Monday, March 11, 2013

Recipe: Coconut Cake

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder1/2 teaspoon table salt3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 cup granulated sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract3 large eggs, at room temperature1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature, divided1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread the coconut in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the coconut is golden brown. Don't walk away, it can burn VERY quickly. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the coconut cool while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Keep oven temperature.

Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 8 minutes (scrape down the bowl as necessary). Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients in three additions and 1 cup of the buttermilk in two additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, mix in 1 1/4 cups of the toasted coconut until evenly distributed. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with the spatula to make sure all of the ingredients are well combined.

Transfer the batter to the pan and spread in an even layer (it will almost completely fill the pan). Bake for about 1 hour, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 1 hour before turning it out to cool completely.

To make the glaze: Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of buttermilk with the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth - the mixture will be thick. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup toasted coconut over the cake.

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