Coconut Layer Cake with Lime Curd

Coconut Layer Cake with Lime Curd (Adapted from Gourmet | December 1995 & Bon Appétit | December 1999) 

For Lime Curd

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 6 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbs heavy cream
  • 3 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

For Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)*
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1  tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For Frosting

  • 1 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)*
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Make Lime Curd

In a heavy saucepan whisk together yolks, sugar, lime juice, cream, and butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes, or until mixture just reaches a boil (do not let boil). Strain curd into a bowl and stir in zest. Cool curd, cover its surface with plastic wrap, and chill at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

Make Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and sweetened cream of coconut in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients and then buttermilk, each just until blended.

Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites with pinch of salt in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.

Divide cake batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.

Assemble cake layers and lime curd:

Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate and spread evenly with lime curd. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut and chill 15 minutes, top with remaining cake layer. Chill cake 15 minutes.

Make Frosting

Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until fluffy. Add butter and beat to blend. Add sugar, sweetened cream of coconut and vanilla extract and beat until well blended.

Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle coconut over cake, gently pressing into sides to adhere.

Coconut Layer Cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving.

*Canned sweetened cream of coconut is available in the liquor section of most supermarkets.

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