This moist, fluffy, delicate coconut cake makes the perfect side to tea. With a slight crunch and subtle coconut flavor, it pairs amazingly well with flavors such as citrus and rum.
Along with chocolate chips and peanut butter cups, I used to keep toasted coconut flakes in a secret spot in the kitchen. Much like all of us, Erez has some of his own weaknesses, and crunchy coconut happens to be one of them. I say ‘used to keep’ because apparently that spot is no longer hidden. When I went to look for the coconut flakes, they were nowhere to be found. This is also why I’m posting this recipe today instead of last week as promised. Erez sends his deepest apologies (but doesn’t seem to regret it one bit).
Come to think of it, there’s not a single recipe with coconut yet on the blog, which is quite surprising considering my love for anything coconut. The cake I’m sharing today is the kind of cake that if you pass by it, you just have to grab a piece. It’s light and carries a subtle flavor that you simply won’t be able to get enough of.
This cake is versatile, and I know how much you guys love that! Since the coconut flavor isn’t overwhelming, it gives plenty of room to play around with other ingredients that compliment it.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Add zest of one lime or lemon (tossed with the sugar) and 2 tablespoons of juice (adding it along with the coconut cream).
- Replace half of the coconut cream with orange juice.
- Add the zest of one orange.
- Add 1/2 cup raisins that have been soaked in 1/4 cup dark rum (folding it into the batter).
- For the glaze, instead of using just coconut cream, replace part of it with lime juice, lemon juice, or rum. I LOVE dark rum, but it’s not what you think, I promise. Start with just a little unless you want a strong flavor—I usually use 1 teaspoon.
While the glaze is optional, I love that it adds more coconut flavor and some crunch to contrast with the tender cake.
- 1½ cups (210g/7.5oz) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick/113g) butter, softened
- 1¼ cups (250g/8.8oz) granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon or lime
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
- 1 cup (240ml) coconut cream (unsweetened)*
- 1 cup (100g/3.5oz) shredded (sweetened or unsweetened) or desiccated coconut
- ¾ cup (85g/3oz) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon dark rum (optional)
- ½ cup flaked or shredded coconut, for topping
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, and lemon/lime zest on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract and rum. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the coconut cream in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the shredded coconut.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top is browning too fast while baking, cover pan loosely with aluminum foil.
- For the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, coconut cream, and rum until smooth. Add more coconut cream as necessary until you reach a thick yet pourable consistency. Pour over top of cake and let drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle flaked coconut on top. Allow glaze to set, 15-30 minutes.
- Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cake can be frozen without glaze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- I find that the cake improves, both in taste and texture, a day after it’s made.
- This cake can also be baked in an 8x8-inch square or a 9-inch round cake pan, although the baking time will decrease to 35-40 minutes.