Don’t tell chocolate, but coconut is one of my favorite foods of all time. It’s potent smell and taste trigger so many happy memories for me: sipping a drink in a Caribbean cove on my honeymoon, strolling along a creek eating coconut ice cream in Estes Park, trading my brother Skittles for Mounds at Halloween.
This week I’ve been craving coconut. I think it’s because The Bear and I have been using coconut oil to treat our eczema (thanks for the tip Ashley!). We’ve tried so many lotions and medications and nothing has worked as well as coconut oil. If you have dry skin, you’ve got to try this stuff. It’s not sticky, smells like summer, is safe for kids to get in their mouths, and leaves your skin smooth and soft. But I digress.
Today’s recipe is from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. Love her blog!! I made a few changes to suit my preferences. I’d never made a cake from scratch before (I know, what?). I couldn’t think of a better recipe to try it out.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 14 oz bag sweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup cream of coconut
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup (or honey)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 9 inch round pans. If you only have two pans, just fill one pan a little more than the other. You will split the taller cake in half. Sadly, I realized I didn’t have two regular round baking pans. How did that happen? I used my springform pans I use for cheesecake.
2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine sugar, cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. Add eggs, oil, and buttermilk and beat on medium speed for two minutes. Scrape sides of bowl and stir in boiling water. I made my own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of whole milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes. I found making my own ensures I don’t waste the leftover I’d have if I’d purchased it. Plus, it’s cheaper!
Important note: TURN OFF the mixer when you pour in the hot water. You don’t want that splashing everywhere, trust me.
4. Divide batter into cake pans (it will be thin) and bake for 30 minutes. I didn’t think this through, but if you filled one pan more than the other, it will need to bake about 5 minutes longer. I collapsed the top of my bigger cake. But if you forget, it stills turns out fine. 🙂 Allow cakes to cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool.
5. Filling: In a large bowl, combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk. Refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Ganache: In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave for about 2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and refrigerate until slightly cooled and thickened.
7. Frosting: In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter, cream of coconut, and heavy cream on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer set on low, slowly add powdered sugar. Once the powdered sugar is just barely mixed in, increase speed to high and beat for one minute until fluffy.
Hint: Cream of coconut is found with the drink mixes at Wal-Mart and the baking goods at Shop-n-Save so try both of those aisles if you’ve having trouble locating it.
8. We’re ready to put it all together! Spread coconut filling between 3 layers (if you only made 2 cakes, split one in half).
Frost with coconut frosting, and spoon ganache on top to the very edges of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
Garnish with a scoop of coconut filling or chocolate chips.
This was a hit! I loved the sweetness contrasted with the dark chocolate bitterness. Mmmmm.
This cake did take quite a few hours to prepare. While nothing was technically difficult, making all the components separately was a bit challenging (especially when the kiddos woke up from their naps). It was easy to assemble and the ganache covered up any “imperfections” in the icing. I would definitely make it again. In fact, all this writing about it has made me hungry. I think I’m going to go have a slice right now!