Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Coconut-less Cake

Does anyone else find cake baking a little bit intimidating?
I little slip missed incorrect measurement and


toughness or dryness or...just general ickiness.

But I've been inspired to put my fears aside by a family member. My Dad's cousin, Rick, has been my pastry hero lately by sending me a BOAT LOAD of Oldham family recipes. I couldn't wait to make the bourbon balls and the chocolate pudding, but I was especially excited about the cakes.

The first recipe he sent was for a coconut cake made by my great-aunt (i think?) Rose Phillips. There's also a sweet story (get it? 'sweet story'?) behind it:

She sold her cakes at a local farmers' market in Athens, GA during the depression to help make ends meet. After a while she kinda became known for her baking, especially for her coconut cake.

I kinda figured this was the perfect place to begin. Only...I really don't like coconut. So I decided to get all crafty and turn it into a cookies n' cream cake.

Here's the recipe and notes:

For the cake:

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups sifted flour (plain)

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy

Add eggs - one at a time – beat well after each

Add vanilla

Beat well for 2 minutes

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together

Add in parts to butter mixture – alternating with milk, beating on low until mixed well – then beat on high for 1 minute

Pour into 3 round cake pans (I baked in 2 9" pans and increased baking time)

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (or until done)

Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove – cool completely


-sift flour more than once. it'll result in a softer...uh...happier cake...yeah

-when alternately adding the flour and milk to the egg/butter/sugar mixture begin and end with the flour!

-once you begin adding the flour and milk it's time to try a little tenderness. As soon as you start to see things looking 'mixed' * STOP * and add the next thing. Try to introduce the flour in only 3 parts.

-you can either line your pans with parchment paper or you can butter and flour your pans. pick one or these suckers might not come out.

-run a paring knife around the cakes before you remove them from the pans.

Divinity Frosting

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup water

4 egg whites (large eggs)

½ teaspoon vanilla

Coconut – 12 oz. (moist) (OPTIONAL)

Combine sugar, cream of tartar and water

Cook over medium heat until 240 degrees

Beat egg whites until fluffy (soft peaks)

Add sugar mixture slowly over 3 pourings – beat well each time

Add vanilla and beat until fluffy


-bust out your candy thermometers, kids.

-when boiling sugar/water etc. on the stove, watch it CLOSELY and watch yourself! this stuff can burn you BAD. It also can boil quickly if you don't pay attention. Stick to a medium high heat and be patient.

-don't let your candy thermometer touch the bottom of the pan when you take the sugar's temperature. you'll get an inaccurate read. just thought i'd point out the obvious...

-egg whites


-room temp!

-it's nice to have a friend help you with the actual frosting-making part.

-SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWLY drizzle the 240 degree sugar into the whipped egg whites WHILE mixing.

-keep the stream of sugar away from the beater to avoid gumming up and messiness


-this frosting was a wee bit sweet by itself, but when eaten with the delicately sweet cake it really worked. Next time, though, i think i'd like to try it with a bit more vanilla.


i could add almond extract, orange extract, add mint extract and put it on a chocolate cake i mean...the possibilities are endless!!!!

-my roommate put the frosting in between chocolate chip cookies. omnom. I think it'd also be perfect for whoopie pies since it's so thick and marshmallow-like

*music used

-'If you wanna be happy...' by Jimmy Soul

-'Big Bottom' Spinal Tap

*the average american eats 50 pounds in cookies and cake a year

-i think i average about 75 pounds...fatty fatty no friends...

1 comment:

  1. I can vouch - that WAS some tasty tasty goodness. Maybe if you're lucky Miss Laura will bake YOU a birthday cake someday :)