A Confession + Coconut Cream Cake

Thursday, January 23, 2014

You may have missed it {insert sarcasm} but I just celebrated a birthday!  I had a cake, ice cream and cocktail party!  My goodness, it was fun, fabulous and unforgettable.

The drinks flowed.
The playlist was incredible.
My friends trumped everyone else's friends.

But the cakes.  My. Oh. My.  They were phenomenal.

My dear friend Holly made a coco feather cake that was decadent and delicious.
My lovely roommate made gluten-free carrot cake that tasted as if it were loaded with floury goodness.
Maybe if we ask nicely they will submit some guest posts and share their recipes.

And Martha Chartreuse, what did she make?  A coconut cream cake.

I put a lot of thought and consideration into my birthday cake.  We are talking hours on Pinterest.  I harassed my sister on GChat.  Forced her to look at pins.  Bullied her into debating the pros and cons of each and every option. She kindly played along.  I finally decided to combine several recipes.  Including bits from my girl Ina, the fancy people at Epicurious, and the ever knowledgeable folks at About.com.  While I did contemplate incorporating my favorite coconut-pecan frosting from Martha, it didn't make the cut.

Here is the thing.  A bit of a confession.  I cheated.  Just a little bit.  My friend Betty helped me out a bit.      I know!  I know!!  This is a blog named after the queen of homemade everything. But I am also human. There are only so many hours in a week, mixing bowls in my cupboards, and, lettuce for the birthday party budget.  Hint, one of these items I have a surplus of.

I also want this blog to be accessible.  I know a good amount of the readers.  Very few of you have the time or patience to make a complicated cake from scratch.  Maybe you, my one loyal mystery reader in Columbia, can pull this off.  If so, I will adjust accordingly.  And adding a cake mix seems to be a way to ensure this cake is made by at least one of you.

1 Box- Betty Crocker White Cake Mix
2 Tsp Coconut Extract
3 Eggs
1/3 Cup Oil
1 1/4 Cup Water
1 Tbs Rum
Butter & Flour {For flouring the pan}

1. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees {If using dark, non-stick pans} and grease and flour 2-9 inch pans.
2. In a medium size mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil, water and coconut extract.
3. Evenly fill the pans and bake on the middle rack for 22 minutes.  {The instructions indicated this would take longer but my oven seems to cook a bit faster}

4.  Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool.  While they are still warm, but not emitting steam, flip them onto a large cookie sheet.  Brush them with rum.  Let them cook completely

8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
4 Tbs Butter, Softened
1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Coconut Extract
1 Tsp Salt

1.  In a medium bowl sift the powdered sugar.

2.  In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and coconut extracts.  Use an electric mixer.

3. Add in sifted confectioners sugar and salt.  Beat until fluffy.

4. Can be refrigerated for 2 days.  Use at room temperature.

1 Pound Cream Cheese, Softened
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, Softened
3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1//4 Teaspoon Almond Extract
2 Teaspoon Coconut Extract
4 Cups Confectioners Sugar

1.  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, almond and coconut extracts.

2.  Add in confectioners sugar one cup at a time.  Mix until fully incorporated.

3.  Can be refrigerated for 2 days.  Use at room temperature for smooth spreading.

Coconut Chips
6 Ounces Unsweetened Coconut Chips

1.  Pre-heat oven to 325 Degrees.  Evenly spread coconut chips in a large baking dish or cookie sheet.

2.  On the middle rack, toast the coconut chips.  Be certain to watch the process closely and shake pan often.  Toast until golden brown.  Approximately 5-7 minutes.

3.  Let cool completely.


1.  On a large platter or cake stand transfer 1 9-inch round cake Top side down.  The Mega Lifter from Pampered Chef  is a fool proof way to pull this off without breaking your cake in half.

2. Evenly spread the filling on the bottom layer.
3. Transfer the 2nd 9-inch round cake to the first layer and filling.  Top side down.

4. Tightly saran wrap the cake and let it chill for at least 1 hour.  Can chill up to 2 days.
5. Remove the cake from the fridge and unwrap.  Using the frosting, crumb the cake.

6. Unwrapped, return the cake to the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
7. Frost the cake to your desired thickness.

8. Gently press the toasted coconut into all sides of the cake.  Clean up the base of the platter or stand.

9. Can be refrigerated for up to 6 hours.

Hints. Tricks. Notes.

  • I spread the baking, mixing, cooking and assembling out over a few days.
    • The baking, frosting, filling, Assembly 1-4 all happened on Thursday evening.
    • Steps 5-9 all happened on Saturday.
  • To soften the cream cheese and butter, I let it sit out for 2 hours.
  • Since I split the assembly in half I had to refrigerate the frosting.  I removed it from the fridge 3 hours prior to assembly.  This allowed it to come to room temperature and spread with ease.
  • I had a helper!  One of my oldest friends, Jamie, helped me on Thursday night.  It was a huge help and very fun.

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