Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coconut Birthday Cake

Mark likes coconut cakes for his birthday, mostly because his favorite, carrot cake, is hard to make without a food processor to process all the carrots, and we don't have a food processor. Coconut is his other favorite. Last year I made this one. Mark liked the frosting, but agreed with me that the cake itself was a bit too dry. This year I made the cake using a recipe from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World" topped with the same frosting I made last year. The recipe was for coconut-lime cupcakes, but I removed the lime zest to make it straight coconutty. I also didn't have coconut extract, so I put almond extract instead, and it came out almondy as well. I think next time I'll put less almond, or remove it altogether. Another alteration was substituting coconut oil for regular vegetable oil.

I basically doubled the recipe from VCTOTW and this is what I came up with:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15 floz) coconut milk
  • 1/2 c soymilk
  • 1.5 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t almond extract (coconut extract in original recipe, I think you can just leave it out, since the cake tastes coconutty anyway)
Mix all together in a big bowl, then add:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
Mix all together until combined, then add:
  • 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
Stir it in until combined, and pour into 9" spring form pan. Bake at 325-350 for about 40-45 minutes, until it's no longer jiggly and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

I cut it horizontally in half and put icing in the middle. I also put coconut cream (1/2 can coconut milk + 2-3 T brown sugar + 1 t vanilla, brought to a gentle boil in a saucepan over medium heat), but it's not really necessary.

This is probably the best coconut cake I ever had - very moist and rich - though I don't care much for the frosting. I could probably eat it straight without any additions. Or I would try the VCTOTW lime frosting (1/4 c lime juice for a cup of fat and 2 cups of powdered sugar), or some sort of cream cheese frosting. If you like coconut, you should try it - it's fairly easy to make - took me less than 20 minutes to put it in the oven!

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