Ultimate Coconut Layer Cake

This recipe makes absolutely the most delicious, moist, giant coconut layer cake you’ve ever been so lucky to sample.  Tried and true at least 50 times, this impressive cake will sate the most difficult-to-please coconut lover – Promise!  It has graced (briefly…) my Christmas table more years than I can recount. 

The filling needs to chill overnight, so be certain to begin preparing this dessert at least one day ahead of time. 

Filling:

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. good vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup whipping cream

½ cup sugar

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut

¼ cup sour cream 

Cake:

3 ½ cups cake flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder (be sure it is fresh)

½ tsp. salt

2 ¼ cups sugar

1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp

5 large eggs

1 1/3 cups whipping cream

1 Tbsp good vanilla extract 

Frosting:

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temp

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. good vanilla extract 

4 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (15 min. at 400 degrees F.) 

To make the filling, place the cornstarch, water and vanilla in a small bowl and stir until cornstarch is dissolved.  In a medium heavy saucepan, bring cream, sugar and butter just to a boil over medium-low heat.  Add the cornstarch mixture and continue to slowly boil until thick.  Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the coconut.  Cool completely.  Then mix in the sour cream until blended.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours. 

To make the cake, begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F.  Then butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, blending well.  In your mixer bowl, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy,  Add eggs, one at a time and beating very well after each egg.  Next, add the cream and vanilla and mix well. 

Slowly and gently, fold the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture until the flour is fully incorporated and moistened, but do not beat (to prevent gluten from forming). 

Divide the batter equally among the three pans.  Bake for about 35 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.  Set aside to cool completely. 

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until well blended.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. 

To assemble the cake, place one layer onto a cake plate.  Top this layer with half of the chilled filling.  Place the second cake atop this filling and top it with the remaining half of the filling.  Place the third and final layer on the very top.  Beginning with the sides of the cake, begin spreading frosting, covering the cake well, and completely covering the top, as well.  Take your hand and “pat” the toasted coconut over the sides and top of the cake, pressing gently to adhere.  Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.   

(If you don’t have a cake cover tall enough for this cake, you can place four toothpicks on what would be the corners of the top of the cake and drape plastic wrap carefully over the tops of the toothpicks, covering the cake entirely.  When the cake is to be served, remove the toothpicks and carefully smooth the toothpick holes with a warm, dry teaspoon.) 

Allow the cake to stand at room temperature for three house before serving. 

This cake easily serves 12 people. 

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~ by eheavenlygads on March 13, 2007.

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