I am not going to lie to you. This cake took some effort. But every second of effort was worth it. This cake was divine. The cake part was so amazing, that it will now be my go-to white cake recipe. The crumb is perfect and even though it has coconut water in it, I could not taste it is was so subtle. The frosting is fluffy and sweet. The coconut gives this cake crunch, not to mention that is gorgeous to look at. This cake could easily be made simpler by buying the coconut water and unsweetened shredded coconut from the store, but if you are so inclined, it is well worth doing yourself. This cake is, wait for it…. LIGHT! A slice has 332 calories and 10.8 grams of fat. I know this because it is the cover recipe of this month’s Cooking Light magazine. How beautiful would this cake be at a Mother’s Day brunch or any spring time function?
For the cake:
Cooking spray (I use the kind with flour in it and it works like a dream)
12 ounces cake flour sifted (about 3 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
2/3 cups softened butter
1 cup warm coconut milk (from 1 small coconut or Goya brand coconut water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 large egg whites
For the frosting:
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups fresh shaved coconut, toasted
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat (3) 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Beat egg whites on high speed until foamy. Add 2 Tablespoons sugar, one Tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Be careful to not overbeat. Set aside.
Combine 12 ounces cake flour, baking powder, and salt, whisk well. Place 1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sugar and butter in a large bowl beat with a mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes or until light and creamy.
Add flour mixture and coconut water alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Add in vanilla.
Now you have a lot of dirty bowls in your kitchen and if you are like me, a mess. But I promise, it is worth it.
Carefully, fold your egg whites into the cake batter.
Pour the batter into prepared pans. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely on a rack. I should mention that I do not have (3) 9-inch cake pans. I even went to the cake supply store down the street to buy one. They did not have any either. So I baked two, put the batter in the fridge and then washed the pan and baked the last one by itself. It worked out just fine.
Meanwhile, start your frosting. This is my hands down favorite kind of frosting. Combine the eggs whites, cream of tartar and salt and beat until foamy. Add 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time beating until stiff peaks form. Just like we did for the cake.
Note: Use a saucepan with a handle. I don’t know what I was thinking. Makes the next step much easier. Put 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/4 cup water in a handled saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees.
With the mixer on low pour the extremely hot sugar syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites.
Gradually increase the speed to high and beat about 8 minutes. It is done when the bowl is cool to the touch. Stir in the vanilla.
Frost your cake.
Gently press coconut on the top and sides of cake. And finally, you are ready to eat.
This cake is so beautiful and truly light and just all around good. Make it and share with someone. But not the toddler that has been sitting on your lap as you type this making it officially the longest you have ever tried to do anything in your entire life.