This past weekend was so hot, it’s hard to believe it is almost fall. On Saturday evening I attended a house warming dinner and was in charge of bringing dessert. With temperatures reaching well into the 90s, I wanted to bring something that wasn’t too heavy and still felt summery. I chose to make a coconut cake with a bit of orange zest because it is so layered with flavor.
Coconut Cake Recipe
- 3 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 eggs, at room temp
- 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp. fresh orange zest
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temp
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (this depends how sweet you like frosting)
- 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 tsp. orange zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cake pans and line with parchment paper. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Add vanilla, almond extract and orange zest and mix well. The mixture won’t look like normal smooth cake mix, but it will even out. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Alternately add dry ingredients and the milk beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold in Coconut.
Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 40-50 minutes (my oven only takes 40 minutes). Cool on a baking rack completely before adding frosting. For frosting combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla and zest in a mixer on low speed. Add sugar and coconut and mix well. Once cakes are assembled, sprinkle coconut over top and sides and gently press. This is a messy process, so I like to do it by the sink!
Once cakes are cooled, slice off a thin layer to make cake even. Place first layer of cake on a spinner and apply a generous amount of frosting with a thin spatula starting in the center and moving towards the edges, repeat with the second layer Carefully move cake from spinner to a cake stand (I like to use a cake lifter to slide under the bottom layer) Slowly add shredded coconut to the top and sides of the cake and gently press into the frosting to keep it in place To offset all of the white, I added some vibrant purple dahlia’s