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Coconut Cream Cake

White cake with a hint of coconut, layered with homemade coconut cream on the inside, and finished with a coconut cream cheese frosting on the outside.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Resting time:8 hrs 30 mins
Total Time10 hrs
Servings: 10 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks butter unsalted, softened
  • 1⅔ cup sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

For the cream filling:

  • 14 ounces coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 stick butter unsalted, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans. Then add parchment paper to the bottom of the pans and grease again. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter together until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add half of the egg whites and mix together until combined. Add remaining egg whites and beat until combined. Add sour cream, vanilla, and coconut extracts until combined. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Add ½ of the milk and mix just until combined. Repeat with the next ⅓ of the dry ingredients, the rest of the milk, and the last ⅓ of the dry ingredients.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared baking pans and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Pro tip: you can use a kitchen scale to make sure you have the same amount of batter in each pan. Bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes or until the top gets light golden brown and the center is no longer jiggly. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes. Then, remove from the cake pans and let them cool on racks for 2 hours. In the meantime, make the filling.

For the cream filling:

  • Place milk, half and half, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. While it's heating, whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together for 1 minute. Once the milk is hot but not boiling, remove from heat and add about ¼ cup to whisked yolks to slowly warm them up. Slowly add the rest of the warm milk to the yolks while whisking. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and continue to whisk as the mixture heats up. Don't stop whisking or the milk will burn at the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Once it started to get thick, turn down the heat to medium low and continue whisking until the mixture gets to the consistency of pudding, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and continue whisking to remove the steam.
  • Add the coconut, butter, and extracts and whisk together until the butter melts completely. Place plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream and refrigerate until completely cooled, about 6 hours.
  • Once the cream is cooled, it's time to assemble the cake. Cut the tops off the cake if it is domed. You want them to be completely flat or else the layers will slide when assembled. Add half of the pastry cream to the bottom cake layer. Spread evenly, leaving about ½ inch clear from the sides. Add the next layer of cake on top and repeat with remaining pastry cream. Top with last layer of cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and clear off any pastry cream that has dripped down the cake and discard it. Now it's time to frost the cake.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • Add butter and cream cheese to a stand mixer bowl and beat together on medium-high with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add sugar, coconut milk, and extracts and slowly beat to incorporate the powdered sugar and then increase speed. Beat for another 2 minutes.
  • Gently frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting to create the crumb layer. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let the frosting set. Next, finish off the cake by adding the rest of the frosting all over in one, even layer. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut, gently pressing it into the cake so it sticks. Let it chill for another hour before serving.

Notes

Cake recipe adapted from Sally's Coconut Cake