Fresh Coconut Cake from Heaven

"Got all day? Great! Try my recipe for a frosted fresh coconut layer cake. I garnish it with either fresh roasted grated coconut or with fresh coconut flakes, depending upon my mood, or my guests."
photo by The Spice Guru photo by The Spice Guru
photo by The Spice Guru
photo by The Spice Guru photo by The Spice Guru
Ready In:
3hrs 30mins
1 frosted 3-layer cake




  • 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!

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