This cake has been a favorite of my husband’s for years. It’s in his top 3 most frequently requested birthday cakes for him. I don’t blame him though, the cake is really delicious. Here we are now, trying to make things a little lighter, so I’ve made a few modifications to my traditional recipe, making it a bit healthier….a bit. I swapped out some of the flour for whole wheat, also reducing sugar and butter.
The only problem with the cake I’m showing, don’t worry the recipe is correct here, is I cut my recipe in half. Not a big deal right? Well, the problem was, I forgot to cut the milk in half. It’s hard to be winning all the time ;). Thankfully the cake still baked and tasted great! Just a different texture than normal.
Start by beating your egg whites to stiff peaks. I do this first, so I don’t have to wash the beaters before doing this as last step.
Mix flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.Make sure and sift together, you don’t want any lumps in this batter
. Next, beat butter and sugar.
Add egg yolks and vanilla.
Mix only until combined. Next, alternate flour mixture and milk until it barely comes together.
Last step, fold in egg whites.
Pour into prepared pans. Bake until springy to the touch.
When they are cooling, start the coconut cream.
Place egg yolks in large bowl. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.
Gradually whisk in milks.
Heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 7-10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Temper egg yolks with heated milk mixture. Put back over heat another 3-5 minutes.
Stir in coconut and vanilla.
Transfer to a medium sized bowl and cover with saran wrap on surface. You can put this in the fridge to cool, but I needed mine to be ready pretty quickly, so I cooled mine in a ice bath, as shown below. Chill until it’s cool and gets firm.
Prepare buttercream. I used 2 sticks softened butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and milk to come to the consistency you are looking for. Make sure you beat this on high to get it light and fluffy.
A side note- Here’s the cake turner I’ve used for years, and years. My dad made it for me when I had just graduated from culinary school, it’s the smoothest thing I’ve ever used! I love it! I would never buy another.
Taking each cake, pipe a ring of buttercream around outside of cake. Fill the inside of circle with the chilled coconut cream.
Repeat for all 3 layers.
Ice the sides. This is way harder than it used to be. I guess the saying is true- if you don’t use a talent you lose it. I’m pretty sure I’ve almost lost it!
Cover with toasted coconut.
The top I used a piped shell around the border. I was a baker back in the early 2000’s, and shells used to be where it was at. Plus, I’m not good enough to get it totally smooth anymore, so the toasted coconut on the side and piping around top corner, covers all mistakes!
These piping bags used to be like an appendage, I miss it!
Cut the cake carefully. With the pastry cream in the centers, the cake is a little fragile, and prone to separate.
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- dash salt
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar, could also use coconut sugar if you prefer
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep your baking dishes. I used 4- 6 inch round cake pans. You could use 2-8inch rounds, a full 9×13 etc. I simply spray mine. If you are worried about your cakes sticking, butter and flour.Beat egg whites to stiff peaks.In separate smaller bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt.In larger bowl, beat butter and sugar and light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix to combine. Once you add the eggs in any baked goods, this is where you need to be careful not to over mix. So, combine only until it comes together. From here, alternate flour and milk. I always start with milk, then I can end with flour. With this recipe, I just did 2 batches of each. So- milk, flour, milk and flour. Next is the beaten egg whites. Mix in about half of the egg whites. With the second half of your egg whites, fold carefully. Try to maintain the structure the egg whites create. Portion in your pans. I use my portion scoops when I do this, I don’t like to weigh if I don’t have to- I left that behind when I stopped working in the food industry- thank heavens!My cakes took about 20-25 minutes to bake. They weren’t very thick cakes, which is prefect for layering tall cakes like this one. Just keep an eye on them and don’t over bake.Let them cool completely before icing. You can chill in the fridge if you are in a hurry, but I prefer not to if I can help it.
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- dash salt
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup regular milk
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in pan. I used my thick bottom stainless steel pan. Gradually mix in milks. Cook over medium low heat 7-10 minutes until it thickens.With your egg yolks in a medium sized bowl, temper them with the heated milk. Do this adding a small amount of heated milk to egg yolks while stirring CONSTANTLY. If not, you’ll start too cook the egg yolks. Now, don’t worry if this happens a little, you can always strain the cooked eggs out. Anyway, continue to pour in milk until it has all been added.Return milk to pan and continue to cook on low for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.Remove from heat and add vanilla and shredded coconut. If you don’t need this right away, cover with saran wrap directly on the top of cream and get it into fridge. I did need it pretty quickly, so I put my pan over an ice bath. This method took about 5 minutes to chill completely, which was the time frame I was looking at. So, it works best if your container holding the hot food is metal, then the cold will transfer faster. I just left mine in the pan I cooked it in. I didn’t feel like washing about dish….. Use a larger container for the ice bath, I used a larger bowl. Use several cups of ice, and water if you want, in the larger container. If you are really in a hurry, remember to mix fairly constantly. This will help it cool even more quickly.Next- sit back and enjoy your hard work. You deserve it.