Recipe: Let Us All Eat Coconut Cake

I have a secret — give me a week and I can eat an entire coconut cake by myself. I’ll skip lunch and dinner so I can substitute it as a meal. That is, if it’s this recipe. Sometimes I just can’t help myself. I’m sure I’m not alone and for those of you, who like me, love anything to do with coconut, this delicious coconut cake recipe is just what the doctor ordered. I was inspired originally by Ina Garten’s Coconut cupcake recipe. When I saw her cake recipe, I decided to give it my own personal touch. I love the taste of buttermilk and the addition of it to this recipe gives it a twang that I just love with the sweetness of the coconut. This cake is always a hit and is often the dessert of choice for ceremonial occasions, particularly, anniversaries and birthdays. There are thousands of cake recipes to choose from but this one is a winner! Just don’t plan on sticking to your diet when this cake is around. All good things are worth indulging in now and then and this incredibly moist cake is perfect for just about any occasion. One tip though: Make sure you put a piece aside because once you serve it… it will go fast. I speak from experience as I learned this the hard way.
What you will need for the cake:

An oven preheated to 350 degrees
An electric mixer with paddle attachment
Two 9 inch round cake pans, greased and lined with parchment paper.
Grease the parchment lightly and then dust lightly with flour — tap over a trash can to remove any excess.
3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature (I prefer Plugra European style butter)
2 cups granulated sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons of pure almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups of sweetened shredded coconut (4 ounces)


Getting Started:
Put butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium high speed until lightly yellow in color and fluffy. This should take no more than 5 minutes. With the mixer still on medium speed, add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as necessary during the mixing process. Now add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. This mixture may look as if it is curdled but don’t worry, you’re on track to greatness!

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter in three parts, always beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix the batter or the cake will be tough. Fold in the coconut with a rubber spatula — never stir! Pour the batter evenly into the 2 greased pans and smooth the top flat. Bake in the center of your oven for 45 to 55 minutes. Do not open your oven for at least 45 minutes when you notice that the tops are lightly brown and you have the delicious aroma of cake in your kitchen. Cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and let them cool for about 30 minutes. Do not rush the cooling. Once 30 minutes has passed, you may remove the cakes from the pans but continue cooling by placing them on a baking rack. Never frost a warm cake. When the cake is room temperature, it’s time for the frosting.

The Frosting Recipe:

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 1/4 cups of sweetened shredded coconut, about 7 ounces (more or less if you prefer)


Once the cake is in the oven, you can clean the mixing bowl and paddle so you can use it for the frosting. Mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth. Now you’re ready to frost your cake. Take one layer of cake and place it top side down on a decorative plate or cake stand. Place small pieces of wax paper under the edges of the cake to keep from getting icing all over the plate. Once you have iced the sides of the cake, you can remove the wax paper. Spread the frosting evenly on the top, about å_ inch thick or so depending on how much frosting you like. I personally like an obscene amount of frosting on my coconut cake so I am quite generous with it. Gently place the second layer on top of the first layer. Frost the top of this layer first. When you are ready to frost the sides of the cake, place a spoonful of frosting on the top and then begin to work your way down and around the sides of the cake. A proper spatula for frosting will make the job much easier. Be generous with the frosting – that said, you will still have plenty leftover. Call the kids for a good lick or two.

Now it’s time for the coconut. Sprinkle the top generously with the shredded coconut and using your hands, press the coconut around the sides. Take your time when doing the sides to get it even and so it will stick. Remove the wax paper from the bottom of the plate and you are done. Your cake will be fluffy and gorgeous. Always serve at room temperature and watch it disappear.

Oh my God… you now have my all-time favorite coconut cake recipe.

And there you have it.