Baking Classics: Toasted Coconut Cake

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The Technique

Toasted Coconut Cake 

In the South, you will find that each small town houses a special lady with a reputation for making one item in particular that’s truly exceptional. Sometimes it’s yeast rolls or orange rolls & other times she may be known for confections such as pralines, divinity or fudge. Many in the community are also known for baking layer cakes. Tall & stately. Anyway you slice it, they represent a notable occasion. Look to these towering jewels to celebrate baby showers, bridal showers, birthday celebrations & Easter gatherings.

Spring cakes are lovely to serve when entertaining & although you may be tempted to call on someone to prepare one for you, it’s good fun to make one yourself to share with friends & family. Layer cakes aren’t difficult to make by any means, you simply need a little guidance & a few cues to look for when taking on the task. Learn how to successfully ice a layer cake & feel confident while doing so. Follow my pointers to lead you through each step.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickToasted Coconut Cake
makes 12 servings

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
3 cups soft wheat flour, sifted
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 {13.5-oz} can coconut milk, well shaken
Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups Toasted Coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour 3 {8-inch} cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper & lightly grease. Cream the butter & the sugar on Medium speed with an electric stand mixer until light & fluffy. Stop the mixer occasionally & scrape down the sides of the bowl. Blend in the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the vanilla & the egg yolks just until the yellow disappears. Whisk together the flour, the baking powder & the salt in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the coconut milk beginning & ending with the flour mixture.

Beat the egg whites with an electric hand-held mixer in a medium bowl on High speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the prepared batter. Portion the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans & spread it to the edges. Lift each pan about an inch from the countertop. Drop it onto the surface. Repeat two additional times. This will level out the batter in the pans so that the cake rises evenly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the pan edges. A toothpick inserted into the center will test clean. Do not over bake. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes & remove the cakes from the pans. Discard the parchment paper. Cool completely & cover the layers with plastic wrap. Freeze at least 30 minutes before frosting.

Prepare the Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting. Spread a substantial amount of the frosting between the layers. Push it into the cake sides to fill any gaps between the layers. Spread it over the top of the cake & run a thin amount around the sides. Place the frosted cake over parchment paper. Press the Toasted Coconut into the cake sides & sprinkle it over the top of the cake. Cover & store in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving for the best flavor. 

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickToasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
makes about 6 cups

2 {8-oz} packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups Toasted Coconut

Beat the cream cheese & the butter in an electric stand mixer with the flat beater attachment on Medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth & creamy. Stop the mixer & scrape down the bowl sides with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla & the lemon juice mixing until blended. Beat in the powdered sugar & the salt until smooth & creamy. Fold in 2 cups of Toasted Coconut using a rubber spatula. Use as directed.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickToasted Coconut
makes about 5 cups

About 4 cups of coconut will be need to prepare the cake. Save the remaining coconut to sprinkle over salads, fold it into cookie dough or sprinkle it over tartlets when entertaining for an effortless garnish.

1 {14-oz} package sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut evenly on a half sheet pan & place in the oven. Bake for 6 minutes. Open the oven door. Give it a good stir using a wooden spoon with a long handle. Bake for 3 minutes & stir. Bake for 3 more minutes & stir. Bake for 2 more minutes & stir. Bake an additional minute, if necessary, or until evenly browned. Remove from the oven. Cool completely.

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How To Make Toasted Coconut Cake

Sweetened flaked coconut & coconut milk are the key ingredients that giveToasted Coconut Cake decadence. Standing tall, three tender layers filled with a cream cheese based frosting commands the attention it deserves when special spring celebrations are in order. Although I prefer the simplicity of presenting the cake without a garnish, it is a canvas just waiting for your signature style. 

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickThe Technique

From properly preparing cake pans for baking to blending the batter, making a layer cake from scratch is not difficult but there are several points to consider when taking on the task. Start by being certain you have several pieces of key equipment, a few valuable tools & the best ingredients available in order to ensure success throughout the process. Here’s what you should know. 

