To make a Snow White Coconut Layer Cake I doused my super-popular Velvety Soft White Cake with plenty of coconut rum syrup. The cake is filled and iced with a special coconut-rum frosting. This cake is as delicious as it is pretty.
I posted a recipe for Dreamy Coconut Cake the very first year I was blogging. I still love the pairing of coconut cream cheese frosting and tangy passion fruit curd. It’s a delicious flavor combination that I also used to make Coconut Macaroon Easter Eggs.
I was considering updating the fairly awful photos in the Dreamy Coconut Cake post, but, ya know, I just felt like creating a new Coconut Cake. This time I decided to use my Velvety Soft White Cake as the base instead of Vanilla Butter Cake.
I love my vanilla cake, but the white cake recipe has become the most popular page on Baking Sense. Clearly folks really love a good white cake recipe.
Instead of pairing the cake with cream cheese frosting, I made a version of Ermine Frosting. Ermine frosting is an old fashioned recipe that I’ve recently rediscovered.
The frosting starts by making a pudding base. Then you add that base to whipped butter. I adore Italian Meringue Buttercream, but I know there are folks who find it too buttery. Ermine frosting is not as buttery as Italian Meringue Buttercream, and not as sweet as American Buttercream.
For plenty of coconutty flavor, I switched out the whole milk in the frosting for coconut milk. I also added coconut milk to the syrup. I don’t put shredded coconut into the cake batter or between the layers of cake because I don’t like the texture inside the cake. If you want more shredded coconut you can sprinkle some on each layer as you build the cake.
Of course a little (optional) rum make everything taste better. (Remember, alcohol enhances other flavors!)
I found a bottle of Coconut Rum in the back of the liquor cabinet. I bought it years ago for a specific recipe and appreciated the opportunity to use it up, since no one in the house is going to drink it. Frankly, I like the flavor of dark rum better. You can use whichever rum you prefer, or none at all.
With the white cake, layers of white frosting and a coating of white coconut flakes, a slice of this cake is very striking.
- 1 Recipe Velvety Soft White Cake baked in two 8" cake pans and cooled to room temperature.
Coconut Rum Syrup
- 1/3 cup (3 oz, 85g)granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 118 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 30 ml) dark rum or coconut rum (optional)
- 1/4 cup (4oz, 113g) coconut milk
Coconut Rum Frosting
- ½ cup (4 oz, 113g) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups (12 oz, 340g) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (12 oz, 375 ml) coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 29ml) dark rum or coconut rum (optional)
- 1 ½ cups (12 oz, 340g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- One 7 oz package of sweetened coconut flakes
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat. Add the rum and coconut milk and cool to room temperature.
- The syrup can be made several days ahead and refrigerated
Make the frosting
- Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a small saucepan, whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the coconut milk until smooth. Heat the mixture over medium low, whisking constantly, until it begins to boil.
- Continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until it thickens to a pudding-like texture. Immediately remove from the heat. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the vanilla and the rum, cool to room temperature.
- Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the pudding, a tablespoon at a time, until completely incorporated. Switch to the whisk attachment and whip the buttercream until it’s light and fluffy.
- Trim the browned edges and slice off the domed top of each cake layer. Split each cake in half horizontally so you have 4 layers.
- Set aside one half of the frosting for icing the cake, use the rest of the frosting for filling the cake.
- Place the first cake layer on the serving platter and brush generously with the coconut-rum syrup. Scoop 1/3 of the filling onto the layer and spread evenly. Repeat with the syrup and filling for the next 2 layers. Place the last layer on the cake and brush with syrup.
- Use the reserved frosting to ice the cake with a thin "crumb coat", then refrigerate until firm. Use the remaining icing to frost the top and sides of the cake. Coat the entire top and sides of the cake with the coconut flakes.
- Serve at room temperature. Leftovers should be refrigerated.
The cake should be stored in the refrigerator. Take it out 1-2 hours before serving so it can come to room temperature before serving.
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