Easter & Coconut Cake

On Easter Sunday, I was post-call, so I didn’t get to go to church.  We do have friends who live not too far away who invited us to their family’s Easter dinner, and we gladly accepted.  It’s so nice to have a surrogate family for the holidays, especially since both of our families live so far away.  Obviously, I needed to take something to the dinner (I would’ve just died if we had shown up empty handed), so I made a coconut cake!  It is very similar to my mom’s coconut cake (which is the best coconut cake EVER), with two different substitutions: Coconut milk and coconut oil.

I have already posted about how coconut oil causes a rise in both the bad and good cholesterols (See the Fat Tuesday Post),  and I had determined if used for cooking, it should be for a special occasion.  Easter qualifies as a special occasion, no?  Hence, we have the coconut cake! Not diet friendly at all, but I make exceptions for a holiday!

Coconut Cake
2 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. coconut oil, melted
4 egg whites (or 3 whole eggs if you don’t care if it’s crisp white or not)
3 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 c. coconut milk
1 can pina colada mix (I used Goya; cream of coconut work if you can’t find the mix)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease 2- 9 inch round cake pans.  Cream the sugar and coconut oil in a large bowl or mixer.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each additional egg.  Add vanilla & whip until creamy. 

In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add dry ingredients about 1 cup at a time to batter, and alternate with coconut milk until fully combined.  Pour batter evenly into pans & bake for about 35 minutes.  Cake is done when toothpick (or fork or knife or whatever) is inserted into the center of the cake & come out clean.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.  Cool completely.  Brush the layers on the outside with the pina colada mix at least 3 times, letting it dry in between brushings.

Coconut “Butter”cream
1/2 c. Coconut oil, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1 lb. powdered sugar
4-6 Tbsp. Coconut milk

Stir vanilla into oil until smooth.  Add salt.  Alternate powdered sugar and milk until smooth & creamy.  If too thin, add more sugar.  If too thick, add more milk until consistency is good for frosting a cake.  Frost the cooled layers.

Coconut topping
1 bag sweetened coconut

Spread half of the bag of coconut onto a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 F oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned.  Remove from the oven & spread the other half of the coconut on the pan; stir.  When fully cooled, press toasted coconut topping onto frosted layers.

We got rave reviews about this cake!  It was possibly one of the best coconut cakes I’ve ever eaten, and definitely the best one I’ve ever made.  It disappeared so fast, I didn’t even get a picture of it, but it was fabulous!  I think the additional coconut milk and oil gave the cake layers of coconuttiness.  It was so fabulous- it made me so glad I haven’t eaten sweets so that I could fully and guilt-free enjoy a piece of this fabulous cake!

It’s also even better the next day, so I made this two days before Easter- perfect if you have a busy weekend but need a fabulous dessert!  Happy Easter!

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