Ysa is ONE!! today. I had the fun of making her first birthday cake and I must admit that I am ridiculously pleased with it - the sweetest tiny, practically perfect, coconut cake! None of the recipes I read for coconut cake seemed quite what I was looking for so I tried my luck with my own version. A wiser and more reasonable person would almost certainly have chosen to either go with a tested recipe or .... I can't think of another reasonable choice. I am clearly at least a bit unwise (I refuse to admit to ever being unreasonable) because despite knowing that there was time for just one try I forged ahead and experimented. Silly time to experiment. Driving over to Eden's with the admittedly adorable tiny cake layers on the seat next to me, I was suddenly very aware of how foolhardy my 'bravery' truly was. The batter was delicious but did that really mean the cake wouldn't be a dry, nasty mess?
You know the end of the story (I am less than likely to chronicle a total failure) - the cake was really good! Even trying to be modest, I have to tell you that this was totally delicious. It was also fast and easy unlike some of the recipes I read - many of which seemed to be coconut cakes only by virtue of having a little coconut sprinkled on the top or a can of coconut cream in the batter. This cake is moist and richly, delightfully, coconut-y. The coconut pressed into the Cream Cheese Icing is almost gilding the lily. Almost but not quite.
( makes one adorable tiny cake)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg white
3/4 cup coconut milk*
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp organic coconut extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Grease two 6" round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment circles cut to fit. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the coconut oil. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the sugar and melted coconut oil. Beat until well combined. It will look somewhat grainy. Add the egg and egg white. Beat for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and both extracts, mixing well. Add the dry ingredients, again mixing well. Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Note:The cake rises nicely but is quite pale so don't judge the degree of done-ness by the color or you may end up with the dreaded dry mess.
Cool the cake for 5 minutes and then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
*I use the So Delicious brand of coconut milk that you can find in the refrigerated dairy section but any canned coconut milk - not coconut cream which has added sugar and is quite sweet - would also work.
Cream Cheese Icing
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp coconut milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and coconut milk together until smooth. Add the sugar in 1 cup amounts and beat well. Fill and frost the tiny layers and press shredded coconut into the icing. Done! One tiny, sweet cake for the sweetest, tiny, most adorable girl.
There will be plenty of icing left over to make some yummy Wonders.