From The Kitchen

Coconut Cake

Pastry Sous Chef April Heckathorn of The Barn is sharing another family-favorite cake recipe! This coconut cake has a gorgeous look for Winter, but the classic flavor is delicious in any season. Enjoy a layered coconut cake!

My family calls this icing "Sea Foam Frosting", but I believe it is also known as 7 Minute Frosting. This recipe came from my dad's mom, my grandmother, and it's a favorite that I grew up eating with coconut cake every year for my birthday. It's also delicious on Angel Food Cake!
This recipe yields enough for 2x9" layers.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 egg whites
2 Tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 salt

Fill a pot with water, only about 2 inches deep. Bring the water to a boil on a stove top, and turn down to a simmer. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with an electric hand mixer, and set the bowl on top of the pot of water. (This is to create your own double boiler. If you have a double boiler set, you can use that instead.) Using the electric hand mixer, beat the mixture on high speed, turning the bowl often, until soft peaks form. At this point, you can add whatever flavoring or extract you prefer – I like either pure almond or vanilla extract. Beat on low just to incorporate throughout. At this point, your frosting should stand in medium stiff peaks, just like a meringue.

You will want to quickly remove your frosting from the pot of boiling water and begin icing your cake with it. You want to use the frosting while it is still warm, as it will start to seize as it cools, eliminating any smooth and shiny sides. Store your frosted cake in an air tight container to keep the cake fresh and frosting soft.

White Coconut Cake
*Note, the only thing that makes this cake "coconut" is the addition of coconut milk. The egg whites are what help keep it super white and light, and the canola oil plus butter keeps it moist without being dense.
This recipe yields 2x9" layers.

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup canola oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cup cake flour (such as Swans Down)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt 1 cup coconut milk at room temperature
6 large egg whites

Using a paddle attachment in a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium until softened. Add sugar and oil and beat together until completely combined. Add your vanilla, then scrape down your bowl. With your dry ingredients in one bowl and coconut milk in another, alternate adding the two with your mixer running on low speed. When both ingredients have been added, stop the mixer and scrape down your bowl. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand mixer until you have a stiff peak. Gently fold your egg whites into the cake batter, ensuring that you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Separate the batter between two greased cake pans, and bake in a 350-degree oven. Bake for about 35 minutes, then test with a cake tester or toothpick to make sure the layers are baked all the way through. The cake should also spring back when touched. When baked throughout, remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Let the cake cool and ice while you’re icing is still warm from mixing. Finish with an outer layer of shaved coconut and enjoy!

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