Monday, May 14, 2012

Lemon Coconut Cake - The Secret Recipe Club (#SRC)

Mmmm... nothing better than celebrating a long day with a piece of homemade cake. Can I offer you a slice? How about a glass of milk to go with it?

I haven't baked a cake for a while, so when I told my kids I was going to bake them a cake, they were so excited. This lovely Lemon Coconut Cake surprised me, delighted me and made me a hit with my family. Adorned with some simple buttercream yellow roses and then topped with a little pink color mist food spray, this cake was the highlight of our week.

Yes, it is The Secret Recipe Club time again and this is my May installment.

Secret Recipe Club

This recipe is courtesy of Miz Helen's Kitchen from Miz Helen's Country Cottage. You may have cooked from her blog before, or heard others enjoying her food shares, but if not, please take a moment to look around and enjoy the wealth of recipes she has to offer. Last month while visiting other blog posts for the SRC I found her cream puff recipe. Oh, my! It was wonderful.

So, when I found her blog was my May assignment, I was over the moon. Oh, but how to decide? I was drawn to this cake because I love both coconut and lemon and we were due for a delicious cake. Last year I took the Wilton series of cake decorating classes and haven't had a chance to make or decorate a cake since. This was a great excuse for me to play around with a new technique.

I read over the recipe and was rather surprised. Usually I make a cake and it goes, cream the butter, add sugar, then add one egg at a time, alternate dry and wet ingredients and don't over-mix! The latter was the cardinal rule of cake baking I read and heard everywhere. This cake though adds the eggs last and calls for the baker to "beat vigorously". 


Yep. Beat vigorously.

The resulting product was a very stable white cake, great crumb and delicious! I want to try this cake recipe out for our next birthday party since it was easy to make and baked up so well.

Lemon Coconut Cake
adapted from Miz Helen's Country Cottage. (*) denotes a change from original recipe.

You Will Need:
1/2 c. butter
1 2/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. cold water
4 egg whites
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. lemon zest*
1 c. shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted*
1/4 c. shaved, unsweetened coconut, toasted*

1. Grease 2 - 8inch cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment and grease over the parchment. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. In your stand mixer, cream the butter and gradually add the sugar. Beat for 3 minutes.

3. Sift together the flour and baking powder.

4. Add the egg whites and beat vigorously. Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest.

5. Divide batter between the two pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick.

6. Invert the cakes and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. Best if cooled, wrapped tightly and assembled the following day.

For decorating I deviated from Miz Helen's recipe and made a simple buttercream frosting. I tinted it yellow and used it between the two layers. I sprinkled a generous amount of shredded, toasted coconut on top before putting down the other layer of cake.

Then I did a thin crumb coat with the buttercream. Then I fitted my pastry bag with a 1M Wilton tip to make the roses. They are so simple! Just pick a spot for the center of your rose and move your hands round and round swirling bigger till you have the desired size. I piped them around the sides, then a ring on top and filled the center with the shaved, toasted coconut.

The pink accents on the roses comes from a bottle of Wilton Pink Color Mist Food Spray. It was a little less precise than I had hoped, but overall I think it worked nicely. 

A big thank you to Miz Helen for sharing this wonderful recipe. Now, be sure to take a peak at the other great dishes The Secret Recipe Club bloggers made this month:


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