I stumbled on this coconut cake recipe from Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen in Charlotte at my parents’ house when I was visiting and I just had to share it with you. It’s perfect for Easter.
I cringe to admit it, but last weekend I opened a box that has been sealed for nearly 2 decades. In it, I found some pictures of a family trip I took with my aunts and cousins to Charlotte, N.C. right around this time of year in 1996. This coconut cake recipe was laying right on top of the pictures.
Unlike the Frankinbunny I made a couple years ago. Be afraid… very afraid.
Not so bad from this angle.
But this angle??? Yikes!!! Run away!!! Protect the women and children!!!
Rooster’s coconut cake, however, will not traumatize young children.
Just remember, this cake is suppose to be super moist, WET even, kind of like a tres leche cake. The thing I love most about it is that it is very coconutty, and the cream cheese frosting really balances the uber sweetness of the coconut. It’s light and creamy and I could eat the whole thing by myself. (Everybody better get home quick!)
Make this little darling a day or two ahead so it has plenty of time to firm up in the refrigerator. That may be the hardest thing about it… the waiting. I really want to grab a fork as I pass by the fridge and eat a little bite… and another little bite… and another. No one will notice this large heaping crater on the side of it, right?
Believe me, it tastes as good as it looks.
Rooster's Coconut Cake Recipe
- 5 eggs separated
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cake flour
- 1/3 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar divided
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
- 6 oz butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 3 cups shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3 cups shredded coconut
- large bowl and whisk
- stand mixer
- saucepan and whisk
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan. Whisk egg yolks, water, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth.
- Sift cake flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder and salt on top of wet ingredients and mix in.
- Beat egg whites on medium-low speed with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Gradually increase speed to medium, then medium high. When the volume has increased by about four times, slowly add in 2/3 cup sugar at the side of the bowl. Continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared springform pan and bake 20 minutes. Rotate pan and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in pan.
- Combine the coconut milk, water, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat cream cheese and butter in bowl of a stand mixer until lump free. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until fluffy.
- Beat coconut, sour cream, and vanilla with a mixer
- Place sugar and flour in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Whisk milk in slowly to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once thickened, add to the coconut mixture and beat on low speed until slightly cool.
- Remove cake from pan and cut in half horizontally. Place bottom half back into the pan, cut side up. Assembling in the springform pan will keep the cake together. Pour half of the coconut soak over the bottom. The cake will be very wet. Cover with coconut filling. Place next layer on top, cut side up, and soak remaining liquid. Refrigerate overnight. Remove cake from mold and invert onto a cake plate or stand. Cover with cream cheese frosting, then press handfuls of coconut around the top and sides.
There's a lot of steps and this takes a little while but it's well worth it. Most of the time is waiting for things to cool and waiting for the cake to fully absorb the coconut soak. Take your time and you'll be rewarded!