Throwdown’s Toasted Coconut Cake with Coconut Filling and Coconut Buttercream
Ever since I watched Bobby Flay prepare coconut cake with coconut filling and coconut buttercream I have been obsessed in preparing this cake. Every time I have a new recipe to try and has a long list of ingredients, preparing different ingredients before assembling the cake it freaks me out. I get so nervous that it will not turn out correctly and I might have to redo some of the steps over. I have re-read the instructions over and over again hoping that the cake will turn out and I don’t have to go to the store to purchase an ingredient because I messed up. I keep saying to myself that I can do this, I can do this….
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
Bake at 350 degrees F. Spread the coconut evenly onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring once, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the coconut sit in the oven until very dry and crunchy, about 15 minutes longer.
Coconut Simple Syrup:
- 1 1/2 cups water or 1 1/2 cups coconut water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons coconut rum (recommended: Malibu)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the milks and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the rum and vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
- 3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe above), cold
- 3/4 cup very cold heavy cream
Combine the custard and cream in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.
Tip: I whipped the heavy cream first until soft peaks formed and I added the coconut custard.
- 3 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe above) (cold)
- Pinch fine sea salt
Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut custard and salt and beat until combined and smooth.
Tip: I revised the recipe and used 2 sticks unsalted butter, 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. I found that the frosting was not too sweet just right.
- 2 tablespoons softened butter, for pans
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for pans
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, slightly cold
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9 by 2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pan and smooth the tops using a rubber spatula.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on baking rack for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the side of the pan and invert cakes onto the baking rack, removing parchment paper, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Tip: When you cut the parchment paper make sure you it covers the bottom of the pan and you don’t have extra parchment paper on the side of pan (perfect round parchment paper bottoms). You can also purchase pre-cut parchment paper.
Using a long serrated knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Reserve 1 of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake. Place another layer on a cardboard round cut side up and brush with some of the coconut simple syrup. Spoon 1/3 of the coconut filling onto the cake and using a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cake. Repeat with 2 more layers. Brush the cut side of the reserved cake layer with the remaining syrup. Place the layer cut side down on top of the cake.
Frost the sides and top of the cake with the buttercream. Pat the coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle the remaining coconut on the top of the cake.
This cake is amazing. It is very labor intensive, but after making it, I now know I can make a few things the day before. Make sure to make everything in the order written. The day before you can toast the coconut, make the simple syrup and coconut custard. Make sure to lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the custard before refrigerating. You won’t get a film on the top layer of the custard, by doing this. Day two make the cake (I replaced the 1 tsp. of vanilla extract with coconut extract and while that is in the oven make the coconut filling. While the cake cools make the buttercream frosting. I made mine two days in advance and it gave the cake time reach its full flavor. Every single bite you can taste hints of coconut that was not too over-powering.
I know I’m going to make this cake again and I will make sure that the parchment paper is perfectly round. I will also use a ruler to make sure that it is evenly cut horizontally. I will definitely be making this again!