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The Cake Pan Preparation

Preparing cake pans for batter is ultimately one of the most crucial steps when baking a cake. You can take great care in mixing & blending the batter but it will not be worth your time & effort if the baked cake layers do not release from the pans properly. There are a few methods that I use in order to achieve success when baking that are applied for different flavor profiles. This cake happens to be extremely tender & moist so an extra step has been added to ensure the very bottom of the cake does not stick to the pan.

Begin by coating a generous portion of shortening on the bottom & around the sides of each cake pan. Add a little flour to each pan & pick them up. Turn the pan, tapping lightly while the flour begins to coat & stick to the surface. When it has been coated, remove any excess flour that does not stick.

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Although many traditional southern style layer cakes can be prepared by simply greasing & flouring cake pans, the additional step of adding a round of parchment paper will ensure the cake releases easily. The flour around the sides of the pan will further help rather than by simply relying on a light coating of cooking spray.

Place the cake pan over a piece of parchment paper. Run a very sharp paring knife around the base of the cake pan to create the circles.

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Place the parchment paper circle into the bottom of the cake pan. Gently press it to the bottom for a snug fit. Lightly coat the parchment paper with cooking spray. Set the cake pans aside.

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The Ingredients

The Butter

Softened butter is called for often in recipe applications. The key is to begin the mixing process whether for cakes or other baked items with butter that is the proper consistency. It shouldn’t be too firm nor too soft. You should be able to create a rudimentary butter curl with a spoon indicating that it is indeed ready to use.

How To Separate Eggs. Toasted Coconut Cake BY Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials TV Cooking Personality Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Entertaining Digital Culinary Photo Journalist The Egg Preparations 

Eggs provide structure & can add lift to cakes. Sometimes they are separated & added at different stages during the cake batter blending process. Egg yolks provide richness while the egg whites are whipped & folded into the batter at the end of the procedure. Beaten egg whites provide additional lift & airy texture to baked cake layers. For additional information on the subject, look to How To Separate Eggs.

Baking Tutorials. Whipped Egg Whites For Cake Applications By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick How To Make Meringue. Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Baking & Cooking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern SocialsThe Beaten Egg Whites

Use clean utensils when beating egg whites. The smallest amount of fat either in the bowl or on the beaters thwart the procedure.

The Basics. Lemons. Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Butermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Digital Culinary Photo Journalist TV Cooking Personalty Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern SocialsThe Egg Yolks, The Vanilla, The Lemon Juice & The Lemon Zest

Fresh lemon juice & zest add a subtle flavor while balancing the added sugar from the flaked coconut. Vanilla & salt offer additional well balanced taste.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingThe Coconut Milk & The Dry Ingredients

Before opening the coconut milk, shake the can well as the fat may separate from the liquid. The coconut milk provides a subtle, natural flavor component the the baked cake layers. Measure the flour, the baking soda & the salt. Place the ingredients in a bowl & be certain to whisk them together in order to disperse the leavening to ensure a level rise when the batter bakes. The dry ingredients & the coconut milk will need to be added to the butter mixture in stages. Always begin & end the process with the dry ingredients. Blend them in on Low speed just until incorporated.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingThe Coconut

Sweetened flaked coconut adds delicious texture to the cake. Toasting it first offers an additional, rich flavor note.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingNo. 3

The Cake Batter Procedure

Begin the mixing procedure by creaming the butter & the sugar together in the work bowl of an electric stand mixer. The creaming process is a standard cake blending procedure in which the butter & the sugar are beaten using a flat beater attachment thus aerating the mixture so that the additional ingredients will blend in well. It will take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes.

 Cream the butter & the sugar on Medium speed with an electric stand mixer until light & fluffy. Stop the mixer occasionally & scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting3a

Blend in the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the vanilla & the egg yolks just until the yellow disappears. 

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting3b

Whisk together the flour, the baking powder & the salt in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the coconut milk beginning & ending with the flour mixture.

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The batter will appear smooth & silky once blended.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting3d

Beat the egg whites with an electric hand-held mixer in a medium bowl on High speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the prepared batter. 

