I LOVE a good coconut cake. What do I think a ‘good’ coconut cake is? It’s one that has a subtle coconut flavor, but not so much that it hits you over the head with it. This coconut cake is a tender cake with a subtle coconut flavor. The sour cream buttercream adds just a slight tanginess, which is the perfect compliment for this cake.
The great thing about this cake is that if you don’t like shredded coconut, you can leave it off completely. There’s no shredded coconut within the actual cake. All you get there is the flavor of coconut.
This cake is a butter cake, so the finished product is not a super white cake, but you get a richer, deeper flavor using butter and whole eggs. I also used cake flour instead of all purpose flour, which really makes it so much more tender.
Supplies Used for the Coconut Cake:
I also used coconut milk for this recipe. I used Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk that I found at my grocery store. Make sure you shake it up, or stir it before you use it.
The icing on this cake is made with butter, confectioners sugar and sour cream. It’s got a slight tanginess to it, which really works well with the sweetness of the confectioners sugar. I LOVE this buttercream, especially when combined with coconut cake. It is a soft icing and you’re going to want to refrigerate the cake if you go with this buttercream.
Once you’ve iced the cake, you can take handfuls of sweetened shredded coconut and press onto the sides and top of your cake.
If you’re not a fan of shredded coconut, you can leave it off and it will still be great. When you get ready to serve this, take it out of the fridge and let it come to near room temperature before you cut it. The buttercream and cake will harden a bit in the fridge, so you’ll want it to be a little softer for serving.
If you can’t wait that long to have a piece, you can always cut a slice, stick it in the microwave for about 10 – 15 seconds and there ya go. It works…trust me…I’ve done it. 😉
Following is the cake recipe and below that, the sour cream buttercream recipe. Enjoy!
- 1 cup butter (slightly cooler than room temp)
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups cake flour (not all-purpose flour)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup coconut milk (1 - 13 oz can) (I used Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk)
- 1/4 tsp almond emulsion
- 1 tsps vanilla paste (or extract)
- 1 1/2 tsp coconut emulsion (I use LorAnn almond emulsion)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pkg. sweetened shredded coconut (optional for covering the cake)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour two 8" round pans.
- Cream the butter on low until creamy.
- Add the sugar and beat on low until mixed, then beat on medium until fluffy. About a minute and a half to two minutes.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low after each just until combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix again just for another 5 to 10 seconds.
- In another bowl, mix the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, emulsions (or extracts) and the oil. Whisk until mixed well. (You will need to stir the coconut milk once you've opened the can.)
- Add the dry and wet ingredients alternately to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix on low. Start with a third of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add in half of the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Add another third of the flour mixture. Continue on ending with the flour mixture and only beating just until combined after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and mix on medium for only about 10 seconds.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350 for about 30 - 40 minutes.
Sour Cream Buttercream
- 1 cup salted butter room temp
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- Beat butter until creamy.
- Add in sour cream and beat until smooth.
- Add in half the confectioners sugar and beat until mixed. You don't want to add any milk or cream at this point. Once it's fully mixed, it won't be thick. Now, go ahead and add in the second half and mix well.
- Add in the vanilla paste or extract and mix.
- Refrigerate this buttercream for about 10 to 15 minutes to let it firm up a bit before icing your cake.
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