Thursday, June 10, 2010

Coconut Lime Cake

So, I'm cheating right now. Usually I don't like to just copy someone else's recipe entirely, but this one is going to have to be a little exception. I love this cake, and I make it very frequently. Unlike the original recipe (which I gratefully and humbly pilfered from SmittenKitchen), I usually serve it with a raspberry or strawberry coulis, it's not exactly the radical reinterpretation or perfected product of experimentation I usually strive for. Instead, this is just an old stand-by, tried and true recipe that you should make, because it's really good.

The cake is kind of crumbly, I've found, which I do not think is a bad thing. The icing topping gives it some necessary structural integrity. You should also be very careful about the cake sticking to the pan, so grease and flour it well (and seriously just have the patience to let it cool entirely before you pull it out of the pan--it's a tragic mistake I've made many times).

Coconut Lime Cake


for the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • about 3 tablespoons lime juice
for the icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • about 3 tablespoons lime juice
for the raspberry sauce
  • 1 small bag frozen raspberries
  • about 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
  • coconut milk, to garnish (optional)
For the cake.  Carefully brown the coconut on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees.  Watch it carefully to avoid burning; stir once or twice if the edges brown faster than the rest.

Cream the butter, sugar, and lime zest together in a mixer until even and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between until even throughout.  

Mix half of the toasted coconut into the flour.  Also mix 2 tablespoons of the lime juice into the milk, and stir vigorously.  With the mixer on low, add some of the flour mixture, then half of the milk, then some more flour, then the other half of the milk, then the rest of the flour.  Make sure the mixture is smooth and even between each addition.

Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured 8x8 square baking pan.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the raspberry sauce by putting the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan on the stove on medium-low.  Allow it to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft.  Smash them up, somewhat, for a chunkier sauce, or puree until smooth in a blender if desired.  Let cool.

Prepare the icing by mixing the powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons of lime juice, stirring until smooth.  If it's still too thick, add a little more lime juice (or milk, if you think the icing is too tart).  

When the cake comes out of the oven, allow it to cool completely (seriously, completely).  Run a knife along the edges of the pan, place a square plate or platter on top, and flip it over onto the plate.  Tap the pan if it needs a little convincing.  Turn the cake right-side-up onto another serving dish, and pour the icing over, followed by the remaining flaked coconut.  Serve with some of the raspberry sauce, with a little coconut milk swirled into it for contrast.

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