Fresh Coconut Cake from Heaven

READY IN: 3hrs 30mins
SERVES: 12-16




  • SELECT FRESH COCONUT(S) WITH SOFT EYES JUST SLIGHTLY DARKER THAN THE HUSK. SHAKE COCONUT AND SELECT THE ONE(S) WITH THE MOST WATER, ESTIMATING A TOTAL YIELD FOR TWO CUPS COCONUT WATER. USE ONLY NUTIVA BRAND ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL. I RECOMMENDED WHALER'S BRAND "KILLER" COCONUT RUM. AVOID ANY COMMERCIAL COCONUT EXTRACTS SINCE THEY ARE TOO POTENT AND HAVE AN UNDESIRABLE ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. (STEP 1): PREHEAT oven to 375°F with racks in upper and lower thirds; PUNCTURE soft eyes at end of coconut(s) with screwdriver using a hammer; SHAKE out coconut water into medium bowl until all is obtained (you'll need about 2 cups); PLACE coconut on low rack in oven and bake for 15 minutes; REMOVE coconut using oven mitts; REDUCE oven temperature to 350°F; FILTER retained coconut water through mesh sieve into a medium saucepan; SET aside; WRAP coconut(s) in towel and place on hard surface; HIT hard with a hammer; PRY out meat in large pieces with table knife or wide blade screwdriver; REMOVE brown skin with vegetable peeler; RINSE coconut pieces. NOTE: IF YOU PREFER A FRESH COCONUT FLAKE GARNISH RATHER THAN A GRATED ROASTED COCONUT ONE, RESERVE FRESH COCONUT NOW (TO GRATE LATER) BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THE FOLLOWING STEP.
  • BAKE coconut pieces in glass baking dish on top oven rack for 40 minutes at 350°F; TURN pieces over using tongs and bake for an additional 40 minutes. REMOVE from oven; TURN oven off.
  • INTO a small saucepan add the strained coconut water for the COCONUT CREAM (with additional water if necessary to make 2 cups liquid); ADD 1 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons natural coconut rum, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 pinch kosher salt; ADD coconut pieces simmer over medium heat until gently boiling; COVER and reduce heat to medium-low; SET timer for 50 minutes, simmering, stirring occasionally; CHECK coconut syrup and remove from heat when it has turned golden color and has reduced (between 50-60 minutes); REMOVE coconut pieces with tongs, shaking off syrup; STIR in 1/2 cup heavy cream; MEASURE 1 cup of prepared COCONUT CREAM, retaining extra coconut cream in saucepan; RINSE coconut pieces in a strainer with warm water.
  • SELECT a grate for fine-shred on hand-held or food processor blade grater, that will create coconut flakes about the size of commercial flaked coconut; GRATE 2 cups fresh coconut; DIVIDE and set aside.
  • PLACE oven rack in center position; PREHEAT oven to 325°F; GREASE three (9-by-2-inch) cake pans with organic extra virgin coconut oil; PRESS a sheet of parchment paper into the bottom of both cake pans: SCORE parchment paper around bottom perimeter of cake pan and cut a circle; LINE the bottoms of cake pans with parchment paper cut-out; GREASE surface of waxed paper insert as well; DUST the greased inserts with flour; TAP out excess flour; SET aside.
  • MEASURE 2 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt into a large mixing bowl: WHISK just until combined; SET aside.
  • BEAT 1 cup solidified (cool) coconut oil for the COCONUT CAKE in a standing mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy; REDUCE mixer speed to low; GRADUALLY add 2 cups baker's sugar about a tablespoon at a time; SCRAPE sides of mixer; CONTINUE creaming mixture for about 2 1/2 minutes; ADD 1 tablespoon Whaler's coconut rum; RETURN mixer to low speed; SPRINKLE about a cup of the prepared flour mixture, THEN 1/3 cup of the COCONUT CREAM mixture at a time without over-mixing (end with the the remaining COCONUT CREAM); REMOVE mixer bowl from mixer; BEAT 4 large egg whites in the empty wiped-clean flour mixture bowl using a hand-held mixer until stiff peaks form; FOLD the egg whites into the batter manually with a flexible spatula just until combined; DIVIDE the batter evenly between the pans; KNOCK the pans on counter surface several times to release trapped air bubbles and to distribute batter evenly in pan; PLACE pans in the oven on the middle rack; BAKE until center comes out clean when a wooden toothpick is inserted in centers, between about 40 minutes; PLACE cake pans on cooling racks; LOOSEN sides of cake from pan around edges using a flexible spatula.
  • COOL the cake in the pans for 10 minutes; REMOVE and invert cake over to other hand; TRANSFER top-side up to cooling rack; ALLOW cakes to cool completely, misting lightly with water if needed to keep moist; BEGIN preparing the COCONUT GARNISH: PREHEAT oven to 275°F; TOSS remaining 1/2 cup coconut flakes with 2 teaspoons confectioners sugar and 1 pinch salt; TOAST coconut mixture in a baking dish on top oven rack until it is evenly light golden in color, about 20 minutes, turning coconut occasionally to avoid scorching (do not over-toast coconut); TOSS warm toasted coconut with 4 teaspoons baker's sugar; SET aside until needed.
  • BRING 1 quart of water in a 4-quart saucepan over high heat for the COCONUT FROSTING; REDUCE heat to medium to a gentle simmer; INTO a standing mixer bowl add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 6 large egg whites, 1/4 cup of the prepared COCONUT CREAM, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup and 1 pinch kosher salt; SET the bowl over the simmering water; WHISK often while mixture cooks to 160 F., using an instant-read thermometer to test; REMOVE mixer bowl from water; ATTACH bowl to standing mixer; BEAT mixture for 5 minutes with whisk attachment; BEAT in 1 teaspoon Whaler's coconut rum and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract while mixing for one minute; USE frosting immediately.
  • RESERVE the mounded cake layer top and set aside; PLACE approximately a 3/4 cup dallop of the frosting on the first of the cake layers set mound-side up; SPREAD frosting evenly over top surface of cake in as few strokes as possible; SPRINKLE frosted layer with 1/2 cup COCONUT GARNISH; PLACE the second level trimmed cake layer evenly over first mound-side down; REPEAT steps to final reserved mounded top layer; FROST top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing; SPRINKLE cake evenly with with remaining COCONUT GARNISH; REFRIGERATE to set icing; CUT servings and place onto plates; TEMPER cake servings to room temperature to soften cake and icing; ENJOY a little slice of heaven!