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  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake
  • Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake

Mile-High Homemade Coconut Cake

Food | September 03, 2019 | Nik Manojlovich
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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  • 80
  • 16
  • Moderate

Creamy coconut custard sandwiched between layers of fragrant white cake, topped off with a billowy frosting – enjoy this dreamy MILE-HIGH HOMEMADE COCONUT CAKE!

You simply have to trust me, if I can make this extraordinary MILE-HIGH HOMEMADE COCONUT CAKE, so can you. Yes! YOU can make this fabulously flavourful, show-stoppingly gorgeous, heavenly dessert.

In a way, I think this entire post started in reverse, with me envisioning the final beauty shot. I saw a tall, multi-layer cake finished with a snow-white frosting and a sprinkle of something for a bit of texture. Coconut came to mind, and then the whole concept took on a life of its own. Before long I knew I just had to realize the dream of making the best coconut layer cake ever.

Because I’m not a professionally trained chef, or even pastry chef for that matter, I knew I had my task cut out for me. Yet, with a little know-how and a lot of enthusiasm, I set out to do the concept justice.

The first serving of cake to my friends was a moment of truth, and I instantly knew I‘d made a dear bunch of pals very, very happy. Spoiler alert: this MILE-HIGH HOMEMADE COCONUT CAKE, that should serve 16, was devoured by 6 sweet-toothed friends and yours truly in under 24 hours.

Yup, it’s that good!

I’m going to breakdown the process into the key components and give a few insights into each. This recipe is written as a step-by-step tutorial, so don’t worry; just follow the recipe as written and success will be yours.

Let’s make a MILE-HIGH HOMEMADE COCONUT CAKE!

Homemade Coconut Cake

COCONUT JOY

Because coconut is the principle flavour for this dessert, you’re going to need to source the good stuff. Call your favourite purveyors in advance to make sure they have unsweetened coconut, in both shredded and flaked varieties, plus pure coconut extract. If organic versions are available, use them. You’ll taste the difference.

Lastly, if you’re up in cottage country and can’t find these key ingredients, call incoming friends for help. This post would not have been possible without the assistance of my dear friends Heather Lynn, Bill and Jordan who tracked down the exceptional coconut I used to create it. Thanks you gals and guy – a real triumvirate of foodies!

Homemade Coconut Cake

SOME CAKE

I found a really straightforward recipe for a white cake in my mom’s recipe box. We were more of a chocolate cake crowd when I was growing up, so her white cake recipe held no memory amongst my faves. I tested a few versions until I got it right. It’s super easy as far as homemade cake recipes go, but I do have one “don’t miss” moment: add pure coconut extract. It certainly adds flavour but more importantly, it gives this simple coconut cake recipe a heady fragrance.

Aside: I had to text Carol, my sisters and Heather Lynn while I was shooting the story about how mighty fine my kitchen smelled. Yes, your cottage or home is going to smell so enticing when you make this – it’s some cake!

Homemade Coconut Cake

DREAM CREAM

The little added bonus for this recipe is the creamy coconut custard that goes between the layers of cake. You can make it while the cakes are baking in the oven. Although you might expect a smooth custard, I changed the texture by stirring in some shredded coconut. Remember this when you take your first bite – it plays off the moistness of the cake and adds yet another pop of flavour.

Homemade Coconut Cake

DAM IT!

Make sure to watch the VIDEO attached to this recipe before you make the cake. Pay close attention to the way I create a dam of frosting along the outside of cake layers before adding the custard. It might seem like a fiddly extra step but it’s important if you want to avoid the golden colour of the custard from mixing in with the white frosting. Adding that dam of frosting also keeps the surprise of the custard hidden within the layers.

Homemade Coconut Cake

MINUTE ICE

Prepare to be amazed by the process and results when you make this Seven-Minute Frosting. No, seriously, four ingredients and a bit of work with a hand mixer and you’re left with a billowy, brilliantly white frosting that goes the distance. We also crafted a standalone minute-long video on how to make this essential recipe. Click HERE to watch it, remembering to save the video for future reference.

Homemade Coconut Cake

ALL TOGETHER NOW

My only suggestion on assembling this MILE-HIGH HOMEMADE COCONUT CAKE is to go slow. Give yourself time so there’s absolutely no reason to rush. I suggest you do as I did: before assembling, get everything you need at the ready, stop, take a huge deep breath and proceed with confidence.

If you’re still with me, and I know you are, you’re ready to make it. It is so worth the effort and better still wait until you and your guests sit down to enjoy it. Expect lots of OMG’s and oohs and aahs, but don’t expect the cake to stick around for long; it will disappear pretty quick, which is just the way we like it.

