I make a variety of desserts to end the holiday meal, but no matter what else is on my dessert table, Coconut Cake is a must every year. This cake makes me think back to my maternal grandmother, Felicia, once again. When I was young she lived with us and worked in a bakery. Almost every night she would bring home wonderful desserts, and one of my favorites was a vanilla coconut cake. It had a thick layer of sweet frosting and it was piled high with coconut. As an adult I don’t have much fondness for a confectionary sugar based frosting, so I have updated my recipe for coconut cake with a light whipped cream-cream cheese frosting. When I began The Elegant Occasion and had my signature line of couture cupcakes, I turned this cake into a decadent cupcake and named it “The Kristin” after my niece/goddaughter, as it is her all-time favorite. I guess you could say that this cake (which can be made into cupcakes with no change to the recipe) has extra special meaning to me. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine!
PS: You may be wondering why this beautiful cake is pictured out in the snow. Well, if you live in the Northeast you probably understand. It has been a wild winter, but spring is in the air…I hope!
- 3 ¾ Cups cake flour
- 3 Teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ Teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ Cups whole milk
- 1 ½ Teaspoons vanilla
- Juice and zest of three lemons
- 1 ½ Cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 ¼ Cups sugar
- 6 Extra large eggs
- ¾ Cup sour cream
To Make the Cake:
Grease three 8-inch round cake pans.
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.
Add in lemon zest.
In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, mix vanilla and milk.
Add the flour and milk mixtures alternately to the batter beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Add in the sour cream and lemon juice and mix until incorporated.
Divide batter among the three pans evenly and place in a 325 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Remove cakes from oven and place on a rack to cool.
While the cakes cool, prepare frosting below:
Whipped Cream-Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 8-Ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 Cup confectionary sugar
- 2 Cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ Teaspoons vanilla
- 14 Ounces shredded coconut
Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until creamy. Add confectionary sugar and mix until incorporated and smooth. Add in the heavy cream and vanilla and whisk on high speed until the mixture resembles whipped cream.
To Assemble the Cake:
Place one layer of the cake on a cake plate and spread ½ cup of the frosting over the cake. Add the second layer of cake and spread another ½ cup of the frosting over it. Add the third layer of cake and spread remaining frosting over the top and down the sides.
Using your hands, cover the cake (top and sides) completely with shredded coconut.
Cake should be stored in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.