This is the Coconut Cream Cake that was so very popular at the bakery. Easter seems synonymous with coconut and I'm not sure why but happy it is.
Fairly early in the life of the shop, I got a mailer from General Mills touting their flours. It was a beautiful color brochure with cakes and sweet breads. I tried the cakes and the one that just amazed me is the one we used with minor changes. This very almond flavored cake is the most moist white cake I have ever eaten. We used the white chiffon cake for our wedding cakes and it never ceased to get raves.
Because this is a very loose batter, it is important when folding in the whites to make sure you go to the bottom of the bowl each time. When making one cake this isn’t a big deal, when making a batch in a 60 quart bowl, it is very important so that all of the layers have all of the ingredients. If making this in a large batch, it is also important to scale out quickly as the batter can thin out if it sits too long.
Make sure it goes into the oven right away and doesn’t sit. But even with its little idiosyncrasies it is, by far and away, the best white cake ever. To make it even better, these layers freeze beautifully. Just freeze them until hard, then wrap well. They will keep for a month. To use, remove the covering and thaw at room temperature.
One of the reasons I favor chiffon cakes is their moistness and the ability of the cake to stay moist for days. Any cake that uses oil will maintain its moistness better than a cake made with butter. There is definitely a place for butter cakes. We used them for wedding cakes but not for the wholesale clients which needed a longer shelf life.
I have blogged the pastry cream used in this Coconut Cream Cake. Just follow that recipe and make it at least one day ahead, although you can make it several days ahead and refrigerate it.
The rest is just assembling it. This Coconut Cream Cake is the cake with which I trained fledgling decorators. As you will see any mistakes made are easily covered with the coconut which encases the entire cake. When they could finish this perfectly, they could move on.
If you remember the old fashioned Coconut Cream Cake, or if you are new to it, give it a try and see why this is the Coconut Cream Cake of my client's dreams.
Make the pastry cream in the blog at least one day ahead. It can be made several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
White Chiffon Cake
2 ¼ cup sifted cake flour (225 grams or 8 ounces)
1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (215 grams or 7 ½ ounces)
2 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup non fat dry milk (30 grams or 1 ounce)
½ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup water
3 eggs, separated
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
⅔ cup water
½ teaspoon cream of tarter
½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams or 3 ½ ounces)
Prepare three 9x2 inch round cake pans by spraying the centers and lining them with parchment rounds. Spray the center of the rounds; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the flour, 1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, salt, dry milk, vegetable oil, ⅓ cup water, egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the ⅔ cup water half at a time, mixing well after each addition. It will be very loose.
In a clean mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tarter until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar and beat until medium stiff peaks form. Whisk ¼ of the beaten whites into the batter to give it more body; fold in the remaining whites.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans (325 grams or about 11 ½ ounces each pan).
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. The cakes will be very slightly colored if at all, the tester will come out clean and the center will spring back when lightly touched.
As the layers cool, they will fall slightly and pull away from the side of the pan but remain flat – that is how it should be.
Baked layers are ¾ inch tall.
Assembly of the Coconut Cream Cake
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar (22 grams or ¾ ounce)
Pastry Cream, chilled
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut (170 grams or 6 ounces)
3 White Chiffon Cake Layers, thawed if frozen
Combine cream and powdered sugar in mixing bowl; beat until stiff. Fold into pastry cream. Stir coconut into filling. Spread half of filling, 420 grams or 14 ¾ ounces to within ½ inch of edge of one layer of cake. Place another layer of cake over filling and spread the remainder of the filling over it. Top with the last layer of cake.
Yield: 860 grams or 30 ½ ounces filling.
Frosting Coconut Cream Cake
1 ½ cups heavy cream
⅓ cup powdered sugar (40 grams or 1 ⅓ ounces
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut (255 grams or 9 ounces)
Combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until very stiff. Spread the cream over the sides of the cake. Smooth the sides. A bench scraper works fine here. Finish by spreading the remaining cream over the top of the cake. As you can see in the photo, the cake is not perfectly frosted. Press coconut onto sides and top. Place the coconut in a pie plate or other container. Hold the whipped cream frosted cake in one hand and pick up some coconut in your other hand. Keeping the cake over the pie plate, pat the coconut onto the side of the cake. The excess coconut will fall back into the pie plate. Pat the coconut lightly in place on the top and sides. Place in refrigerator overnight to set up.
Note: This cake may be made in its entirety, frozen, covered and then frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
There is also a Chocolate Version should you prefer chocolate or take a look at the Coconut Cream Pie with a Difference.