Coconut celebration cake with cream cheese frosting

That’s what I’m calling it anyway or ‘Coconut cake’ as it appears in the recipe.  I made this cake to celebrate 100 likes on my Facebook page, wohoo!  We all lead busy lives and our time is precious so I would like to express thanks to those who spend some time catching up with my kitchen ramblings.  I really do appreciate it, thank you.

The cake. First I thought I’d make a Donna Hay coconut meringue cake (https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/desserts-and-baking/coconut-layer-meringue-cake) but I wimped out.  Then I was going to make the Hummingbird Bakery coconut cake with meringue icing but I wimped out again.  Far too much to go wrong with either of these cakes and I didn’t feel ready to cope with any potential failure.  I’ve really been hankering after coconut lately.  I may be influenced by the coconut in my life right now.  I’ve been using cocoa butter and coconut hand cream (dessert without actually having dessert), coconut and shea butter shower gel and I’ve really been embracing coconut oil in my cooking lately.  I’m really going overboard with it.  I wonder if it gives me a sense of the tropical during these grey, dark and gloomy December days.

I found the coconut cake I actually made in the Lola’s ‘A cake journey around the world’ book.  I thought I could manage that with a reasonable chance of success.  And I was mostly correct in that assumption.

The cake has a cream cheese frosting.  I’ve made cream cheese frosting before, no problem, but I am aware there can be problems (See these useful posts from Joy the Baker http://joythebaker.com/2008/03/cream-cheese-frosting-101/ and the Hummingbird bakery https://hummingbirdbakery.com/blog/2016/10/cupcake-cake-frosting-problems-solved/ ).  As with everything else in baking there’s always something that can go wrong.  It’s all about temperatures and the risk of overbeating, which is a problem for me because I do like stirring things.  I find it very relaxing.  It’s so therapeutic watching the ingredients combine.

I beat the room temperature butter (bearing in mind this is winter in north Scotland so room temperature is still pretty cold) till light and fluffy then I added the sugar.  I got the cream cheese out of the fridge and was just about to add it when I stopped.  Something didn’t feel right.  Sure enough, I checked and the cream cheese needed to be room temperature but I added it to the butter any way.  I knew it wouldn’t work but I went ahead and did it anyway.  Honestly, sometimes I don’t do myself any favours.

Of course the frosting didn’t work first time.  So, I left the whole mixture to come to room temperature (and gave the heating a bit of a boost) and then beat it again till it was soft and fluffy.  By the end the butter globs had merged with the rest of the mixture and the icing was super whipped and fluffy and tasted divine.  It worked eventually – that’s the main thing.  I did get a little bit of moisture leakage from the frosting but I put that down to buying the bargain basement cream cheese and perhaps my over enthusiastic beating.

The cake was huge so unfortunately I couldn’t eat it all myself but it was a perfect antidote to the grey outside and has only fuelled my current obsession with coconut.  I’m wondering now what else I can do……….

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