I have so many special memories of helping my grandmother in the kitchen, and Coconut Cake was always one of my favorite things to help her make. Mainly, I loved scraping out the leftover frosting after she was through with it. Of course, the Seven Minute Frosting (or “divinity icing” as I called it as a child) was so sticky by then that it always ended up smeared on my face and hands and on the countertop.
This is still one of my favorite cakes to make, and this year it was the one I baked for my grandmother’s birthday (I hate to admit it, but it was so good I ended up making another one this past week). I make it pretty much the exact same way that she did, except that I like to toast the coconut flakes.
1 c butter (softened)
2 c sugar
3 c cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*Our ducks have started back laying after going through a moult, so I used their eggs for the cake. Since they’re very large, I only needed three eggs instead of four.
Seven Minute Frosting:
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
a pinch of salt
1/3 c water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1) Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
2) In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
|The sifted dry ingredients.|
3) In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.
4) Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture, mixing well after each addition. Then, add the vanilla extract and mix.
5) Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately, beating well after each addition.
6) Pour the cake batter into three prepared 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350F degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool completely before assembling or frosting the cake.
1) In a large heat safe mixing bowl, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites, and mix well (for about a minute). Then, place the bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water* beating constantly with an electric mixer for about seven minutes or until the frosting forms peaks when the beaters are lifted out.
*Make sure that the simmering water does not touch the bottom of the mixing bowl or the frosting will be grainy.
**Humid weather can affect the outcome of the frosting.
|The frosting waiting to go on the cake.|
2) Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in the vanilla extract. Allow the frosting to cool a little before using. Then spread it evenly between each layer, and on the top and sides of the cake.
1) Spread the coconut flakes out evenly on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Place it in a 350F degree oven until the coconut is sufficiently toasted. Because the coconut flakes are sweetened and they’ll most likely brown a little unevenly, it’s important to check on them and stir often.
2) Remove the coconut flakes from the oven and allow them to cool. Then, pat the flakes onto the sides of the frosted cake and sprinkle them on top of the cake.
Tip: A good way to keep the layers from sliding around is to insert three or four wooden kabob skewers into the cake (you’ll most likely have to cut the skewers to the right size using a pair of kitchen shears).