Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birthday Coconut Cake

I made this coconut cake for my mom's birthday this year, and I was really happy with how it turned out.  It's nice and moist with good coconut flavor.  I'm also in love with the frosting - a simple seven-minute frosting topped with sweetened flaked coconut.  This frosting is a lot easier to make if you have a stand mixer; if not I'd suggest finding a friend to help hold the blender while you pour in the sugar syrup.  My sister, Anna, was nice enough to help me out with the frosting - and she's holding the cake in the pictures below.  This really does make the perfect birthday cake - sweet, festive and delicious!

Birthday Coconut Cake (adapted from Diana Rattray, original recipe here)

For the cake:
2-1/4 cups cake or pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
10 tablespoons butter
3 large eggs

For the frosting:
2 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
Sweetened flaked coconut, to serve

1. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.  Grease and flour the paper and sides of the pans.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Heat the coconut milk and flaked coconut until hot.  Let cool slightly, and then pulse in the blender until the coconut is finely chopped. 

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

4. Beat the butter until light and creamy.  Gradually add the sugar, being sure to beat well.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  

5. Add the flour mixture and coconut mixture in alternating additions (flour-coconut-flour-coconut-flour).  Beat on low speed between each addition until well blended, and scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly. 

6. Divide the batter equally between the two pans.  Bake 30 minutes, until browned and a tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, and then invert onto cooling racks and carefully peel off the parchment paper. 

7. Frost the cake once completely cooled.  Bring the water and sugar to a boil, and then cover and cook without stirring for 1 minute.  Uncover, and boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer (or until hot enough to spin a thread when dropped from a spoon into a glass of cool water).

8. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Continue to beat on high speed while you gradually add the sugar syrup in a thin stream.  Beat about 7 minutes until the frosting is fluffy and completely cooled.  

9. Frost the cake: invert one cake onto a serving plate and frost the top and sides.  Place the second layer on top, and frost the top and sides.  Sprinkle flaked coconut on top.

Here's my mom blowing out the candles...

My sister, Anna, with the cake.

A close-up of the cake.

"Happy Birthday to You..."


  1. Yur mom look so happy with the cake you made. I can understand why, it looks so delicious, more importantly, you made it. Your sister looks very pretty :)

    Happy birthday to your mom Sara!

  2. Aw yay, what a lovely family get-together. Such a pretty cake and happy birthday to you mom.

  3. The cake sounds delicious...and your mom looks so happy! How perfectly lovely.