I’m not a huge cake person, but I love coconut, so I couldn’t wait to try making Barefoot Contessa’s coconut cake, adapted from her famous coconut cupcakes. (I left out the almond extract because… well… eww.)
My mother (AKA the Cake Goddess) suggested I torte the cake. This is not to be confused with the word “tort”: a wrongful act, not including a breach of contract or trust, that results in injury to another’s person, property, reputation, or the like, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation. (Gabe’s law school learning is rubbing off on me.)
I was really pleased with the result! After our guests ate half the cake, I sliced it up and froze individual pieces so we can have the leftovers whenever we want. You might call it a “retorte.” Hah.
- 1 1/4 lb. (5 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- 10 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans lined with parchment paper.
Cream three sticks of butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time. Add 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don’t be concerned.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in three parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in 4 oz. of coconut with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, two sticks of butter, and 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract with electric mixer on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).
To assemble, carefully slice each cake in half with a bread knife. Place one layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with thin layer of frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, spread with another layer of frosting. Repeat with all four layers and then frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with and sides with remaining 6 oz. of coconut. Serve at room temperature.
Source: Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa