Coconut cake

While an excellent cook, my mom rarely baked. Occassionally, we'd get a treat and she'd decide to buy one of those Pepperidge Farms frozen layer cakes. My sister always wanted chocolate, but I loved the coconut. I wanted to recreate that simple flavor in a vegan cake.

Most coconut batter recipes that I've tried, turn out a delicious, yet dense crumb, and I prefer something lighter. I also had visions of making a 4-layer beauty, but underestimated the amount of batter that would require. If you're feeling up to it, double this recipe and make the cake of my dreams.

Coconut cake
2 1/2 c. unbleached pastry flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. coconut milk
1/2 c. canola oil
1/4 c. plain soy yogurt
1 1/2 c. unrefined cane sugar
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1 c. + 1 tbs. sparkling water

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 2 - 9" cake pans with parchment, oil/flour, your non-stick method of choice, etc.

Sift together the flour through salt and set aside. With a whisk or electric mixer, blend together the coconut milk, oil, yogurt, sugar, and extract well. Stir in the water, then add the dry ingredients and gently mix until all of the batter is moistened. Pour into the two cake pans and bake for about 35 minutes, until it passes a toothpick test.

Remove pans from oven and set on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cake from the pans and let cool on the rack completely.

Coconut frosting
1 c. coconut milk
2 tbs. cornstarch
1/2 c. shortening (non-hydrog), room temp
1/2 c. margarine, room temp
1 c. unrefined cane sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. natural coconut flavoring
~ 1/4 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

In a cold sauce pan, whisk together the milk and cornstarch. Continue to whisk over medium heat, until the mixture becomes almost as thick as pudding. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In an electric mixer beat the shortening and margarine until fluffy, then cream with the sugar and extracts. Add the cooled milk mixture (which will now be as hard as jello) in quarters, letting it whisk up fluffy in between each addition. Continue to whisk for a few more minutes until the frosting is super fluffy. Add about 1/4 c. of powdered sugar to increase sweetness as desired (optional, though a little powdered sugar will help stiffen up the frosting nicely.)

Refrigerate until your cake is ready to frost.

Once your cake is cool, set one layer on a platter. You can tuck strips of parchment along the edges, to keep your plate clean. Frost the top of the layer, then place the second layer on top. Frost the entire cake, then sprinkle the top and pat the sides with the shredded coconut. Slide out the parchment strips, and you're set!


Vegetation said...

Wow, this looks absolutely incredible! As much as I love chocolate (and peanut butter) I also have an addiction to coconut and this looks like a coconut dream!

textual bulldog said...

wow, gorgeous, gorgeous cake!

Lindsay said...

fantastic recipe! i just made this for my husband's birthday and everyone (vegans and non-vegans) loved it! AND, i took your advice and made the four layers! we still have some left over, and it's still moist and delicious two days after baking.

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! I made this cake last night and both vegans and non-vegans loved it. The cake was super moist and flavorful. Thanks so much for posting your recipe.