I woke up this morning with a serious hankering for coconut cake. Super coconut-y coconut cake. I love coconut, but I hardly ever eat it.
I want to make coconut cake that actually tasted like coconut - not yellow cake, vanilla frosting and some coconut stuck to the sides.
I searched high and low for a recipe that actually used it in the cake, but couldn’t find any I liked. So I decided to go with my tried and true favorite vanilla cake recipe.
It’s seriously good, guys. But how was I going to make it coconut-y? Coconut extract, that’s how. I didn’t have any, so I had to run to the grocery store.
It’s not a good idea to go to the grocery store on a saturday in a tourist town. OH MY GOSH. So. Many. People.
Anyway, all they had was imitation coconut extract, but whatever works, right?
So I had that under control, but then I had to work out what to do for frosting. As I’ve mentioned here, I’m terrible at frosting whole cakes. I should really take the time to learn how, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. Cupcakes were the obvious solution here. I still didn’t want to do vanilla frosting, so I looked around and found a coconut filling recipe (from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook!) that sounded good. All I did was add a little more flour than it called for to thicken it up and it worked perfectly! It was delicious, I think next time I may use the coconut extract rather than the vanilla for extra coconut-y goodness.
These were so good! The cupcakes came out perfectly thanks to the super vanilla cake recipe, and the filling/icing was delicious. I just toasted some coconut in the oven for about 5-10 minutes for the top!
Adorable and tasty, best of both worlds. These would be great for a birthday party or any other kind of get together!
Basic Coconut (or vanilla, lemon, orange, etc) Cupcake Batter
Adapted from Southern Living
(just double this recipe if you want a two layer cake)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 large eggs
1 tsp coconut extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (or just put 1 tbsp of vinegar per cup of milk to make buttermilk)
Preheat oven to 350.
Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until yellow disappears after each addition. Beat in coconut and vanilla extracts.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat a medium-low speed just until blended after each addition. (batter will be thick)
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean.
Coconut Filling an/or Icing
From The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (plus just a little more!)
1 seven-ounce package sweetened, shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium size sauce pan, whisk the milk with the sugar and the flour until thoroughly combined. Cook and stir constantly over medium-high heat (about 5 minutes) until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the coconut. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and cool to room temp.