Years ago my brother dubbed this “The Good Cake.” I was nervous when he first tried it because he was so quiet. He took a bite. Then another. And another. I was nervous. I asked what he thought. He said, “I think this is the best cake I’ve ever had.”
This cake tastes like a high-end wedding cake. Unlike most coconut cakes, the base of this cake is actually a vanilla cake that’s slathered with a delicious coconut frosting. It’s such an ethereal combination. The frosting is like a fluffy cloud of coconut goodness!
I came up with this cake years ago for an Easter dessert. I wanted something coconut-y but not TOO coconut-y. Just a kiss of coconut. I’ve made it many times since then and I *finally* thought to do a photo shoot with it so I could post the recipe.
Coconut Vanilla Cake, aka The Good Cake
2 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups King Arthur Flour all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
4 large farm fresh eggs
Coconut frosting, recipe follows
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add butter to the mixer and beat until it looks sandy.
- Combine the milk and vanilla and add to the mixer. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Don’t forget to scrape the bowl as you go!
- Crack eggs into a bowl. This way, you won’t accidentally get egg shells in your cake batter. With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time. Make sure each is incorporated before adding the next.
- Pour batter into your prepared cake pans. Softly bang the bottom of the pans against the countertop to help settle the batter evenly in the pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes for 9″ layers or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven. Cool for five minutes before removing it from the pan. Let cool completely.
- Frost with Coconut Frosting (recipe follows). Carefully pat the reserved coconut onto the top and sides of the frosted cake. (I like to add a bit of edible glitter to my coconut beforehand to make it extra pretty, but this isn’t necessary.)
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3 teaspoons coconut extract
3 tablespoons milk
1 bag sweetened, shredded coconut
- Beat softened butter until fluffy.
- Slowly incorporate powdered sugar.
- Beat in coconut extract and milk. Always make sure frosting is the consistency of your liking! Add more milk if needed.
- Stir in about 2/3 of the bag of coconut. Reserve the rest to pat on the cake for garnish.
This recipe was featured in an episode of The Rose Table. Watch it now:
Love it? Pin it!