Sunday, February 1, 2009

"The" Coconut Cake

This is my mother's, aunts', and grandmother's all-time favorite cake. According to them, it must be made with real coconut. Carrie made it for our mother's birthday this year (Feb. 1st); Carrie and I thought the cake part tasted like an ordinary, made-from-scratch white cake, so if you don't have time to beat the egg whites, find a simpler white cake recipe. Make the icing as directed. This is our grandmother's recipe.

  • 2 c. cake flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup sugar in one bowl. 
  2. Beat egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar to meringue consistency in a separate bowl.
  3. Add vanilla to milk in a separate bowl. 
  4. Soften shortening with mixer on low speed in a separate bowl (yes, this is the 4th bowl!).
  5. Sift dry ingredients into bowl with shortening. Add milk/vanilla mixture and beat at low speed for 2 minutes (fairly thick batter at this point).
  6. Add meringue and beat 1 minute longer on low speed. 
  7. Pour batter into greased and floured pans (2 8- or 9-inch pans).
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

  • 1 coconut (enough for 2 cakes if you can grate all of the coconut)
The night before, grate the fresh coconut and let dry in refrigerator overnight. Mix some into 7 minute frosting (recipe below) and sprinkle some on top of cake. 

7 Minute Frosting

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 6 T. cold water
  • 1/4 t. cream of tartar
Combine all ingredients and place in a double boiler over boiling water. Beat with electric mixer, gradually increasing to high speed. Beat 7 minutes or until it candies (until stiff peaks form). Remove from burner and spread on cake. Coconut can be added before spreading on cake. To soften frosting if it gets too hard, place over hot water again to soften.

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