Now after you’ve made this dessert, you’ll be ready to tackle some of our other dessert offerings like our CHOCOLATE CELEBRATION CAKE or a cheat cake like our HARVEY WALLBANGER or IRISH WHISKY CAKE. Yes, sweet dreams are made of this!

Thinking of dessert? This MILE-HIGH HOMEMADE COCONUT CAKE is a dream!

Homemade Coconut Cake

PIN ME!!!

CLICK THE IMAGE to PIN it to a board!

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Ingredients & Amounts

  • For the cake:
  • cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • ¾ cup of whole milk, divided
  • ¾ cup of butter, room temperature
  • cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon of pure coconut extract
  • butter and flour to grease the pans
  • For the coconut custard:
  • 8 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
  • cup of 35% cream
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of pure coconut extract
  • cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • For the Seven-Minute Frosting:
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • For garnish:
  • 2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

Instructions

  1. To create 2 round 8-inch cakes: Trace the shape of two circular 8-inch pans onto two sheets of parchment paper and cut them out. Butter the bottoms and sides of the pans, then place one parchment circle into each, pressing it down into the greased bottom of the pan. Grease the top of the parchment paper, then sprinkle in a few tablespoons of flour. Tap the flour around in the pans to coat the bottom and sides. Tap out and discard excess flour. Set pans aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  3. Stir flour, salt and baking powder together. Sift and set aside. Add ¼ cup of milk to egg whites. Whisk together and set aside. Whip butter in a medium-sized bowl using a hand mixer until light and fluffy. With mixer running, slowly add in sugar, bit by bit. Add in vanilla and coconut extracts. Add dry mix in small amounts, mixing until incorporated. Add the egg white mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining milk and mix for an additional 3 minutes to create a smooth batter.
  4. Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Transfer to oven and bake for 35 minutes, rotating the pans at the halfway mark. Cakes are done when the tops are golden and a cake tester comes away clean. Transfer cakes in pans to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before inverting the pans and removing the cakes. Discard parchment paper. Cool cakes completely.
  5. Toast the coconut flakes: Spread coconut flakes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer to 325°F oven and toast for about 10-15 minutes or until flakes are golden and toasted. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
  6. Prepare the coconut custard: Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the cream and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Heat this mixture and just before it comes to a boil, whisk in the cornstarch. Cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded coconut. Then stir in the the coconut extract and transfer to a bowl. Cover with storage wrap and cool completely.
  7. Prepare the Seven-Minute Frosting: Place a medium-sized stainless steel bowl over a pot containing about 1-inch of simmering water. Add the sugar, salt and water and stir to dissolve. Add the egg whites and whisk to combine. Whisk continuously until the mixture warms and becomes frothy. Exchange whisk for hand mixer. Beat mixture on high for 6 minutes until very light and fluffy and the frosting holds stiff peaks. Remove from heat and beat for an additional minute to cool the frosting.
  8. Assemble the cake: Place cake layers side-by-side on a flat surface. Run a sharp knife horizontally through each cake, dividing each into equal layers, four in total. Place 5 or 6 dollops of the frosting into a storage bag and snip off one corner to create a piping bag. Set aside.
  9. Take a cake plate, placing onto a Lazy Susan, if you have one. Invert the top half of one of the cakes onto the centre of the cake plate. Cut strips of parchment paper and gently lift the edges of the cake, sliding the strips underneath to protect the plate from icing. Repeat until the four strips of parchment are placed in a square shape to cover the cake plate.
  10. Using the piping bag, run a thin line of frosting along the outer edge of the cake. Add three or four dollops of the custard onto the centre. Using an icing palette, spread the custard out into an even layer across the surface until it just meets the icing dam. Invert the bottom half of the cake on top and repeat this same process on the second and third layers. After adding the final layer of cake on top, add a generous dollop of the frosting, smoothing it out across the top of the cake. Frost the sides of the cake, distributing it evenly to cover.
  11. To apply the toasted coconut: sprinkle coconut flakes on a small section of the side of the cake, then gently press with a piece of parchment paper so that the flakes stick to the frosting. Repeat in small sections until the sides of the cake are covered. Sprinkle the top of the cake with more coconut flakes. Add additional flakes to any open spots until it’s evenly distributed.
  12. Gently pull parchment strips away from underneath the cake, removing excess frosting and flakes in the process. Brush away any stray flakes and remove frosting smears with a slightly damp towel.
  13. Slice and serve the cake within a few hours. Cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for two days. Refrigerate any remaining cake after the second day.

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Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.

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