Eating In // Coconut Cake

Originally I made this cake for a client who loved coconut but didn't love coconut flavoring (same here). My goal was to make it heavy on the coconut flavor as natural as possible. Luckily for me, coconut products are everywhere these days. I took full advantage. If you love coconut, you should try it. I made it for my grandpa's 80th birthday because coconut is his favorite. Apparently his mother used to make coconut cake by hand shredding a fresh coconut. I'm thinking I'm going to have to try that next time. 


2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp 
1/2 cup coconut oil, room temp 
2 cups sugar 
5 eggs, room temp 
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
3 cups AP flour, plus more for dusting 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 cup canned coconut milk 
4 oz sweetened, shredded coconut 
For the icing: 
2 sticks of butter, room temp 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4-1/2 cup coconut milk 
1 lb. powdered sugar 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and mix well. 

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the coconut milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.

4. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are browned and the batter should be set.  Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

5. For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, vanilla and coconut milk on low speed. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth. 

6. To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature. This cake actually tastes really nice the day after, too. 

Recipe: Megan Forbes
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