Thursday, July 11, 2013

coconut cream cake party!


Happy birthday to my husband, Mark! I won’t give away his age but I’ll tell you that he robbed the cradle when we got married 23 years ago. :) July birthdays are THE BEST! His is the 1st & mine is the 16th. We love celebrating our birthdays together & typically celebrate all month. German chocolate is Mark’s go-to birthday cake but I decided to change it up this year since I just made him a German chocolate cake for Father’s day a few weeks ago.
I got this recipe from our family cookbook that I compiled many years ago. It’s from my sister & it was her father in law’s favorite cake. The Graham family cookbook is one of my most special treasures. It includes recipes from my Grandma, like Granny's Sunday Possum (she’s a jokester, it’s BEEF!), my mom’s FAMOUS holiday dinner rolls and peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and LOTS of other delicious recipes from my siblings, aunts, uncles & cousins! I’m so lucky that my family LOVES to cook!

I think this coconut cream cake is going to become a tradition in our family too! It's super easy & delicious AND VERY RICH and starts with a cake mix. This is my favorite white cake mix & I used it for this recipe.
If you’ve never bought a can of cream of coconut, the stuff is AMAZING! Make sure you buy CREAM OF COCONUT and not coconut milk.  You can buy it at WalMart or the grocery store & it’s sold by the drink mixers, right by the margarita salt & the bloody mary mix. It may be somewhat solid (& alarming) when you open the can, don’t worry, after one bite you won’t care how it looks, go ahead have a taste, it's tropical paradise! You may need to liquify 1 cup of it to pour over the cakes by placing it in a bowl & microwaving it on low for a short time. If it’s solid, keep 1/2 cup solid for the frosting.
Coconut Cream Cake

ingredients

1 15.25 ounce extra moist white cake mix
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup whole milk
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided (1 cup in cake mix, 1 cup to garnish frosted cake)
1 can sweetened cream of coconut, divided (The can contains 1 1/2 cups. 1 cup will be used to drizzled on the baked cakes and 1/2 cup will be used in the frosting)
3 cups coconut buttercream frosting, see recipe below OR your favorite buttercream frosting

1. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. I used 9 inch but recommend 8 inch pans. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat cake mix, egg whites, oil and milk on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.

4.  Pour into prepared pans.

5. Bake for 24-29 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

6. Place cakes on waxed paper or parchment paper. While cakes are still warm poke holes in the cake. I used a wooden chop stick.
 

6. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of cream of coconut onto the holes of each cake. If your cream of coconut is solid put it in a bowl and microwave it on low for 30 seconds to liquify it. DON'T pour it all in the middle of the cakes, pour it near the edges of the cake also and in all of the holes.You want it to be evenly distributed and not all soaked into the middle of the cakes. Allow the cake to completely cool. 

7. Place one cake layer on your cake plate. Spread 1 cup of frosting onto the cake. Place the 2nd cake onto the frosting and spread 1 cup frosting on the top and another cup of frosting on the sides of the cake. Garnish with additional cup of flaked coconut.
8. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Wilton

1 cup Crisco, solid vegetable shortening
1 cup butter, I use salted butter
1/2 cup cream of coconut, it's best if it's more solid than liquid. If it's liquid refrigerate it for awhile
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 cups confectioners sugar (approximately 2 pounds)
** 2-4 tablespoons milk

Cream butter, shortening & cream of coconut with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup  at a time, beating well after each addition on medium speed. Start mixer on slow speed after each addition to avoid a powdered sugar explosion/mess. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. ** If frosting is dry, add milk, as needed and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

You can also make this recipe without the cream of coconut & plan to use the milk.

This recipe makes more frosting than you will need to frost this cake. Refrigerate the extra frosting in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Re-whip leftover frosting before using.





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