A deliciously light and fluffy coconut layer cake topped with a silky smooth cream cheese buttercream and covered in sweetened coconut flakes. Decorate with fresh flowers and you have the perfect cake for any occasion!
Meet the Chef: Heather Mubarak
Heather is the sweets maker, picture taker and food writer behind Browned Butter Blondie where she shares her passion for deliciously simple and indulgent baked goods. Heather’s insatiable sweet tooth inspires her to create decadent twists on everyday classics that are perfect for any occasion. Through tried and true recipes and drool worthy photos, Heather strives to be a trusted source for home bakers to get their daily fix of all things sweet - heavy on the chocolate!
- 3 cups (390 g) Cake flour 3 cups (390 g) Cake flour
- 1 tablespoon Baking powder 1 tablespoon Baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 18 tablespoons (254 g) Unsalted butter, room temperature 18 tablespoons (254 g) Unsalted butter, room temperature
- C&H® Granulated Sugar 1 ¾ cups (350 g) 1 ¾ cups (350 g) C&H® Granulated Sugar
- 4 Egg yolks, room temperature 4 Egg yolks, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 cup Full fat unsweetened coconut milk 1 cup Full fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 6 Egg whites, room temperature 6 Egg whites, room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar 1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- ¾ cup (170 g) Unsalted butter, room temperature ¾ cup (170 g) Unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 ounces Cream cheese, room temperature 6 ounces Cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Salt ¼ teaspoon Salt
- C&H® Confectioners Sugar 6 cups 6 cups C&H® Confectioners Sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons Heavy cream or coconut milk 4-5 tablespoons Heavy cream or coconut milk
- 3 cups Unsweetened coconut flakes 3 cups Unsweetened coconut flakes
For the Coconut Cake
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray 3 8-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium high until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the C&H® Granulated Sugar and mix on medium high speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do not over mix.
In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until firm peaks form. Do not over mix, you don’t want the egg whites to be dry.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use a spatula to fold in 1/3 of the egg whites. Once incorporated, fold in the remaining egg whites being careful not to over mix the batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pans, dividing evenly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Coconut Buttercream
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the cream cheese and mix on medium high until smooth.
Add the vanilla and salt mixing until incorporated.
With the mixer on low speed, add the C&H® Confectioners Sugar one cup at a time until all of the sugar is added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more, smoothing out any air bubbles.
Once the cake is cool, place one layer on a cake plate or pedestal. Add 3/4 - 1 cup of buttercream to the top and use an offset spatula to spread the frosting into an even layer. Top with a second layer of cake and repeat with the buttercream layer. Add the final cake layer, being careful to make sure that the cake is lined up straight. Top with more buttercream and use the offset spatula to push the buttercream over the top edges of the cake. Smooth the frosting onto a thin crumb coat to seal in any crumbs. Wipe down the spatula as needed to ensure you are not introducing crumbs into the frosting bowl. Add more frosting as needed until all sides of the cake have a thin crumb coat.
Transfer the whole cake to the refrigerator to chill for 15-30 minutes until the frosting is firm.
Remove the cake from the fridge and continue frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream. Use an offset spatula or cake scraper to smooth the sides and top.
Place the cake plate or stand over a large baking sheet and use your hands to carefully press the shredded coconut into the sides of the cake while the frosting is soft. Cover the top and all of the sides with the coconut.
Return the cake to the refrigerator to set until ready to serve.
For best results, wrap the cooled cake layers in plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight to make frosting with the crumb coat easier.
The buttercream may be made in advance. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Before frosting the cake, beat the frosting in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes until light and smooth.
Store the finished cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, leave the cake out at room temperature for 20 - 30 minutes and then slice with a sharp knife.