My mamaw’s favorite dessert is coconut cake. I remember my mama making a simpler version in an oblong cake pan every year for her birthday. I thought the recipe was always okay, but I like a little pizzaz in my baking.
I combined a few recipes I found online to create the cake listed here. The nuts in the cake batter give it an almost German chocolate cake taste, but the sweetness of the creme of coconut lets you know this is really tropical and not European! I bake it in rounds and add toasted coconut on top of the frosting for some crunch.
A friend liked it so much that I made a double-decker one for his wedding.
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HEAVENLY COCONUT CAKE
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.
- Blend the cake mix, water, eggs and oil in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of coconut and the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes then remove and finish cooling on rack.
- Put first cake onto presentation dish. Using a toothpick or skewer, poke holes throughout the cake. Mix sweetened condensed milk and creme of coconut and pour 1/2 of mixture across the top.
- Stack the second cake on top of the first and repeat the process with the holes and milk mixture.
- Let the cake stand until all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the frosting.
- To Make Frosting: Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a skillet and toast 1 cup of flaked coconut until golden brown, about 2 minutes. This can be added into the frosting mix or sprinkled on top when complete. Another option is to use the flaked coconut on top without toasting.
- Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Set aside.
- Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Fold in whipped cream.
(1) It’s best to stir the creme of coconut before pouring as it separates like buttermilk. (2) You may want to use a spatula to spread out the condensed milk and creme of coconut. (3) I usually make my cake the day before and let it soak all night in the creme of coconut and condensed milk. (4) Another suggestion for the “soaking” is to turn the cakes into a springform pan and then soak — easier soaking and less mess to clean up. (5) You may want to add more whipped cream for more “fluff.”