Coconut Layer Cake

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Coconut Layer Cake
Serves 12

Note: You will need 3 – 9” round cake pans, greased with a layer of parchment and then greased again. Lightly flour, tapping the sides of the pans to distribute evenly. Tap out excess flour over the sink. You will also need a sifter for the flour.

Ingredients for the Cake:
2 2/3 cups cake flour (This comes in a box, not a bag. Presto is one of the brands I use)  – $2.89
2 ½ Teaspoons Double-Acting Baking Powder – from stock
¾ Teaspoon salt – from stock
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened – from stock
2 cups sugar – from stock
4 large eggs, separated – from stock
1 ½ Teaspoons vanilla – from stock
1 cup whole milk – from stock
¾ cup shredded coconut – $2.99
2 Teaspoons lemon zest – $0.40

Ingredients for the Icing:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened – from stock
8 cups Confectioner’s sugar – $1.09
12 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream or a combination – from stock
1 Teaspoon vanilla – from stock
2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice – included above
Shredded Coconut for garnish – included above
* For Easter, you might want to add a drop of food coloring to the icing to make a soft pastel color.
Grand Total assuming stocked pantry: $7.37
Cost per Serving: $0.61

Directions for the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pans as directed above.

2. Sift the cake flour into a large bowl. Re-measure the sifted flour and sift again with the baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Separate the eggs, being careful not to get any of the yolk in the whites. *Tip (I actually use 3 small bowls for this part. One for the yolks, one for each individual egg white, and finally one for all of the egg whites. By keeping the whites apart until successfully separated from a yolk, if I do get any yolk into a white, I’ve only ruined 1 egg white instead of the whole batch.)

4. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat until light.

5. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, again until light. Add the vanilla, fully incorporating.

6. Turn speed of mixer down to low and gradually add the flour mixture and milk, alternating in small amounts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

7. Stir in the coconut and lemon zest.

8. In a clean bowl with immaculate beaters **(see how to beat whites in Egg Tips) whip the egg whites until firm peaks form. Be careful not to over beat or they will be dry.

9. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter until fully incorporated.

10. Divide the batter equally between the 3 prepared cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until cake tester/tooth pick inserted in middle comes out clean.

11. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Loosen edges of layers with a sharp knife and invert back onto wire racks to finish cooling. *Note: You’ll want to invert one of the layers onto a cake plate.

Directions for the Icing:
1. Using your mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar, alternating with the milk/cream. Beat well after each addition while gradually increasing the speed of the mixer.

2. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice. Incorporating thoroughly.

3. Beginning with the cake layer on the serving plate, spread icing. Add next layer, spreading icing across it’s top and then again with the third layer.

4. Using the remaining icing, spread evenly along the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the top with shredded coconut.

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