I went looking for a cake to celebrate my mother's (and my uncle's) birthdays this week. I called a couple local bakeries to inquire about their coconut cakes. Unhappy with what they described, I decided to fall back on my classic standard :: make it myself. The 7 minute frosting on this cake is heaven. Not too heavy or sweet!
I have a recipe given to me by my sister-in-law, who makes magic in the kitchen every time she cooks.
It takes some time -- but is well worth it!!
Classic Coconut Cake
6 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup hot milk - you add coconut milk to this
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TBS fresh baking powder
1/2 cup grated coconut - you can use fresh or store bought
Canned coconut milk if not using fresh coconuts
Preheat oven to 350. Separate eggs and reserve three of the egg whites for the icing. Discard one egg white. Beat the six egg yolks, 2 egg whites and sugar at medium-high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy - at least 5 minutes. Melt the butter in the hot milk/coconut milk mixture. Use up to 1/3 cup of coconut milk. I use a glass 4-cup measuring cup in the microwave. Alternatively add milk mixture and flour to the eggs and sugar. Then add the vanilla and baking powder and coconut.
Pour into three greased and floured 9-inch pans. Bake 18-20 minutes - cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool completely on cooling racks.
7 Minute Frosting
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3 large egg whites
2 TBS water
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
Place everything but the vanilla into the top of a double boiler. Beat with hand mixer until thick, stiff and glossy - about 7 minutes. Continue beating off the heat, adding vanilla, until thick and cool enough to frost cake.
Frost between layers with top and sides with frosting and shredded/grated coconut.