Spring fever has sprung! I feel like we’re slowly crawling out of winter- there’s been lots of glorious sunshine, flowers, and realising we ought to cut the grass…already! It’s been a while since I’ve baked a whole cake, but what better way to anticipate the onslaught of Summer than to bake something fancy? So, something simple. Something that screams sunshine. It had to be a coconut cake!
Here’s the recipe I use, but first: preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius
For the Cake:
380 grams of plain flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of almond essence
250 grams of unsalted butter
2 cups of light brown sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 cup of milk (you could also use coconut milk if you wanted to be fancy)
1 packet of shredded coconut (about 5 ounces)
For the icing:
1 tub of soft cream cheese
230 grams of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 teasoon of almond essence
1 packet of shredded coconut
350 grams of icing sugar
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until its light and fluffy- about 3 minutes on a medium high speed. Add the eggs in one at a time and continue mixing on medium speed- now add the vanilla and almond extracts. At this point, the cake mix will look like it’s gone wrong! This is good, don’t worry. It will look like globs of curd!
In another bowl, add all the dry ingredients- the flour, baking powder and salt and get the milk ready. Now on a slow speed, add this to the globby cake mix a bit at time, alternating between the flour mix and a little milk each time. On a sidenote, I’ve experimented with using coconut milk and it works, but for the sake of ease we’re going to stick to good old semi-skimmed. Once you’ve poured in the last bit of milk and flour, stop the mixer.
Fold in the shredded coconut and then separate the cake batter into two cake pans. I’ve had mine since uni! They’re old but the most reliable. Whack them into the oven for about 45 minutes. Once they’re done, let them cool so that when it’s time to ice the cakes- the icing won’t turn into a pile of melted buttery goo. Many cakes have been spoiled with my greedy impatience!
To make the icing, throw in the cream cheese and butter into the mixer on low speed and then add in the vanilla and almond essences. Add the icing sugar bit by bit until it reaches a nice thick and creamy texture.Gently stir in the shredded coconut. The end result looks a little bit like rice pudding!
Using a spatula knife, evenly spread the icing all over until you have created a big, lumpy, coconuty monster! If you have leftover shredded coconut left, sprinkle it on the top and sides. To top off the cake, I added big fat strawberries all around as a tasty nod to Spring.
I cut myself a thick wedge of cake and took it out into the garden while I soaked up the sun.
On an exciting note, you can find this Coconut Cake recipe on the Beko website soon! There will be recipes by other food bloggers for Beko’s new Oven Baking section. I can’t wait to contribute more recipes to it!