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Moist Coconut Cake


Photo by Foodiewife F.

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  • For the cake:
  • Cake
  • 3 cups (12 ounces)Cake Flour (recommended, King Arthur Flour unbleached cake flour)
  • 2/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) coconut milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) sugar
  • 6 large egg whites (about 1 1/4 cups; packaged liquid egg whites works fine, too)
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 drops coconut flavoring
  • For the lemon curd (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • For the frosting:
  • 3/4 cup creme of coconut (not coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 5 1/2 cups (22 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 3 to 4 drops strong coconut flavoring


Servings 1
Adapted from


Step 1


For the lemon curd (optional):
In a 2 quart saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter.
Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk, and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
Remove from heat.

The curd can be stored in the refrigerator, in a tight-fitting jar, for up to one week.

For the cake:
To make the cake: Whisk together the cake flour, coconut milk powder, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is extremely light and fluffy; scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl after two minutes of beating, and beat for at least three minutes more. Add 1/4 of the dry ingredients, mix until combined, and scrape the mixing bowl.

Combine the egg whites, buttermilk, and flavorings; add 1/3 of the mixture to the ingredients in the bowl and mix until combined. Continue adding dry and wet ingredients by turns, until all are incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl one last time, and mix for another minute.

Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans, and wrap the outsides with the soaked cake strips. If you don’t have cake strips, place the pans in larger pans and fill the water halfway up the sides of the layers. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center and the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Remove from the oven and place on a rack; remove the cake strips. Let the layers cool for 20 minutes, then turn out of the pan and return to the rack to finish cooling completely before filling and frosting.

While cakes are cooling, spread shredded coconut on rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until shreds are a mix of golden brown and white, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Cool to room temperature.

For the frosting:
Cream the butter with 2 cups confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the salt, vanilla, coconut extrat and almond (if using) until the mixture is smooth. Add the cream of coconut and mix, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar until you have a smooth, spreadable frosting. Cover and hold at room temperature until ready to use.

To finish the cake:
If using the lemon curd for the middle layer, pipe (or spread) a thick circle of frosting around the cake. Fill the middle with 1 generous cup of lemon curd.

Frosting the tops and sides of the cake, not worrying about perfection.

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