This memorable cake will make a sweet finish to any meal. If you have never made a homemade cake from scratch, try it once and see what you think.
I must admit that I use cake mixes frequently and “doctor them up.” But when it is a special occasion and I have guests I want to impress (don’t we all love that wow factor), I go all out. What makes this more “do-able” is that I bake the cake layers a couple days ahead.
The frosting recipe used here is called a 7 Minute Boiled Frosting. The reason I like it is that it is not overly sweet, which goes well when using sweetened coconut, plus it is very fluffy and easier to get the coconut to adhere to.
3 Layer Coconut Cake
31/3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups whole milk
11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
21/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
13/4 cups sugar, divided
7 large egg whites, at room temperature 30 minutes
3 large egg whites, at room temperature 30 minutes
21/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
11/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
53/4 cups sweetened coconut; divided
Cream of coconut (to brush on cake layers)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Butter and lightly flour three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Stir together milk and extracts. Beat butter and 11/2 cups sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. At low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
Beat egg white in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks. Stir 1/3 of whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.