Coconut Cake and 65 Years

October 13 , 2014 by: Hong Birthdays, Food

My mother’s 65th birthday was this past weekend. I made this delectable coconut cake which I then proceeded to eat for several days afterwards. I guess that’s one of the dis/advantages to hosting a party, you get to eat all the leftovers. I was amazed though by how much better this cake was the next day. I suppose similarly to aging gracefully.

Coconut Cake

This was my first attempt at a tiered cake. I love the look of tiered cakes and I wanted a show stopper for this special occasion. Surprisingly, all came out as planned with a little bit of hope, prayer, and the trendy look of “rustic” cakes. I must say I am not a perfectionist by any means so the great thing about this cake is that the coconut hid all these imperfections.

One bit of advice I would give is always use cake flour. This has been instrumental in the cakes coming out soft and light.

I also love a good whipped frosting….ahhh

In the middle of my cake making, a friend stopped by with a bag full of quince and these beauty berries. I kid you not. What a wonderful and lovely surprise!

Of course I couldn’t resist and had to add these little beauties….

Mother’s 65th Birthday was absolutely perfect. I’m still amazed and in awe of this lady and am now embracing the fact that I’m growing up to be more like her….which probably isn’t as bad as I once thought when I was 18. Funny how things change!

Coconut Cake adapted from Completely Delicious

For the cake:
5 large egg whites
1/2 cup (118 ml, 4 fl oz) whole milk
1 tablespoon coconut flavoring
3 cups (340 grams) cake flour
2 1/3 (470 grams) cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (237 ml, 8 fl oz) unsweetened coconut milk
For the Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups (455 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
1-3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk or regular milk
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened coconut
For the Whipped Cream Cheese Filling:
1 cup of the Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (above)
1 cup (237 ml, 8 fl oz) heavy whipping cream


To make the cake:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch (or 9-inch) cake pans and line with parchment paper. (See note)
    2. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk slightly. Add the 1/2 cup milk and coconut flavoring and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and coconut milk and combine on low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg white mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing just long enough to incorporate between additions.
    4. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
To make the butter cream:
    1. Beat together the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium high speed until light and creamy. Add the coconut flavoring and enough coconut milk (or regular milk) to reach a spreadable consistency. Mix until smooth.
    2. Spread the coconut on a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven until golden, checking every 2 minutes. Watch it carefully, the coconut will burn fast. Let it cool completely.
To make the Whipped Cream Cheese Filling:
    1. With a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add 1 cup of the cream cheese butter cream a spoonful at a time while mixing on medium-high speed. Whip to soft peaks.

*Note: To make the tiered cake I doubled the batch. For the second batch I used two 4″ pans and one 9″ cake pan. In all I had 3 layers of 9″ and two layers of 4″. I cut down the 9″ so that it was the same height as the 4″ layers. I also used the whipped cream cheese as the filling and as the frosting.



  • I am definitely saving this recipe, even just for the cake part. I like how light and not overly rich it was. So so good!

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