Alton Brown's Coconut Cake With 7 Minute Frosting

"Saw this episode and knew I had to make this cake... ok, maybe I'll cheat here and there. Alton made his own coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut extract from SCRATCH. Plus, he saved the coconut juice from the actual coconut to spray on top of the baked cakes. I haven't made this yet. I'm posting to see nutrition info. This will be my birthday cake in a couple days and I'm seeing what tweaking (less fat) I can get away with. Prep time is a guess."
photo by mikey  ev photo by mikey  ev
photo by mikey ev
photo by mikey  ev photo by mikey  ev
photo by mikey  ev photo by mikey  ev
Ready In:
1hr 40mins




  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Lightly oil two 9" round pans and line with parchment paper. Spray paper with a little additional oil.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Combine coconut milk and cream in a separate bowl.
  • Cream the butter in a 3rd bowl (I know, I know) til fluffy (1 min.) and then gradually add sugar at a low speed. After sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and cream about 2-3 minutes until it's lighter in color and texture.
  • Turn speed back to low and add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately in 3 additions. Do not over mix!
  • In another bowl beat egg whites until stiff and then slowly fold into the batter. You'll want to add a bit of the batter to the egg whites and then switch to adding the egg whites into the batter bowl.
  • Divide batter evenly between two bowls and bang on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  • Place on center rack and bake about 40 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • Cool in pans for ten minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Once cakes have cooled, slice horizontally in half to form 4 layers. Then brush or spray them with the coconut juice.
  • Frosting: Bring 1 quart water to a boil in a saucepan and decrease to maintain a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, place egg whites, coconut water, sugar, salt and cream of tarter in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Place bowl over the simmering water and immediately begin beating with hand mixer at slow speed for 1 minute, then high speed for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and beat in coconut and vanilla extracts, beating for an additional minute.
  • Allow frosting to sit for 5 minutes before using. Allow about 3/4 cup frosting per layer, sprinkling about 1/2 cup coconut on top of each frosted layer. Repeat until the final layer and frost top and sides with last of the frosting and coconut.

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  1. I made this cake for christmas dinner and everyone loved it! The older person who attended, many in their 80's, said they had not had such a cake since their mothers were alive! I went to the trouble of making the coconut cream, cococunt milk, and coconut extract from Alton's original Food Network show. I don't think it was worth the extra effort, possibly becuase the coconuts we purchase here in North America have not ripened enough to be very flavorful. The coconut flavor was so delicate, as to be non-existant to my taste buds. But the cake had an amazing texture, rich and buttery. I had to make the frosting 3 times; once because it did not 'fluff'. the second time was good, but I was too heavy-handed with frosting the layers; the 3rd time was the charm. I did note that adding the coconut water to the frosting does change its texture, it does not get as fluffy. I reccommend using plain water, and the coconut extract. Next time I will use the commercial extract and coconut flakes, as Savory Truffle reccommends. It was worth the effort. Try it!
  2. Yuck. All that work and it was horrible. Started with three coconuts and regret all the work.
  3. I actually made this for my birthday and my girlfriend's birthday earlier this month! We actually decided to go big (you know, go big or go home) and made our own coconut milk, cream, and extract. This is absolutely amazing, so moist and buttery and rich and delicious. We used whole wheat pastry flour because we had it and it is similar to cake flour, it has a slightly higher protein content (but you could never tell). This does make a large cake (4 layers after you cut the cakes in half!) so it might be best for a group gathering or occasion. Ours did last almost 2 weeks though! We kept it in the fridge in a cake box and it may have been better then 2nd day compared to fresh out of the oven. If you are unsure about making this cake, let me recommend that it is worth it! Thanks! NOTE: YOU FORGOT TO TELL US WHERE TO ADD THE COCONUT EXTRACT! IT SHOULD GO BEFORE STEP 6 ACCORDING TO ALTON.


I just graduated college and will soon be working for a textbook publisher as a sales rep in the southeast. I love to experiment with food and make things I eat in restaurants with a healthy makeover. However, I am from Mississippi and my boyfriend loves his southern food, so I always revert to simple favorites like green beans, potatoes, and corn bread. I usually seek my inspiration from Cooking Light magazine and the Food Network.
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