Monday, March 11, 2013

Ultimate Coconut Cake

Ultimate Coconut Cake
Cupcake Ranking: 4+ Cupcakes

Ultimate is an entirely accurate word to describe this cake!!!  There were lots of steps, but the steps were easy and definetely worth it! Am I using enough exclamation marks?  The cake was moist and the coconut cream in between the layers was SOO good that I had to stop myself from spooning it out of the pot.  I really want to try this cake but in banana flavor.  Additionally, the cake is so GIGANTIC you could serve a ton of people with it.  I described it to my Mom and she said they used to call it "Fair Cake," because fair's would sell big slices to people for fundraisers etc.  Super fun and crazy delicious.

Directions for Cake

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread coconut flakes in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, 5 to 7 minutes; set aside to cool.
Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level; discard trimmings. Cut each cake into 3 even layers. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan.

Place one layer on the cake plate. Brush with about one-fifth of the simple syrup. Spread over 2 cups of filling. Place a second layer on top. Repeat process with the next four layers and top with last remaining layer.
Spread top and sides of cake with frosting, keeping in mind you may not need to use all of it. Press toasted coconut into sides of cake; remove parchment paper strips. Chill cake at least 5 hours and up to 5 days. Slice immediately; bring to room temperature before serving.


1 lb unsalted Butter, preferably European-style
3 C Sugar
6 large Eggs
4 1/2 C all-purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tbs Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 C Heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbs pure Vanilla extract
1 tsp Coconut extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 10-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until creamy, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl using a spatula.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix together cream, vanilla, and coconut extract. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour; beat until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing cakes from pans.
**Robert's Simple Syrup
3/4 C Water
3/4 C Sugar
Place water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
***Coconut Filling
5 C Heavy cream
3 C Sugar
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted Butter
1/4 C Cornstarch
1 tsp pure Vanilla extract
9 C shredded sweetened Coconut (Yeah, 9 cups.  For real.  You need all of it for the filling.  Crazy but true).
Place cream, sugar, and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water. Add to cream mixture, bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute.
Place coconut in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coconut is finely chopped. Remove cream mixture from heat and stir in coconut until well combined. Transfer to a large baking dish; let cool.
Cover filling with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Just before using, place mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy, 4 to 5 minutes.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped (I just used 1 tsp of extract)
Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until creamy.
With mixer on low speed, slowly add vanilla extract, seeds from vanilla bean, and confectioners' sugar. Continue beating until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Rach's Review
I didn't toast the coconut and put it on the sides.  There is already SO MUCH COCONUT in the cake I figured we didn't need it.  We aren't really big coconut fans, so we didn't miss it.  If you are a big coconut lover, go for and and tell me what you think.  The cake was truly delicious.  It is huge so be prepared to share.  I will make it again.  For. Sure.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Velvet Cocoa Cake with Instant Buttercream

Velvet Cocoa Cake with Instant Buttercream

Cupcake Ranking: 3 Cupcakes

This cake was good.  Nothing to write home about, but fine.  It was a good, basic chocolate cake.  The interesting thing about this cake is the frosting.  There is no powdered sugar in it.  It is butter, marshmallow cream and cocoa.  If you were in a bind, needed frosting and didn't have powdered suga,r this would be a 'go-to' recipe.


For the cake

12 Tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted Butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 C all-purpose Flour, plus more for pans
3/4 C Cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 C Granulated sugar
1 C light-Brown sugar
3 large Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 1/2 C Buttermilk

For the frosting

1 C (2 sticks) unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 jars (7.5 ounces each) Marshmallow cream
2/3 C Cocoa powder
2/3 C Semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 Tbs Vanilla extract

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Beat in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape bowl as needed.

Pour batter into pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before inverting cakes onto rack to cool completely.

Make the buttercream: In mixing bowl, beat butter and marshmallow cream until fluffy. Beat in cocoa, chocolate, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water. If too thin, refrigerate about 5 minutes.

Place one layer on platter. Spread top with 1 cup buttercream. Place second layer on top. Frost entire cake with remaining buttercream.

Rach's Notes:

As I said before, this cake is a basic, not fancy, chocolate cake.  The taste was not amazing and not very moist.  But for a basic chocolate cake it was fine.  Will I make it again?  Probably not.  If you didn't have a lot of ingredients, this cake would be good to make if you needed an emergency cake.  I think it can all be summarized by a simple shrug.