Hello and Welcome to Coconut Cake Heaven

You wouldn’t know it by the posts I’ve written on lawandlentils so far, but my first love is baking.  I only realized recently that since my very first post on pie crusts I haven’t done ANY baking posts!  And that’s just plain sad.  Luckily, I have decided to remedy this extremely serious issue, and am starting today with this very post (because that wasn’t obvious already)!

Stick with me on this post.  I PROMISE it's worth it.

Stick with me on this post. I PROMISE it’s worth it.

A lot of people who like cooking don’t really like to bake; cooking lets you experiment and play fast and loose with ingredients and measurements, but baking requires a greater degree of attention and faith to the original recipe.  But there’s room in my heart for both.  Besides, the reward at the end of sticking with a baking recipe is, you know, a baked good.  So it’s definitely worth whatever effort you put in.

Last week BF and I took a wonderful trip to Oregon with his family.  It was a great week!  Neither of us wanted to come home and trade playing outside for work and school.  But sadly we had to, and for me it was a crash landing back to reality: I started classes this week!  I’m only a few days in, but so far it’s going well– I’m taking classes I actually got to pick (unlike last year) and my internship is the MOST exciting thing ever.  Now if I could just avoid those pesky exams…

If I give my professors a homemade coconut cake can I get some As?  Probably not--darn you, anonymous grading!

If I give my professors a homemade coconut cake can I get some As? Probably not–darn you, anonymous grading!

ANYway, baking this cake was a bit of an “I -don’t-know-if-I’ll-have-time-for-this-kind-of-thing-again-until-Christmas” last hurrah.  It is filled with coconutty goodness.  Which, now that I think about it, is probably the best kind of goodness out there.  So yeah.  AND it wasn’t all that hard.  It looks super impressive (seriously, look at that thing), but for the result it’s not a terrible amount of effort.  So if you’ve got an afternoon free and have a hankering to insert a LOT of deliciousness into your life, give this cake a shot.  As a side note, if anybody wants to trek to DC to help us eat this cake, I’d appreciate it.  There’s only two of us and it’s seriously rich– what problems I’ve got, eh?

The building blocks of greatness.

The building blocks of greatness.

Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting (from Oh Sweet Day)

Coconut Cake
1 3/4 c. Flour
1 c. Sugar
1 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. Salt
1 c. Coconut Milk
1 Egg, room temperature
1/2 c. Canola Oil
1 T. Vanilla Extract
1 T. White Wine Vinegar (don’t be weirded out, you won’t taste it)
1/2 c. Sweetened Shredded Coconut
Coconut Buttercream
2 sticks Butter, room temperature
2 c. Confectioner’s Sugar
1 t. Vanilla Extract
1/2 c. Coconut Milk
1 c. Sweetened Shredded Coconut, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a standing mixer or with a hand mixer, mix coconut milk, egg, oil, vanilla and vinegar on medium speed until well combined.

Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.

Gently fold in the shredded coconut.

Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans.

Bake 18- 20 min. or til wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 min. before inverting on rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

Luckily these bake pretty fast.  Because the anticipation will be killing you!

Luckily these bake pretty fast. Because the anticip—ation (Rocky Horror?  Anybody?) will be killing you!

To prepare buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add vanilla and coconut milk, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy.  There will be a phase where the frosting looks kind of sketchy, but if you persevere it’ll get through its awkward teen phase and look delicious.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Place the other cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit.  Smear a thin layer of frosting on the top and sides of the cake.  If you have abysmal frosting skills like me, it won’t matter (yay!), because THEN you get to cover the cake with toasted coconut (you can find directions on how to toast coconut here).

You can find directions on toasting coconut here-- so easy!

Yummmm!

Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave out in room temperature for a little bit prior to serving.

What will now follow is a series of photographs of this cake.  There are far too many.  But I was so excited I couldn’t stop!  And really, who’s going to complain about excessive photos of coconut cake?  Nobody.

Oh hey there, temptress.

Oh hey there, temptress.

How did you end up on my plate?  I swear I don't remember going into the fridge and getting you out...

How did you end up on my plate? I swear I don’t remember going into the fridge and getting you out.

I can tell BF doesn't want to eat any cake at all...

I can tell BF doesn’t want to eat any cake at all…

Me neither.  Duh.

Me neither. Duh.

In closing, you should bake.  Because sometimes it’s fun (or at least acceptable) to stick closely to a recipe.  Plus you get to eat baked goods at the end of the baking process.  And as long as you’re baking ANYway, you might as well make this awesome cake.  And then bring me some.  I’m willing to take one for the team and help you eat it.  Sacrifices must be made, you know?

Stick with me on this post.  I PROMISE it's worth it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a certain coconutty miracle in my fridge…

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