Saturday, April 13, 2013

Easter Coconut Cake

Easter isn't really over, in my opinion, until there is coconut cake.  White, light and fluffy cake with piles of frosting and sweet coconut.  If clouds were made of cake, I think they would be coconut cake.

So for my coworkers the Monday after Easter, I baked a light and fluffy coconut cake, and instead of filling the layers with buttercream, I filled them with a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache.  Then I frosted it with swirls of coconut buttercream and finished it with a sprinkling of sweet coconut and mini Cadbury eggs.

Pretty, sweet and simple.

Easter Coconut Cake
printable recipe

  • 1 boxed white cake mix
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (full fat)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
ganache filling:
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 ounces heavy cream
  • sweetened coconut
  • Easter candy, such as mini Cadbury eggs or peanut M&Ms

Bake the Cake:
Note: with only egg whites in the batter, the cake had a very light, very delicate crumb.  For a more structured crumb, use 3 whole eggs instead of the 4 egg whites.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray the paper as well.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the cake ingredients on low speed to moisten, then beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl once or twice.  Divide batter between the pans.

Bake cake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the center of the cake springs back when gently touched.

Cover pans loosely with a clean kitchen towel and cool completely on wire racks.

Make the Buttercream:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for several minutes until light and fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar and meringue powder on low, a little at a time, until moistened.  Add the milk, vanilla and coconut extract.  Beat on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy, adding more milk if needed for desired consistency.

Make the Ganache:
Just before you are ready to assemble the cake, get the ganache ready.  Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.  Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat gently over medium-low heat just until the edges start to bubble.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes, then stir with a spatula until smooth.

Assemble the Cake:
Remove the cakes from their pans and discard the parchment paper.  Place one layer of cake on a cake board or serving pedestal.  Pipe a border of buttercream around the edge of the cake, to create a "dam" so that the ganache doesn't leak out.  Spread half the ganache evenly over the cake, up to the dam.

Place the second layer of cake on top of the ganache, and repeat with another dam of buttercream, filling the center with the rest of the ganache.  Top with the third layer of cake.

Frost the cake all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream, then pipe or swirl the buttercream as desired around the sides of the cake.

Garnish with the coconut (toasted if you like) and candy.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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