This coconut cake recipe isn't what you would expect to find in an Italian cakes section. But my step-son asked for a coconut cake for his birthday. It was only AFTER I made it that I realized he didn't want a cake that had a "pound cake" type texture. And that's what this cake is. It's a deep moist full tasting cake. You know, one that like coats your mouth with tropical goodness even after you swallow.
Now I do have another coconut cake recipe if you are looking for a lighter airy-er cake. It's a coconut layer cake . And it's texture is rather light and fluffy. It's made with a white cake base and an easy coconut frosting recipe. This one is one of my mom's favorites.
But back to this cake - this guy has a deep moistness to it. And this is totally optional but I infuse my coconut with orange zest and Malibu Rum. Then I toasted the coconut before sprinkling. But you will still have a great cake if you skip this.
Happy baking and enjoy the journey of mixing and licking the spoon ~
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 2 tsp of orange zest
* 1 cup butter
* 5 eggs ( YES - really!)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
* 1 cup buttermilk - ( you can always add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to milk as a substitute)
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup flaked coconut
* Prepare Chewy Rum Coconut Orange Zest (THIS STEP IS TOTALLY OPTIONAL) You can just add zest and coconut later if you don't want moist chewy zesty coconut.
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
* Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
* Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
* In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
* Add eggs one at a time; beat well.
* Mix in vanilla/almond flavoring.
* Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing well with each addition.
* Fold in coconut and orange zest. If you made the syrup - add the coconut/rum/orange zest.
* Pour batter into prepared pan. I highly suggest you flour the pan if you made the coconut rum syrup mixture. I makes the cake real sticky.
* Bake at 350 degrees for , or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
* 1 Cup of Coconut
* 2 Cups of Water
* 2 tsp of orange zest
* 1/8 cup rum
* Pour all ingredients into sauce pan EXCEPT rum
* Bring to boil
* Simmer for 20 minutes - mixture will not reduce much. That's OK. All you are looking for is to infuse the coconut with flavor.
* After 20 minute pull off of burner and add rum.
* Strain off all liquid. You will have a pile of moist infused coconut.
* Make sure the coconut is close to room temperature before adding to cake batter.
* Too, don't leave coconut too moist, or that will affect the texture of your cake. Use that good cooking judgment skill.
NOTE: The coconut topping is simple. I soaked a cup of coconut in Malibu rum until it absorbed the rum. Right before serving I toasted just until the tips were golden. It's not necessary, but it adds to the coconut aroma and it just plain looks a little better than cheap bakeries.
Yeah! You will have more of an American pound cake with coconut. Nothing wrong with that. Italian cake and Italian dessert recipes tend to jazz things up with a lot of rum, bourbon, or amaretto. If you are looking for substitution ideas these will work:
Oh yeah, like I mentioned above, I'm just an over-achiever. Too, I'm sentimental. I always think how would my grandma take just a plain ole coconut cake recipe and add just that extra something to make it stand out? So that's why I do the infusing.
You can. Just be careful if it has moisture content that you drain and pat it dry. I'm saying that because pineapple comes to my mind. But I'd be real sure to make sure it's relatively dry before I add it in.
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