each week, i bake a cake to take to the new group of students attending the master gardener’s classes. this week, i had to do a bit of foraging in the cupboards-i hadn’t gone to the grocery store and my options were few. for some reason, which i cannot explain, i found 5 cans of coconut milk in the closet. then, while searching for some shredded coconut, i came across a package of fresh-frozen coconut from birdseye. it is finely shredded and barely sweetened but most importantly, it tastes pretty close to fresh coconut and it doesn’t involve the hassle of opening a coconut and removing the flesh.
since there are at least 50 students in the class, i made a big 10″ (12 cup) tube shaped cake.
after the cake cooled, i dressed it up with a simple glaze and sprinkled some toasted coconut over the top.
coconut tea cake
1 (12) cup cake serving 16-20
7 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup finely grated fresh coconut (or the frozen shredded, thawed)
1 can coconut milk, whisked smooth if lumpy
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons of half and half (or coconut milk if you have some extra)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted (or not if you prefer)
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour a large tube or bundt cake pan and set aside. place the butter, sugar, salt and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla into the bowl of a food processor. pulse to combine. with the machine running, add the eggs, one at a time and allow to mix in. scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl since the rest of the ingredients will be folded in by hand. place a mesh strainer or a sifter into a bowl. place the flour and baking powder into the strainer/sifter and set aside. stir the shredded coconut into the mixture-make sure there aren’t any hard lumps of coconut in the batter by breaking them up with your fingers. sift the dry ingredients over the batter. fold the mixture a few times and then pour the coconut milk over the batter. carefully fold together until no streaks remain. scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a pick comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool on a rack.
when the cake is completely cool, whisk the powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons of half and half and the vanilla. add additional half and half as needed until you have a thick glaze. using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. decorate with a little toasted coconut.