Coconut Cake~ just like grandma used to make using a fresh coconut
Do you have that one dessert that you remember your Grandmother making that you looked forward to every time you visited? It was probably something that only she could make so it was a treat to look forward to. For me it was my husband’s Grandmother and the dessert was the BEST ever Coconut Cake! I looked forward to it every Thanksgiving when we would visit. A lot of times she would make it ahead and freeze it. I liked it even better then because the flavors had time to develop and when it was time to eat it had just a tinge of coolness that made it divine.
She was one of those great cooks who used recipes, but had changed them up a bit to her liking and didn’t write down the changes. She didn’t have a complete recipe for her coconut cake (at least that she shared with me. However, she did give me the recipe for the coconut milk she made and told me how she used a real coconut. I have strived years to make one that was as close to her coconut cake as I could and think I finally have it.
The printable recipe is below, but here the steps to using the coconut
Select a coconut from the store and shake it to make sure it has plenty of “milk” inside. You can hear the liquid sloshing around. With a clean screw drive or ice pick tap a hole in 2 of the “eyes”. Pour the coconut milk into a clean bowl and save for later.
Preheat the oven to 500°. Bake the coconut in it’s shell for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Place the coconut on a towel and break the coconut in half using a hammer. You might want to do this on the floor. Coconuts are strong. Most have a groove cut into them to help you break it open. Remove the coconut meat from the shell. I realized I didn’t get a picture of this. The white meat will still have a softer outer brown covering. Use a vegetable peeler to peel this off. Wash the coconut, break it into pieces and put in a food processor to chop it into fine pieces.
Once you know how to, using a fresh coconut is a lot easier than you might think. Plus it tastes so good. It hasn’t been sweetened, but the cake and the icing are sweet enough to give this coconut cake a fantastic flavor. The coconut milk you will save and add 2 TBL of sugar and bring to a boil. After it cools and the cake is being assembled each layer gets this poured over it to soak into the sponge. This might one of the secrets that make this coconut cake so good.
When you prepare your cake pans, grease them well and then add a layer of parchment paper (and grease that). I didn’t this time and my cake just about didn’t come out. Icing can be a life saver though to help stick things all back together. I hope you enjoy this classic coconut cake as much as I do. It does take a little bit of work, but the results are definitely worth it.
Other recipes I know you will love!
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- 1 fresh coconut (one with a lot of liquid)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Milk from the fresh coconut
- 2 TBL sugar
- 1/2 shortening
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8-10 TBL milk
- Preheat the oven to 500°
- Bake the coconut in it's shell for 6 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Place the coconut on a towel and break the coconut in half.
- You might want to do this on the floor.
- Remove the coconut meat from the shell
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outer brown layer
- Wash the coconut, break it into pieces
- put in a food processor to chop it into fine pieces.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grease 3 9" round cake pans
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugar
- add egg, mix well
- In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda
- add dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the butter mixture
- Mix well after each addition
- Add vanilla and lemon juice
- mix well
- Pour equally into prepared pans
- bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely
- in a small sauce pan mix coconut milk and sugar together
- Bring to a boil.
- Take of heat and let cool completely
- In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening until fluffy
- add the sugar and vanilla
- Gradually add the milk until you get the desired consistency
- Assemble cake
- Before icing the 1st layer poke a few holes in the cake with a fork
- Pour 1-2 TBL of coconut milk over the cake slowly letting it soak in
- Frost the first cake layer and add the next layer repeating the process for each layer
- Frost the whole cake
- Sprinkle and lightly press the chopped fresh coconut meat into the top and sides of the cake