When Spring rolls around, there are three ingredients that I automatically gravitate towards: carrot, lemon and coconut. My Easter dessert usually centres around one of those three things, although this year I was in Florida for Easter weekend, so didn’t have a chance to do any baking. Luckily, we had this magnificent Easter Coconut Sheet Cake on the agenda for this week’s Baked Sunday Morning.
The first thing I noticed when reviewing the recipe for this cake is the variety of ways the Baked Boys incorporate coconut into the recipe. In the cake there are FOUR coconut ingredients: coconut oil, coconut extract, sweetened shredded coconut, and cream of coconut. No problem on the first three: you can find coconut oil pretty much everywhere now, coconut extract was at my grocery store, (although artificial, not pure, and shout to a couple of my fellow BSMers who MADE THEIR OWN COCONUT EXTRACT for this recipe!), and of course shredded coconut is easy to find. But this last one, cream of coconut, is what led me on a comical search through three grocery stores last week trying to track it down. I found both Creamed Coconut (a hard block you’re supposed to add boiling water to and stir to make a paste) and Coconut Cream, neither of which I was convinced were the right ingredient. BSMer Sandra assured me on our site that Coconut Cream would be fine as the cream of coconut product everyone uses in the US, Coco Lopez, is not available up here in Canada.
Having procured all the ingredients, this cake was fairly easy to pull together, although it seemed kind of weird to fold in 5 whipped egg whites at the end. I’m curious to know what it would have been like without them, since my final cake didn’t seem sponge-cake like, and was still pretty dense.
Now the icing. This is a coconut based variation on the Boys’ Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which I’ve made twice in the past. The first time I concluded it tasted like pure whipped butter, so the second time, I only added half the butter, and it turned out fine. I tried the same method again this time, and it started to curdle a bit at the end, so I kept mixing and hoped for the best. Once I added the coconut cream, coconut extract and salt at the end, it seemed to smooth out, but wasn’t as fluffy as I remember.
I had my heart set on decorating the cake like the Boys did in the book, which is a super cute rainbow-esque pattern with little bursts of icing. Of course I forgot to pick up extra piping tips when I was out, so I followed the instructions in the book and used plastic storage bags. Please note that I DO NOT recommend this! Because you snip the corner of the edges of the bags, you end up with little lines or creases in your icing. Overall I still think it turned out to be cute, and some of the bursts almost look like jelly beans, but truly I should have taken the time to go get a couple more large round tips so I could have done it properly.
Okay, geez, with all that said, how did it taste? AMAZING. The only thing I would have maybe changed is to leave the actual shredded coconut out of the cake. It’s cococut-y enough without it, and I just think I would have liked it better, but it’s still delicious and thick and hydrated. Although Swiss Meringue Buttercream is not my fave, I will still say that it’s super smooth and light and melts in your mouth. Overall a success!
You can find the recipe here!
More Baked Sunday Mornings here!