Southern Coconut Cake

Southern Coconut Cake

Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake

For the cake:
5 large egg whites
1/2 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 cups of cake flour*
2 1/3 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter (8oz.) at warm room temperature
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 1/2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut for garnishing cake

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter the bottoms of three 8-inch round
cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a parchment circle and butter
the circle.

Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk slightly. Add the ½ cup of milk and
the vanilla and whisk to mix thoroughly; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
With the mixer on low, beat dry ingredients well in order to break up any
lumps. Add the butter and coconut milk on low speed and beat just to
combine. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy about 2

Add the egg white mixture in 2 or 3 additions, scraping the sides of the
bowl after each addition. Divide the batter among the pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake taster inserted in the middle comes out
clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Then turn the
cakes out and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on an 8-inch cake
round. Cover this layer with 1 cup of the buttercream frosting. Spread it
evenly all the way to edge of the cake. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded
coconut on top.

Add the second layer and repeat the process.

Top with the final layer of cake and frost the top and sides of the cake.

Place the remaining 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut on a large baking tray.

Pick up the cake and hold it on the palm of one hand over the tray.

Using the other hand scoop up the coconut and press it to the sides of the
cake. Continue with this process until the sides of the cake are covered.

Set the cake on a serving plate and sprinkle any remaining coconut on top of
cake. Chill cake for at least one hour to allow frosting to firm up a bit.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

12 ounces of cream cheese* slightly chilled
1 stick of butter plus 6 tablespoons of butter (7 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of confectioners sugar, sifted after measuring 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of water
3 egg whites

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed until slightly fluffy and smooth. Add the butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Set aside at room temperature while buttercream is made.

Combine the granulated sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring
to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Continue to cook
without stirring until the syrup reaches the softball stage 228 degrees F on
a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, place the egg whites in mixer bowl and have the mixer ready to
go. When the syrup is ready, turn the mixer on med-low and begin mixing the
egg whites. Slowly add the hot syrup to the whites taking care not to pour
onto the beaters, it may splash. When all the syrup is incorporated, raise
the speed on the mixer to med-high and beat the egg whites until mixture has cooled and stiff meringue forms.

With the mixer on low, begin adding the cream cheese mixture by the
spoonful. When all is incorporated, raise the speed to medium and whip until
frosting is smooth and fluffy.