I know this is starting to resemble a baking blog, but I can't help but share this coconut cake recipe with you. I make this cake in the spring, and it's become an Easter tradition for our family. It's a show stopper of a cake, with its three layers and billowy 7-Minute Frosting. You can make it the day you're serving it, but I find that the cake gets better and better as it sits. I usually make the cake and filling portion the day before and assemble it. Then, I make the frosting a few hours before serving (the frosting does not have the same shelf life as the cake).
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups sifted, self-rising flour (I prefer White Lily brand)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
4 Tablespoons milk
7 ounces flaked, sweetened coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed.
3. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.
5. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely before filling and frosting.
1. Stir together sugar, sour cream, milk, and coconut in a bowl until well blended.
2. Invert first cake layer onto a cake plate. Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1-inch apart, until entire cake has been poked.
3. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.
4. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting and sprinkle coconut on top.
Coconut Cake Frosting:
3 egg whites
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup cold water
1½ cups sugar
¼ plus 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. In an electric mixer bowl, combine the egg whites and the vanilla extract and set aside.
2. In a medium-size saucepan over high heat, combine the water with the sugar and the cream of tartar. As mixture begins to bubble at edges, stir once to make sure the sugar is dissolved completely, then let come to a rolling boil (about 2-3 minutes) and remove immediately from heat.
3. in a medium-size bowl, on the medium-high speed of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and the vanilla extract with the whisk attachment until foamy, about 1 minute.
4. Without turning off mixer, pour the sugar syrup into the beaten egg whites in a thin, steady stream. Continue beating constantly, on medium-high speed, for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form but frosting is still creamy. Frost cake immediately.
Generously sprinkle top with shredded coconut.