Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love, love, love coconut and Ina Garten so I can't believe I have never tried her coconut cupcakes or cake recipes. My birthday was last week and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to rectify this wrong! In true Ina fashion, the recipe was straightforward and delicious.

The cake is reminiscent of a pound cake. It is absolutely delicious and the sprinkling of coconut throughout adds just the right texture. This cake is uber-rich and best served at room temperature. I doubled my preferred cream cheese frosting recipe (below) instead of Ina's and found it to be the perfect complement to the cake. This cake received rave reviews from my family, friends, and co-workers and the birthday girl!

Coconut Cake
Barefoot Contessa at Home, Ina Garten

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don't be concerned.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip!).

To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

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  1. Beautiful cake! I bet it was so delicious.

  2. What a lovely birthday cake! I made Ina's coconut cupcakes once and they were a huge hit.

  3. Coconut cake and Ina Garten - love them both and the cake is gorgeous! Happy belated Birthday too - I am sure it was delicious - Cheers!


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