I’ve adapted this cake from a basic white cake recipe and a coconut cream cheese frosting recipe.
I doubled the frosting recipe and was able to make two 9-inch round cakes with frosting in the middle, on top, and on the sides. I still had enough left over to make a 9 x 13 inch cake. I would recommend using the frosting recipe as is for a 9 x 13 inch cake or multiplying it by 1.5 for 2 9-inch round cakes. I like having ample frosting. (who doesn’t?)
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 tbsp butter (I use the Irish unsalted butter which you can find at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and sometimes Costco. It has a richer flavor than other butters)
- 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
- 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (I’m partial to C&H Sugars)
- 2 tsp coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups Angel Flake (sweetened) coconut
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet. Add coconut; stir constantly over low heat until golden brown. Important: Toasting the coconut is kind of a pain in the ass, but it is required if you don’t want the cake to be way too sweet. Spread coconut on a paper towel to cool.
- Cream 2 tablespoons butter with the cream cheese; add coconut milk and beat in sugar gradually. Blend until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes) I use a kitchenaid hand mixer for this task and it gets the job done.
- Blend in vanilla; stir in approx 1/2 the coconut. You can mix in all the coconut into the frosting and just frost it or you can reserve about 1/2 the coconut to spread around the cake. I like to have enough toasted coconut to place on the tops and sides to give the cake a uniform look.
- Stack and sprinkle on remaining Coconut.
The cake part of this is a basic white cake recipe with 1/2 cup of coconut milk substituted for part of the milk. It gives the cake a light coconut flavor without overpowering and without being too sweet.
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Depends on your oven temp – if your oven runs hot, go lower. if your oven runs cold, go higher.
- Butter (or Crisco) the bottom of two 9-inch round or one 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Line bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Combine egg whites, coconut milk, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to teh butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beater often. beat on a low speed until just incorporated. You want to avoid over-developing the gluten in the flour and thus making a chewy cake.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth top with a rubber spatula.
- Bake cake(s) about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. (The cake will take longer if you are using a 9 x 13 inch pan. For the 9 inch rounds, check after 15 minutes.
- Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper, and let cool completely before frosting (about 20 minutes)