Last week was C’s birthday, so what better time to bake a cake! I usually don’t bake birthday cakes for us because for just the three of us, it seems like too much, even for myself who loves cake! But I came across this recipe back in August that I just had to try (thank you, Salad in a Jar!!). It is one focused on the coconut lover in your world and for me that is my very own husband (and me, too, truth be told). With that, let us eat cake!
Amie’s Triple Coconut Cake is a triple coconut-flavored cake sensation with another trifecta of wonder to go along with it: It’s traditional, it’s modern, and it’s unique. The cake is traditional in that it takes you back to the days of “ice box”-style cakes where you bake a cake and keep it in the refrigerator. I remember those snack-style cakes growing up, don’t you? Very retro if you ask me anyway, and what better memory to draw from, especially for a birthday. Then there’s the modern twist: a “tres leches” method is used in that the cake is baked using coconut milk (in lieu of water), then soaked while warm with warm cream of coconut, and then topped with whipping cream and coconut shavings (so a coconut-infused whipped cream of sorts). Finally, I found the flavor choice unique in that it’s a coconut cake, cause, well, let’s be honest, coconut is one of the more polarizing flavors around; whether sweet or savory, you either love it or hate it. There’s absolutely nothing in between or lukewarm about coconut in my experience – or maybe I’m the only person who’s lost friends over what I thought was a simple question of preference (oops).
Having said that, if you don’t like coconut, it was nice knowing you this long anyway (just kidding, I’ll see you next time with something non-coconut). But if you LOVE coconut – and I mean love, love, love coconut, ooh there’s that three thing again! – you must stop what you are doing, make a shopping list, drive to the store, take the goods home, and make this cake ASAP. I am still kicking myself for waiting almost two months to make it, but I promise it won’t be another two months before I make it again!
Now for my tweaks… instead of Cool Whip, which C just can’t stomach, I whipped my own sweet vanilla cream up for the frosting. I will list the recipe I used below, which is one that can be used for pretty much anything and everything that calls for a stiff-peaked whipped cream. I also used shredded coconut rather than making a special buy for shaved (I always have shredded coconut on hand in the fridge). All this swap does is change the appearance of the cake a bit from fancier to more casual, so if that bothers you (compare my photos with Salad-in-a-Jar’s), then go with the shaved. I also came very close to throwing some shredded coconut into the batter, but because it was my first time making this, I resisted; oh, I am so glad I did. I still might try that next time, but if I do I’d definitely dial down the cream of coconut soaking from the full can to maybe just 2/3-3/4 total.
As for my “mistake” tweak… because T was helping… I accidentally used the entire can of coconut milk (14 oz.) rather than the 1 ¼ cup called for (10 oz.) in the baking portion of the program. That amounts to 40 percent more milk in my batter than directed. However, the cake actually baked a-OK, but I will admit the cake was saturated probably more than most would find acceptable. Note to self (again): When T helps bake, read, re-read, and re-re-read the recipe, and pre-measure all ingredients before involving said four-year-old in the dumping together of ingredients.
OK, I’ve rambled long enough, but I just can’t help it… coconut is the bomb-yummity! So please, go forth, enjoy, and do not blame me when you lose a nice chunk of fridge space to this cake on a regular basis, because you will!
Amie’s Triple Coconut Cake
Prep time: 10 mins.
Cook time: 25 mins.
Total time: 35 mins.
– 1 Betty Crocker white cake mix
– 1-1/4 cup coconut milk* (FOR THE CAKE BATTER)
– 1 can cream of coconut* (FOR THE CAKE SOAKING POST-BAKING)
– 8-ounce container of whipped topping
– 1 cup flaked coconut
*IMPORTANT: Do not mix these two ingredients up! To help me keep them straight, I put the coconut milk next to the cake mix box, and I placed the can of the cream of coconut in a microwavable bowl on the other side of my kitchen near the microwave.
1. Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box, substituting coconut milk for water in the mix. Bake in a 9 x 13 pan. Amie and Salad-in-a-Jar both thought the cake was done at least 5 minutes before the box directions predicted (they are correct). Over bake and the crust will be too dry to absorb the cream of coconut.
2. While the cake is still warm, poke holes all over the cake with a skewer.
3. Warm cream of coconut for 1-1/2 minutes on HIGH in the microwave and pour over the cake. Chill for several hours or overnight (I baked the cake in the late-afternoon and refrigerated overnight, and frosted the next morning).
4. Frost with 1 container of thawed, whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip)**. Sprinkle flaked coconut on top. Keep refrigerated.
**Fresh Whipped Cream Topping (in place of Cool Whip or other Non-Dairy Whipped Topping)
Total time: 2 minutes
– 1 cup chilled whipping cream
– 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pour cream in to a chilled glass or metal mixing bowl and beat (I did this on medium speed) until soft peaks form gradually; then add powder sugar until all has been blended; and finally add vanilla slowly and mix (I did this on medium-to-high speed) until it has also been blended.
- Mixture should have stiff peaks.
- The whipped cream may be put into a pastry bag and used for that added effect (when not using as a frosting).