Lofty Coconut Cake

2 Jan

So here I am, plopped on the couch in slouchy cotton jammies and my Christmas blanket, left slightly stunned and wondering what in the heck happened to December. Every year I face shock and awe right about now, and every year I never see it coming.  Yeah, that grammar is painful but I’m too tired from this month to care – sowwy.

I’ve eaten so freakin’ many delicious things this lifetime, year, season month that I’m not really sure where to start.  I’m literally bursting at the seams with scrumptious recipes.  Literally… my seams are ripping… hence the stretchy pants.  True story.

In fact, today was the epitome of indulgence. Talk about once on the lips, forever on the hips – we had a full out breakfast @ home

before feasting with my family followed directly by fondue night (cheese and chocolate – for realz) at the in-laws. Let alone the snackies galoray last night at the loverly New Year’s bash we attended.

Oh yeah, and the fact that I’ve felt compelled to bring the vast majority of the calories to every holiday festivity we attended this past week.  This week alone consisted of makin’ me some:

  • Homemade Twix Bars
  • Creme Brulée Cupcakes
  • Baklava
  • Thin Mint Brownies with Cinnamon (Goldschlager!!) Creme
  • Croissant Pizza Rolls
  • 3 Tier Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

And let’s be real here – I’m a finger-lickin’ bowl-scooping taste tester so whatever I bring I’ve already eaten a good third of.

Now do you understand my need to bust out the fat pants? Wanna join?  K great!! Party, party.

Lofty Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Let’s start with the most delicious coconut cake I’ve made to date.  It’s flavorful, it’s light yet satisfying, its sweet butnot tooth-aching and it’s super easy on the eyes.  I found it to be pretty fun to make too – not the quickest recipe ever but not painful in any way.  The recipe is actually from the ever-lovely Kathleen King and her Southampton Tate’s Bakeshop.

Ready for the exciting part? I know that wonderful lady as ‘Aunt Kathleen’ because she is one of my bff (and maid of honor!)’s auntie.  And let me tell you – she is truly as sweet as her rockin’ recipes. Def. one of those people whose worked her tail off and deserves all of the wonderfullness that is coming her way.  (We’re talking Food Network acclaim, fans like Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachael Ray,  forewords by Barefoot Contessa and something like $6 million in annual revenue. Get it girl!)

Lofty Coconut Cake

(adapted from Tate’s Coconut Birthday Cake – yields one 8 in. three layer cake)


2¾ cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1½ cups sugar

1 cup salted butter, softened

1 cup canned cream of coconut (Coco Lopez, Goya, La Preferida, etc.)

5 large eggs, separated

3 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups coconut flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare three 8- inch layer cake pans with pan spray, and line the bottom with waxed/parchment paper (spray under and on top of the circle of paper).
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter till it’s light and fluffy. Add the cream of coconut and beat it till it’s fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix it again.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix till they are just combined. Add the buttermilk and mix it till it is combined.
  6. In a separate mixing bowl. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry (mine never got stiff – perhaps bc I didn’t wash the bowl from the other previous steps, it wasn’t an issue in texture or flavor!). Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cake for 4o to 45 minutes or until a cake tester or tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pans and turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and sprinkling with coconut flakes.

*Store as necessary in an airtight container, using the same circles of parchment to separate the layers so they don’t stick together.

Cream Cheese Frosting

(also adapted from Tate’s Cookbook)

Makes enough to frost two 9 inch cake layers.

I made a batch and a half for my three 8 in. layers.  It was probably about twice what I needed.


3  8 oz. pkgs of cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. salted butter, softened

3 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. confectioners sugar (or more, just keep adding gradually

3 TBS cream of coconut (leftover from the can you used for the cake!! – original recipe calls for pineapple juice – both are optional)


In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and mix it in.  Beat in the sugar.  Scrape down bowl and beat some mo’.  Add the cream of coconut, if desired, and mix it well.

Spread first on the top and sides of bottom layer, cover with coconut flakes, repeat with second and third layers:)  I do it right on the cake plate, cleaning up a bit as I go.

Plus: MAGNIFICENT NEWS!! Here’s my first blog video!!  It’s super rough.  And by super rough I mean camera to website – which won’t be the norm in the future (hopefully).  I’m just too excited not to share immediately.  Also – please not it was totally impromptu so it’s pretty much non-helpful and random – but Jer wanted to give his new macro lense a video-opp and I just happened to be putting together this foxy coconut cake at the moment. Also, there is an interesting rattling sound throughout – made by that there new lense.  Blah – blah – blah – here’s the goods!!

I know, I know, I’m overwhelmed with excitement too.  More fun videos are in the future!!  I’d love your feedback in the meantime:)


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