I'll just come out and say it....I love coconut! I love it in all its' forms, whether it is dried, sweetened, toasted, raw...with chocolate, without. My favorite candy bar is an Almond Joy and I'm in heaven when I pick a chocolate out of a box of mixed chocolates and get the one filled with coconut cream...yeah!
So, with that introduction, and my love of cake, you may not be surprised that I have been on a hunt to find the best recipe for coconut cake on the face of the planet. And....drum roll....I think I've found it! I have tried a number of recipes over the years and found a couple good ones, but not one that made me quit searching....do you know what I mean? It's like the carrot cake recipe I shared earlier....I have yet to taste a better one so I don't search anymore. Why mess with delicious perfection?
One day I was cruising through recipes on the internet and came across this one, titled Coconut-Almond Cream Cake. I liked the sound of it already! Then I saw that it was featured in Southern Living magazine in 2008....another good sign. Then, the coup de gras was the baker's comments calling it his "masterpiece" and saying, "This is a tall cake, and it needs to be level if you want your friends to admire your work before they devour the cake - as they absolutely will." Now, I don't know about you, but I think those are convincing words...even for a baker.
The sad thing is...not everyone in my family shares my love of coconut...so I had to wait for an occasion to try the recipe. As much as I love cake and coconut, I knew it would not be a good thing for me to bake this just for me....the old saying, "A moment on the lips, forever on the hips" comes to mind.
Well, yesterday I had my chance...I was asked to bring a desert to a women's dinner group. If you decide to try this recipe, just be aware that you need to make the coconut almond filling at least 8 hours ahead of time, according to the recipe. (I made this part the day before). I know there are those who say you should never try out a new recipe on guests....but I have never heeded that advice. Now the cake is all done....and I'm dying here...dying to try it out! I will have to wait and tell you how it tasted a little later. You can follow the recipe here, or go to My Recipes.com.
Coconut-Almond Cream Cake
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Parchment paper
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- Coconut-Almond Filling
- Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
- Garnishes: kumquats, currants, fresh mint sprigs
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 minutes. Place almonds in a single layer in another shallow pan; bake, with coconut, 7 to 9 minutes or until almonds are fragrant and coconut is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
2. Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl.
4. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until blended. Beat 8 minutes or until very fluffy, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (about 30 seconds per egg). Stir in whipping cream and next 3 ingredients.
5. Gently fold butter mixture into flour mixture, in batches, just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
6. Bake at 325° for 30 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
7. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread half of chilled Coconut-Almond Filling over cake layer. Top with 1 layer, pressing down gently. Repeat procedure with remaining half of Coconut-Almond Filling and remaining cake layer.
8. Gently spread Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Press toasted coconut onto sides of cake; sprinkle toasted almonds on top. Garnish, if desired.
Coconut almond filling
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup sour cream
1. Stir together cornstarch, almond extract, and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl.
2. Bring whipping cream, brown sugar, and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and immediately whisk in cornstarch mixture. Stir in coconut and sour cream. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Coconut-Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cream of coconut
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium, and beat in cream of coconut and vanilla until smooth.
I think the hardest part of this cake is getting the toasted coconut to stay on the cake...a lot of it fell off and I had to scoop it up and put it back on! See my first attempt below...
Finally, the Coconut Almond Cream cake is done....
Just got back from dinner...the cake was delish...one of the best coconut cakes I've ever made! I think the search is over....but if you know of a coconut cake recipe that you absolutely love, I would be willing to check it out. Happy Friday, friends!