Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eight Layer Coconut Lemon Cake with Raspberries and Toasted Coconut


This eight layer coconut lemon cake with raspberries and toasted coconut is a birthday cake to end all birthday cakes. A behemoth of a cake that took nearly all day to make but was the birthday present in itself.  My sister-in-law loves coconut cake. Last year for her birthday I made a chocolate cake with orange marmalade filling and a coconut frosting. It wasn't one of my best. This year, I decided to make the biggest, bestest, tastiest, moistest, most coconutty cake possible. Behold! The Eight Layer Coconut Lemon Cake!


Several days before Andrea's birthday I sent her about three emails with various options for coconut cake pairings. I wasn't able to procure passion fruit, which was our combined first choice; I couldn't get coconut-chai out of my head so I made this Chai Almond Cake with Toasted Coconut Buttercream for a dinner at my mother's house the day before Andrea's birthday. Seriously. Baking cakes for days and days. And I'm surprised there's too much buttercream around my middle layer? Oouf. Or should I say oeuf? Heehee... just a little French baking humor.

Right. Back to the cakes. Mmm... cake. Andrea's close second choice was a coconut lemon cake and so this is what happened... 

Tip - the night before making this cake pop your cans of coconut milk in the fridge. It will be much easier to remove the solids. You'll probably go through 3 cans to make this recipe.

Eight Layer Coconut Lemon Cake ~ serves about a million with the super skinny slices my SIL cuts. Or serves 18-ish with the monster slices I cut. Ahem.
Coconut Layers
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Versatile Vanilla Cake recipe
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar (do not pack)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup coconut milk solids
1/2 cup coconut milk + more as needed

Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with Baker's Joy or butter & flour. Set aside.



Whisk together coconut milk solids, coconut milk and half & half. If too thick, add more coconut water to thin it out. Set aside one and a half cups of this mixture (if you have leftovers use it in coffee or with chai tea).

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and beat well. Working in batches, alternately add sifted dry ingredients and coconut milk mixture. Fold together and spread in prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing and assembling.

Lemon Layers
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Lemon Cake recipe.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 packed teaspoon lemon zest (about 2 lemons)

Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with Baker's Joy or butter & flour. Set aside.


Combine chopped zest & juice and set aside. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, lemon extract, lemon juice and zest and beat well. Working in batches, alternately add sifted dry ingredients and buttermilk. Fold together and spread in prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing and assembling.

Filling & Frosting
1 cup heavy cream + sugar & vanilla to taste
coconut milk solids - enough from one can
2 cups frozen raspberries
2 cups raspberry jam, gently heated so it spreads easily
1.5 to 2x recipe coconut buttercream
2 cups toasted coconut

OK - this is one of those "use your best judgement" routines. You may need more or less of the above than I used depending on how thick you spread your filling. You will definitely need to use a skim coat of jam and/or buttercream before adding raspberries or they will soak through the cake. The same goes for the whipped coconut cream. I definitely suggest using raspberry jam with coconut cream because it could just run off the buttercream. And then you'll get frustrated and curse my name and really, no one wants that!

Make a basic chantilly cream from the heavy cream before whipping in the coconut milk solids, which will deflate your chantilly a little.

Slice each cake into two layers. You now have eight total layers. Alternating flavors assemble the cake by spreading a layer of jam and a layer of buttercream. Do this for the bottom four layers. Now spread a skim coat of jam, followed by coconut cream, topped with frozen raspberries.


The next layer go back to jam + buttercream, then jam, coconut cream, and raspberries again.

When you get to the top you should have a towering cake that looks something like this:
Fill in any big gaps with buttercream and then frost the entire cake. Press the toasted coconut onto the sides and top and decorate with leftover buttercream. Hold your breath the entire time you and your husband drive to his family's house. Breath a sigh of relief when the cake is cut and presented prettily on your mother-in-law's lovely lace tablecloth.


Happy birthday, Andrea!

Enjoy!

13 comments:

  1. Amazing, Jess! And it has LEMON!!!!

    I hope to have some of your skill someday!

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    1. Thanks Jen! That's really nice of you!

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  2. OH GIRL!!! That cake looks like it has eight happy layers all brought together in one delicious cake! Just gorgeous:-) Hugs, Terra

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  3. What a fabulous combination of flavors. It looks like it tastes amazing too.

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  4. Oh my look at this cake. Eight layers, this is amazing and raspberries too. Wonderful.

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  5. Wow this was a labor of love, what a delicious cake. Great Job!

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  6. Jessica! This looks amazing... like a bakery made it!

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  7. Looks amazing! I haven't tried anything more than 3 layers. Yummy! I am bookmarking this recipe. The next birthday celebration I will be making a cake for is in 3 months time. Hopefully I can make it as perfect as what you have here. =)

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  8. Happy belated birthday to your Sister-in-Law! What a wonderful and I bet delicious cake you made for her! Definitely shows how close you two are!

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  9. 8 layers?! And coconut and lemon?! Um my birthday was last week ;) haha but seriously this cake is awesome. I may have to attempt it for my dad, either father's day or his birthday.

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  10. You did an amazing job on this! I have yet to develop a knack for splitting cake layers, however it is obvious that you have a talent for that.
    I really like to get into projects in the kitchen sometimes, even though time consuming. The best reward is when it turns out a success! Yours certainly did reach that mark. Stunning in appearance and no doubt a delicious indulgence. Lucky Andrea to be the recipient!

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  11. This looks incredible Jess! Just going to put it out there now that my birthday is in September ;) Fantastic job on this one!

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  12. This cake is beautiful! Don't know if I dare try and make a cake with this many layers! You make the best cakes!

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