Looking for a good, simple recipe for coconut cake for Mr. Peanut's birthday.

I don't like coconut, but my husband does, and he wants a coconut cake for his birthday this week. I have a couple of recipes I've clipped, and I have several good cookbooks, but I'd love to hear recommendations from Foodpicklers who've actually made a coconut cake. He does not want a chocolate (German chocolate) cake, and I'd love a recipe that doesn't involve a full dozen egg whites, sixteeen bowls, a food processor, and Cake Drama. Simple but delicious is what I need. Thanks!

  • Posted by: Peanut
  • March 21, 2011


Kayb March 21, 2011
Tried and true, guaranteed, best coconut cake you can make for the least investment of time and effort, provided that (a) you plan ahead enough to make it two or three days in advance, and (b) you have room in your fridge to store it for those 2-3 days. http://kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/birthday-baking/
ChefJune March 21, 2011
I make a Coconut Pound Cake in a bundt pan that is truly addictive. No frosting, it has its own topping, and then you sprinkle it with powdered sugar. I have even made it as a wedding cake for close friends who had just a family wedding.

This doesn't seem like the place to post a recipe, so if you would like it, please send me a message and I will be glad to send it along.
MaryMaryCulinary March 21, 2011
I have made this recipe a couple of times and my family loves it:
It has Coco Lopez in both the cake and the cream cheese frosting.

Regarding weights and measures of coconut, Rose's Heavenly Cakes has 4.6 ounces of coconut measuring 1 and 3/4 cups.

Oh, for a simple coconut bundt cake, try Dorie Greenspan's Coconut Tea Cake. It has coconut milk in the batter, and I add fresh grated coconut. It's moist and delicious and can be glazed for a bit more oomph.
janecf March 21, 2011
I made this cake for a bday once and it was a huge hit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/italian-cream-cake-from-beth-lotts-mom-recipe/index.html

It does involve separating the eggs, beating the yolks in individually, and beating the whites (but there are only 5). It also calls for 3 layers, so keep that in mind if you don't have 3 identical pans or room in the oven for 3 at a time. If 3 bowls or fewer meets the simplicity test, then give it a go!
betteirene March 21, 2011
Sometimes I do Ina's version, and when I do, I don't make the cream cheese frosting she covers it with. I love coconut, and I love cream cheese, but I don't love them together. I think cream cheese is too much competition for the coconut flavor to come bursting through, so I use a seven-minute frosting instead.

Most of the time I convert Nick Malgieri's/Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake into a lovely coconut cake.
Here are my tweaks: The recipe calls for 4 egg whites in the cake and 4 egg whites in the frosting, but then you've either got to find a use for 8 yolks, or trash them--I use 4 egg yolks in the cake and 4 egg whites for the buttercream;
I use half a 14 oz. bag of coconut in the batter and the other half to coat the frosting; I really like the coconut with seedless raspberry jam between the layers, but it isn't a necessary addition because the cake is flavorful enough without it.

If no one will be helping Mr. Peanut eat the cake, use Dorie's recipe. When you cut the cake, slice it down the middle, then make serving-sized slices by making cuts perpendicular to the center cut so that you have flat slices instead of wedges. Wrap each slab in plastic wrap, then freeze them; allow to thaw for 15 minutes before serving. Buttercream freezes well, much better than Seven-Minute icing or cream cheese icing.
Peanut March 21, 2011
pauljoseph, I'll run that idea by him. He does like pralines and pecans, and I'm sure the idea of this kind of cake never occurred to him. Thanks!
Peanut March 21, 2011
ATG117 and LuluJC, do you have a ballpark idea of how much 4 oz./6 oz. of coconut would be in cup measures? I don't have a kitchen scale. About 1/2 and 3/4 cups respectively?
pauljoseph March 21, 2011
What about a LAZY DAZY CAKE
1 cup. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup. milk
1 cup. sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Beat eggs, add sugar gradually. Beat until fluffy. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to egg mixture. Beat. Heat milk and butter, add vanilla. Add, beat slightly. Pour into greased 8 x 10 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When done spread with topping and brown under broiler.
5 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. cream
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. coconut
1/2 c. pecans
Mix ingredients and beat until right consistency to spread.
Peanut March 21, 2011
Excellent idea, amysarah!
Peanut March 21, 2011
How interesting that you both pulled up the same Ina Garten recipe! That's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. I'm not of a mind to make Seven Minute Frosting for the Martha Stewart recipe, but I had a good laugh at this: "This recipe yields a six-layer cake. However, if you prefer the look of five layers, the extra cake layer makes a delicious snack." Can't you just hear her saying that?! Thanks so much.
amysarah March 21, 2011
Ina Garten's recipe is good - very rich and coconut-y, and simple to make. The cream cheese frosting works really well with it too.

I tweaked it slightly, by toasting about 1/3 of the coconut you put on top of the frosting - just because I love toasted coconut and it added a nice flavor note. (Looked pretty too - the white was flecked with golden brown.)
LuluJC March 21, 2011
Whoops --- Barefoot Contessa at Home.
LuluJC March 21, 2011
Try this one by Ina Garten from The Barefoot contesa at Home: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/coconut-cake-recipe/index.html
ATG117 March 21, 2011
Here's one by Ina Garten, which I've made as cupcakes with great results:


And one by Martha Stewart, which I have not made and would might tweak to decrease the number of layers, for the sake of ease. Although, I do love the idea of having all that cream sandwiched in there:

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