If you’re looking for a spectacular dessert for your holiday dinner, this could be your answer. There is something extraordinary about a coconut cake – the look is classic and elegant. This cake always makes a perfect showpiece for any occasion but it’s especially wonderful for the holidays.
I’ve tried many coconut cake recipes and this has become my favorite. The name says it all. This cake takes the experience to a level on par with a coconut cream pie, which for those of us who love coconut is the ultimate of desserts! Heavy cream is tucked into the cake both inside and out creating a flavor and texture that is nothing short of sublime. A touch of almond extract along with pure vanilla extract highlight the delicate nature of the cake.
Then there’s the frosting. I’ve always loved a fluffy whipped cream frosting but they are so fragile they tend to break down quickly. So I blend in mascarpone cheese – that wonderful creamy cheese frequently used in tiramisu and cheesecake. It added the right balance to stabilize the whipped cream frosting while subtly enhancing the flavor.
There are several steps in making this cake, none are complicated and the results are definitely worth it!
Coconut Cream Cake
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and kosher salt. In a small bowl whisk the eggs, the vanilla and almond extracts until the eggs are frothy.
In a large mixing bowl using the whisk attachment beat the cream until stiff peaks form.
Add the egg mixture and blend together on medium-low speed just until the mixture is blended together.
Using a large spoon or spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture about a cup at a time taking care not to deflate the whipped cream mixture.
Divide the batter between two 9-inch cake pans that have been greased, dusted with flour and the bottoms have been lined with parchment or wax paper.
Bake the cake layers at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cake tests done. (Check at 20 minutes.)
Cool the cake layers in the pans for about ten minutes then turn them out on wire racks topside up to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling make the frosting.
Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup sifted powdered sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3 cups shredded coconut
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream on medium speed using the whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
Add the powdered sugar and the mascarpone cheese. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Place one layer of the cake topside down on a cake plate and spread about one-third of the whipped cream frosting over the top of the layer. Sprinkle one cup of the coconut over the frosting. Place the second cake layer on topside up.
Finish frosting the sides and the top of the cake with remaining whipped cream frosting.
Sprinkle the remainder of the coconut over the frosting, while gently pressing the coconut into the cream with your hands.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve well chilled.