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The batter will feel & appear lighter in the bowl. Use a rubber spatula to lift the batter from the bottom of the bowl to be certain it is incorporated thoroughly & evenly.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingNo. 4

The Coconut Cake Batter & The Portioning

You do not have to measure the amount of batter that goes into each pan but you do want it to be close so that it has an artisan, professional feel once cut. Gage dollops of batter that are similar in size & begin filling the pans like an assembly line. Repeat the process until all of the batter has been portioned into the pans. Spread it to the edges for a relatively flat surface.

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Lift each pan about an inch from the countertop. Drop it onto the surface. Repeat two additional times. This will level out the batter in the pans so that the cake rises evenly. 

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingNo. 5

The Baking & The Cooling 

Position the oven racks in the center of the oven & always preheat it while preparing cake batter so that it is the proper temperature when the cake pans are added. Place the filled pans on the same center rack & start the timer. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the pan edges. When they are ready to be removed from the oven, the cakes will pull away from the pan edges & a toothpick inserted into the center will test clean. Do not over bake them. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes & remove the cakes from the pans. Discard the parchment paper. Cool completely & cover the layers with plastic wrap. Freeze at least 30 minutes before frosting. Freezing the cake layers briefly will allow the cream cheese frosting to hug the layers right away for sturdier, level layering.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast CoconutNo. 6

The Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting 

The only tool you’ll need to ice the cake layers with the Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting is a butter knife or a small icing spatula. Beat the cream cheese & the butter in an electric stand mixer with the flat beater attachment on Medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth & creamy. Stop the mixer & scrape down the bowl sides with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla & the lemon juice mixing until blended. Beat in the powdered sugar & the salt until smooth & creamy. Fold in 2 cups of Toasted Coconut using a rubber spatula. Be certain all of the ingredients are well blended.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast CoconutNo. 7

The Toasted Coconut 

Use a wooden spoon with a long handle to stir the coconut during the toasting process. Stir it from the bottom onto the top layer as the coconut resting over the pan surface will brown first. Farther into the process, steam will rise as you stir the mixture. This will be your indicator that the coconut is toasting more quickly. Watch the coconut more closely the last 3 minutes to make certain it doesn’t burn. Once the coconut has been removed from the oven, continue to stir it as it will continue to toast on the hot pan. Cool completely before using.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingNo. 8

The Cake Assembly

Layer cake frosting techniques vary greatly. The top & the sides can be iced smoothly for a clean, modern look or a simple butter knife will produce a more casual cake style. This particular cake look beautiful & natural with Toasted Coconut pressed into the sides & over the top of the cake.

Place one of the cooled cake layers with the top side facing up on the plate or cake stand you would like to use for your presentation. Spread about a 1/2 cup or so of the buttercream in the center of the cake layer. Use the butter knife to spread it all the way to the edges being a little generous. When the second layer is added, you want a little bit to press out to ensure that once the cake slices are cut for serving, the frosting on the cake sides meets the frosting in the center of the cake for a cohesive, even look.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting8a

Place the second cake layer over the frosting with the bottom side facing up. Generally, this surface will always be more level. Spread a generous portion of frosting over the cake layer & push it to the edges. Top with the final cake layer placing it bottom side up. Once again, spread a generous portion of frosting over the top of the cake.

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting8b

Spread the frosting around the sides a little at a time. Use the knife to ring the cake sides smooth. Place the frosted cake over parchment paper. Press Toasted Coconut into the cake sides & sprinkle it over the top of the cake. Cover & store in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving for the best flavor. 

Baking Classics. Toasted Coconut Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Parties Southern Recipes How To Toast Coconut. Toasted Coconut Cake With Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingNo. 9 

The Toasted Coconut Cake 

Wipe the plate edges clean with a damp paper towel after icing. Store the cake in the refrigerator until ready to slice. Allow it to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving guests for the best flavor. 

The Tune
“You Go To My Head” Billie Holiday

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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