My son requests this cake every year for his birthday—and I find this coconut cake to be light, fluffy, and full of flavor. I love making individual mini cakes with this recipe but it’s also sturdy enough for stacked tiers.
Coconut Cake (recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
makes two 8” round layers or one 12″ square layer
1 large egg
5 large egg whites
¾ cup cream of coconut
⅓ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons coconut extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons butter (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 12 pieces
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with shortening and dust with flour.
2. Beat egg whites and whole egg in large measuring cup with fork to combine. Add cream of coconut, water, vanilla, and coconut extract and beat with fork until thoroughly combined.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed to combine, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on lowest speed, add butter 1 piece at a time, then beat until mixture resembles coarse meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
4. With mixer still running, add 1 cup liquid. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer still running, add remaining 1 cup liquid in steady stream (this should take about 15 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. (Batter will be thick.)
5. Divide batter between cake pans and level with offset or rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown, cakes pull away from sides of pans, and toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes (rotate cakes after about 20 minutes). Do not turn off oven.
6. Cool in pans on wire racks about 10 minutes, then loosen cakes from sides of pans with paring knife, invert cakes onto racks and then re-invert; cool to room temperature.
*** For mini cakes bake in one 12" square pan, cut rounds with cookie cutter***
Tope with your favorite buttercream or ganache and you are ready to enjoy!