Looking for an Easter dessert? Try a coconut cloud cake
Here comes Peter Rabbit
Hopping down the bunny trail
Hippity, Hoppity, what do you want to eat?
More Melinda:Go green this spring with this simple salad
Well, she usually eats carrots and greens, but rumor has it she’s fallen off the bandwagon, so to speak.
He wants cake for Easter dinner. You’re ready to skip the traditional rabbit meal and go straight to dessert.
You’ve been craving a fluffy, soft and moist cake with coconut. Mr. Cottontail thinks the coconut will count as a vegetable, so he takes the blame off of him.
Peter remembers that in the past, coconut cake was very popular. He graced many Easter tables.
Then, in the last 10 years or so, it seems to have disappeared. Boxed cake mixes and quicker, easier desserts have replaced coconut cake. I mean, who wants to spend 7 minutes alone with the icing?
I made this cake for my mom for her birthday in 2021, and it was a huge hit with her and the rest of the family. If you or someone you love is a fan of some kind of coconut cake, you must try this.
This cake is a bit more labor intensive than, say, a box cake, but I’m here to tell you that it’s totally worth it. I put some secret mix in between the layers to help keep it moist. Cake flour makes it light and fluffy like a cloud.
This cake is worth the effort; You can split up the steps and get it done in two days, though an afternoon is certainly manageable.
And a final thought from our friend Peter: “There is time to practice, but don’t delay, for hippity, hoppity, Easter is on its way!”
coconut cloud cake
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
2 cups of sugar
3 cups cake flour (do not substitute all-purpose)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons coconut extract (not flavoring)
1 cup Coco López or sweetened coconut cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup of water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pans by lightly spraying them with cooking spray, then line bottoms with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg is added.
Add flour and coconut milk alternately. Start with the flour and finish with the flour, then add the coconut extract, mix for another minute.
Divide batter among three greased and floured 9-inch pie pans. Tip: I use a food scale to make sure I have the same amount of batter in each pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan by loosening the cake from around the edges with a butter knife or offset spatula. Gently loosen the cake from the bottom by lifting the pan up and down until the cake is loose on all sides, and remove by placing the cake rack over the top of the cake, then flipping it over. Remove the parchment paper. Let the cake cool completely.
Note: When I assemble the cake, I layer the layers on a cardboard round not much larger than 11 inches in diameter. So it’s easier to add the coconut on the sides and on top. After applying the coconut, you can put it on a cake plate, leaving the cake on the cardboard. I cover the cardboard with aluminum foil and put a little frosting under the cardboard to help the cake from slipping.
Stir together the sugar, sweetened coconut milk, and sour cream in a bowl. Once the cakes are cool, you can put 1/2 cup of the filling on the first layer. Then cover that layer with another cake. Spread another 1/2 cup of the filling on the second layer. Place the third layer on top and cover with 1/2 cup of the filling. Use chopsticks to keep the layers from slipping. Try not to let the filling spill over the sides of the pie. This will get in the way when you frost the cake.
You will have something left over. Don’t be tempted to add it. Your cake will get messy and the frosting won’t stay on it.
You could stop here and leave the cake overnight. You don’t need to refrigerate, but you can.
7 Minute Frosting:
Combine sugar and cream of tartar. Add to a bowl along with the corn syrup, salt water, and egg whites. Mix with a hand mixer for 1 minute.
Place over a saucepan with boiling water. You only need about an inch or two of water in the pan. Do not let the mixer bowl touch the water or the frosting will be grainy.
Beat constantly on high for 7 minutes. The frosting should be glossy, and when the beaters are turned upside down, a soft peak should form. If not, beat the frosting for another minute, but don’t overdo it. Then add the vanilla with a spatula.
Frost the cake by placing dollops of the frosting around the top edge of the cake. Using a knife or offset spatula, strain the frosting down the sides. Then put the remaining frosting on top. Shake or level the frosting with a spoon or spatula.
Put 2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut in a large mixing bowl. Make sure the coconut is loose with no lumps. Hold the cake over the large bowl and tilt it to apply the coconut to the sides, turning the cake a little at a time to ensure there is plenty of coconut on the sides. Drop the excess into the bowl. Then top the cake with sweetened coconut.
This cake is a little piece of heaven and will stay fresh for four to five days.
That is, if there are any left to last that long.
Melinda Malott of Williamsport is a self-taught baker and cook. Follow her on Instagram @Melindaluvs2bake.