I've made this several times now as EVERYONE loved it so much. Many have said that this cake has surpassed my chocolate cake as their favorite. The recipe is an adaptation of 2 recipes one from Epicurious and the other from Completely Delicious and then my addition of real toasted coconut. I think this one is by far a real winner. I think what sets it apart is the REAL coconut flakes. Their toasted natural coconut taste is WAY BETTER than the awful sweetened version you often find. In addition, the moist crumb of the cake from the coconut cream and buttermilk makes it a real winner. Enjoy!
2 3/4 cups cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 3/4 cups sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (Coco López) 4 large eggs, separated 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk Pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 3-inch-high sides*. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and sweetened cream of coconut in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract & a drop of coconut flavoring. On low-speed, beat in dry ingredients and then buttermilk, each just until blended.
Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites with pinch of salt in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.
Divide cake batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.
*Note: The batter will not fit in two 8-inch pans-consider using 3 8-inch pans or two 9-inch pans with 3-inch sides.
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature 4 cups (455 grams) powdered sugar, sifted 1-3 tablespoons regular milk 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
Beat together the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium high-speed until light and creamy. Add the coconut flavoring and enough coconut milk (or regular milk) to reach a spreadable consistency. Mix until smooth.
Make the toasted coconut:
1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened coconut (Bob's Red Mill brand)
Spread the coconut on a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven until golden, checking every 2 minutes. Watch it carefully, the coconut will burn fast. Let it cool completely.
1 cup of the Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (above) 1 cup (237 ml, 8 fl oz) heavy whipping cream
With a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add 1 cup of the cream cheese buttercream a spoonful at a time while mixing on medium-high speed. Whip to soft peaks.
Assemble the cake:
Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Cover with the whipped cream cheese filling. Place the other layer on top. Frost the entire cake with the remaining cream cheese buttercream and cover in the toasted coconut.
Chill for overnight before serving. It will be more moist the day after.