8-inch 3 layer cake


1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups cake flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes, finely chopped

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 extra large eggs, separated

2 cups whole milk

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract


8 oz cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons whole milk

1 teaspoon coconut extract

6 1/2-7 cups confectioners' sugar

2/3 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, puréed

2 cups sweetened coconut flakes


Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray.


In a medium bowl sift together the flours, baking powder and salt.  Add the chopped coconut and mix until combined.


In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening and butter at medium speed until creamy.  Add the sugar and egg yolks all at once and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.


Combine the milk and coconut extract.  Add 3/4 cup dry ingredients and 1/2 cup milk mixture alternately to the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed after each addition to incorporate.   


In a clean medium sized bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand held mixer until stiff peaks form.  Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the coconut batter until no streaks remain.


Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.  Smooth the tops and make a small well in the center of the batter to prevent the cake from doming as it rises.


Bake the pans on the center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes.  Remove the pans from the oven and cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Invert the cakes onto a wire rack.  Remove the parchment paper and cool completely.  Wrap the layers in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour and up to 48 hours.


When ready to assemble the cake, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on high for 1 minute using a hand held mixer, until very creamy.  Reduce the speed to low and add the milk and coconut extract.  Add the powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the final 1/2-1 cup of sugar and beat for 2 minutes on high. The frosting should be stiff, but spreadable.


To assemble the cake, place a cake layer on the cake stand with squares of parchment or wax paper underneath to guard the cake plate.  With a small offset spatula, spread 1/2 cup frosting1/4-inch from the edge of the cake layer.  Make a dam by spreading more frosting toward the edge to hold the cranberry filling.  Spread 1/3 cup of the cranberry filling inside the dam.  Place the second layer on top and repeat the process.  Place the top layer on and freeze for 1-2 hours.  Cover the remaining frosting with plastic wrap.


Remove the cake from the freezer and re-beat the frosting.  Use an offset spatula to spread a thin layer (crumb coat) over the entire cake.  Evenly spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake.  Use the 2 cups of coconut flakes to sprinkle on top and sides of the cake, gently pressing to adhere.  Carefully remove paper guards.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy!


Note: At room temperature the cake has more crumb, so use a very sharp knife to cut slices.  Either way, it tastes good!


Printed from thegalleygourmet.net