Coconut Cake

I love coconut cake, and I never eat it.

Well, unless you count Hostess’ Raspberry Zingers as coconut cake– then I had one about a month ago.

It was that love of  those Zingers that led me about a year or so ago to a recipe from Culinary Cory for a Raspberry Coconut Cake.  And earlier this month, I finally decided to make the cake; however, I didn’t buy the raspberries because there weren’t any fresh ones to be had.

But why would I let that stop me?

I wouldn’t.  And I didn’t.


Coconut Cake

cake recipe barely adapted from Culinary Cory’s Coconut Raspberry Cake who adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook; cream cheese frosting recipe from my head



4 egg whites, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter softened

1-3/4 cup sugar

1-1/3 cup milk (I used buttermilk)

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Decoration/ Presentation

1/2-1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

drained mandarin oranges


For the cake:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare 2 6-inch round baking pans– grease and line them with parchment paper.   Below is a quick and easy way to cut circles for the cake pans.  Or you could, ya know, just trace them onto parchment paper and cut the circle out.  Me, I like to fold and cut– mostly because I’m too lazy to pull out the pencil and trace.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour,

baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

It’s all fluffy and soft now.

In another bowl (in my case, the bowl of my stand mixer), cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Ideally, the butter is soft because it’s been at room temperature for a while.  Unfortunately, the day I made this room temperature was somewhere around sixty degrees.  Brrrr.

Separate the eggs.  Try to figure out what to do with the yolks.  I never thought of anything constructive, so mine ended up going to waste.  I hate that.  It’s why I almost never make white cakes.

Here’s a lovely picture of the buttermilk and sifted flour.  And, yeah, that’s really buttermilk that hasn’t been bought from the store.  I was out of milk, but I had some heavy cream, so I mixed up a batch of butter and used the leftover buttermilk in place of the milk.  It worked.

Once the sugar, vanilla, and butter have been combined, slowly mix in the egg whites.

Then add in the flour and

the milk (or buttermilk) alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.  Try not to over mix the batter.

Once mixed, fold in the coconut.

Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.

I ended up with about 3 cups per pan

with enough left over to make six cup cakes, which I baked at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Bake the 6-inch cakes for approximately 30 minutes.  Test them with a wooden skewer to make sure they’re cooked all the way.  Allow them to rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack.

For the frosting:

While the cakes cool, prepare the cream cheese frosting.  I didn’t take any pictures of this step.  Just mix together the softened cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar until it’s thoroughly combined and creamy.

Decorating/ Presenting the cake:

Place one of the cooled layers onto a cake round.  Fill the center with a few tablespoons of frosting.  I wish I’d thought about putting some orange marmalade between the layers.  Top with the second layer, and frost with the remaining frosting.

I didn’t even think to take shots as I went along.  I also forgot to line my round with waxed paper, so things got a bit messy.  Anyway.  When you frost the cake, start with a heap of frosting on top and work your way down the sides.

Fortunately, since the whole cake will be covered in coconut, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Gently press the remaining coconut all over the cake.  Don’t worry if it’s messy.  One- it really won’t matter in the end, and two- you can always clean the round off with a paper towel or napkin.

To serve, transfer the cake onto a cake stand, and decorate with mandarin oranges.  Hard to believe that’s the same cake, isn’t it?  If I didn’t know that those were the tulips for my garden or that the table cloth is really the curtain that used to hang in the living room of the house that I brought my baby boy home to after he was born, or that (ugh) little bit of blue behind the flowers is my daughter’s booster seat, I’d think this was taken from a magazine.  I’m a little proud of myself here.  Well, okay, except for the violently orange color of the mandarin oranges.

I don’t know what happened to the color of my oranges.  The saturation was way off.

Truth here.  The cake– it wasn’t great after it first baked.  Boy, the Husband, and I all had the same reaction to the warm cupcake– it tasted like cornbread.  I know, right?  Is that not the weirdest thing ever?  But it did.  Cornbread.  However, after a day in the refrigerator, the frosted cake was actually quite good without any traces of that cornbread taste.

The crumb was really tender and delicate,

and while it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in a coconut cake, it was pretty tasty.

Yield: 8 slices & 6 cupcakes

6 responses to “Coconut Cake

  1. Oh, wow! Love coconut and love this coconut cake idea! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This looks delicious! I don’t have half the tools you do though 😦

  3. Love all your step-by-step visuals and the cake looks sooo good!

  4. Thanks! I was pretty happy with how it turned out, but I was a little concerned when I took a bite and then gave my son a bite of the cupcake and he said exactly what I was thinking. Why it tasted like cornbread when warm is still beyond me. Chilled, though– yummy!

  5. Great looking cake! Love the idea of using mandarin oranges. Thanks for trying my recipe.

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