A Southern classic and our December Cake of the Month, the Coconut Cake uses both coconut extract and coconut milk. Instead of sprinkling the coconut on top, I like to mix it into the cream cheese icing. Keep this cake refrigerated and note that it may be good cold but it’s amazing at room temperature.
- Prep Time: 40m
- Cook Time: 20m
- Serves: 20 to 24 (¾” or 1” slices)
- Yield: 1 cake
- Category: Dessert
- Floured baking spray
- 1 1/3 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 2/3 c granulated sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 c cake flour
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 c whole milk, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. coconut extract
- 2/3 c coconut milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. coconut extract
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 lb confectioners’ sugar
- 2 ¼ cups sweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch pans lined with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again.
- Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk.
- Combine the milk, flavorings, and coconut milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
- With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating until well blended.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and incorporate any unmixed batter if necessary.
- Beat the batter for 7 minutes on medium speed.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Tap the pans on the counter to ensure there are no air bubbles.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Test doneness by touching a cake top. If it springs back, it is done. If the indentation stays, it needs 2 to 3 minutes longer.
- Cool the cakes for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from the pans.
- Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer for 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, scrape the bowl extremely well.
- Add the flavorings and beat for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, beating on low to ensure the sugar does not fly out of the mixing bowl.
- After each addition of confectioners’ sugar, scrape the bottom of the bowl extremely well.
- Once all the confectioners’ sugar is incorporated, add the coconut and beat on low speed for 3 minutes.
- Spread icing between the cake layers and then on the top and sides of the stacked layers.