With Easter being this weekend and all, I felt like it was time to share my favorite dessert from the holiday…coconut cake. I’m a huge fan of coconut, but I think coconut cake takes the gold for me personally. I mean whether you’re a fan of coconut or not, this cake is deadly, just skip forward to the ingredients and you’ll see. I specifically love the food combination of almond extract and coconut, it gives the entire cake a lightness that makes it perfect to enjoy with a cup of hot coffee.
This cake is a tradition in my household when spring comes around. We always try to decorate it with everything that we can find in the Easter candy aisle, and go full out with bunnies, Easter eggs and sheep. To be honest my Mom decorates this cake way better than I did but I figured you guys would get the idea. Basically, don’t focus on making this cake perfect, no matter what it will taste good so just have fun with it and get excited for spring!
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, next grease two (9-inch) round cake pans and dust them lightly with flour.
- Use an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Next, crack the eggs into a small bowl, and with the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don't be concerned.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed, and alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Now fold in 4 ounces of coconut, with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
- For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip!).
- To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.
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