Birthday baking

June 28, 2010

I’m baking a birthday cake — coconut — for a girl at the office. Everyone at work gets to pick what they want, and after she had my coconut cake at the staff retreat last year, she asked for it for her birthday. That’s Thursday, but it needs to sit for two days and get moist, so it gets made tonight and iced tomorrow morning and will sit for two days in the office fridge, since there is no room for it in mine.

The cake itself is a basic white/yellow cake, for which there are about as many recipes as there are cooks. Mine is one I found on Epicurious a while back and chose because it called for nothing I didn’t have on hand.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg whites (or 4 large eggs)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer until it’s light. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder in yet another bowl. Alternately add eggs/milk and flour mixture to butter and sugar, in thirds, beating after each addition. Bake in greased and floured cake pans until firm and springy, and  a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool briefly on a rack in pans before turning out on rack or towel to cool completely. This will make two healthy nine-inch layers, or three medium-thick ones; I prefer the three medium-thick for most cakes.

    But it’s the frosting that makes this cake. And it’s so freakin’ simple I find it hard to believe.

    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 packages frozen coconut, divided
    • 2 cups whipped topping

    Mix the sour cream, the sugar and 1 1/2 packages of coconut. Use about 2/3 of the mixture to frost between layers and on top of cake. Be generous.

    Stir remaining mixture into the two cups of whipped topping; frost exterior of cake. Sprinkle with reserved coconut. Refrigerate, tightly covered for at least two days before serving.

    Because it’s so easy to frost and put together, I’m baking the layers tonight and letting them cool, then putting the cake together tomorrow morning before I go to work; that way it can get cold and stay cold in the office fridge. I never make this at home because I’m the only one who likes coconut cake; I’m contemplating getting some tiny cake pans and making the layers, then freezing them, and thawing them and making myself little 4-serving cakes when I get the urge. Silly children. Don’t know what’s good.

    Oh, and should you by happenstance make this for a normal family that likes coconut cake, and still happen to have more than you need, it’ll freeze right well after it’s frosted, as well. Which I could have done but I have no space in my freezer, either.

    No other cooking tonight. I had leftover fresh veggies for lunch (corn, slaw, tomatos, deviled eggs), and was still fullwhen I got home. New Son got frozen buffalo wings, which made him happy. Have seen neither hide nor hair of Child C, and CCRB is at work.
    I suspect I shall cook something tomorrow. No clue what. You and y’mama ‘n ‘em have any inspiration for me?
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    One Response to “Birthday baking”

    1. littleclove Says:

      Kay,

      I say do something simple, like grilling. It’s summertime and who wants to turn on an oven? Plus, it’s easy clean up.

      I throw whatever I have in my fridge on the grill….zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onions, along with the steak, chicken, etc.

      Did you ever tenderize a steak this way?

      http://www.littleclove.com/?p=1557

      Check it out and let me know what you think. It’s my newest FAVORITE way to prepare a steak for grilling. It really is butter knife tender!

      Hey, congrats on getting in the Food52’s cookbook! Your french toast looking extremely YUMMY.

      Thanks! Looked at your blog (great blog, too!), and I will be trying that technique. Never tried it before.


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