Today is Mr. L's Birthday! (Happy Birthday!!!)
Mr. L is usually a pie man, and I've made him cherry pies, lemon meringue pies, and even a key-lime pie for his natal day celebration. But this year he requested a coconut cake.
It just so happens I have a decadent recipe that I included in one of my Booktown Mysteries (Chapter & Hearse). This is no diet cake. (Which is too bad for us, because we're on diets.) But it is fabulous. Here's the recipe.
3 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
4 egg yolks, well beaten
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut
4 egg whites, well beaten
Measure the sifted cake flour into a bowl. Add baking powder and salt. Sift these ingredients at least 2 times. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, and gradually add sugar. Continue creaming until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg yolks and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in coconut and vanilla. Gently fold in egg whites. Bake in greased 8-inch pans at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes three 8-inch layers.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup coconut milk, room temperature*
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
(*You can substitute regular milk for the coconut milk, but also substitute coconut extract instead of vanilla extract.)
Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.
Frost cake. Gently press coconut onto the sides of the cake, and sprinkle the top with coconut, too.