Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Challenge: Coconut Cake

I know November's baking line up is often filled with pumpkins, and I wondered whether you'd all be hoping for something of that nature that you could bring to Thanksgiving dinner. All I can say is: I hope your relatives also like coconuts.

I've been wanting to make coconut cake for a while. My birthday was in September, and I almost baked myself a coconut birthday cake. Instead I got lazy and baked nothing. So this one has been on my to-try list for quite a while.

I first fell head-over-heels for coconut cake at Billy's Bakery in Chelsea. Any of you who are close to NYC should really check it out. While I'm partial to the coconut, you really can't go wrong there. And they are extremely generous with their cake cutting!

Below is the recipe I'm going to try, which is from butter lover extraordinaire, Paula Deen. There is also a really tasty looking recipe in this month's Jamie.

Happy baking!

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted self-rising flour
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks and cool completely.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

Stir together sugar, sour cream, milk, and coconut in a bowl until well blended.

Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the first layer of the cake, approximately 1-inch apart until entire cake has been poked. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top and sides of cakes with additional coconut.


Dorrie said...

Oh yipee! I have been craving coconut cake. Thanks Tori! Let's hope I have the time this month to make the cake...

Katy ~ said...

Yumm. that does sound like a nice recipe.

Gina said...

That sounds divine, and I have coconut milk in the pantry!

rena said...

Yum! I love the sound of this cake. Good choice :)

Catherine said...

This looks incredible and sounds delicious! Coconut is my guilty pleasure! You've outdone youself with this one! Happy Blogging dear friend. Hope you had a wonderful Halloween! :)

Sweet and Savory said...

This sounds great but I have to be a spoilsport. If I make that beautiful cake, no one in my house will eat it and my class who gets all my extras does not like coconut. What do I do now?

I am sorry. I did not want to miss any of these. I enjoy the journey together, sharing our experiences. I guess, I will have to be a "watcher", for this one.

It is funny, I love cococut on fruit salads but not on a cake.

Enjoy yourselves and please forgive me.

rena said...

Sweet and Savory, you can try to make the cake without coconut. The only thing you'll have to research is what you can replace the coconut milk with. Maybe condensed milk or something like that? I've never used coconut milk so I don't know the consistency and you can just omit the coconut from the filling as well. Just a thought so you can participate :)

Sweet and Savory said...

Rena, thanks. That should work. I do want to contribute. A regular cake should work.

I can find a subtitution for the coconut milk.

Cecille Ericta said...

Cake looks, great! I will bookmark this recipe to try.

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Hi anyone knows a good substitute for cream of tartar or white corn syrup? Baking soda or powder,a pinch maybe?

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Well a can of coconut milk would be 200ml ,am i right????

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rena said...

A little tip about self rising flour is that you can make it yourself. There is no need to buy special flour. The ratio of ingredients is usually about 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup of flour with a pinch of salt.

? said...

I tried this recipe and posted the results on my blog; could not figure out how to post it to this blog. Here is the link:

rena said...

Hello "?"
You need to join the group in order to be able to post. Please email me at and I can give you the information.

Thanks so much :)

Jackie said...


You say there is a coconut cake recipe on Jamie's blog, I have yet to find it. I linked on to Jamie's blog from your website. Can you tell me what issue it is printed in. Thanks.

rena said...

Hi Jackie,

I'll jump in with the answer since I have all the issues sitting next to me.

It's in the Oct/Nov 09 issue, page 68.