When Therese’s birthday came around last October, she started talking about how she wanted me to make her a coconut cake. It took me a while to find the time (and ingredients) to do so, but what I came up with was pretty successful. I used a recipe from Tyler Florence on the Food Network website, with a little bit of adjustment.
First of all, since I was making a smaller cake, using my Wilton 5-Layer Cake Pan Set, I cut the recipe pretty much in half. And I didn’t do the whole soaking in rum bit. For the frosting, I used my favorite vegan ingredient, Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured VeganButter, which you have heard me talk about before. I have used it to great effect for making pastry crust for pies and tarts, and I was curious to see what sort of buttercream frosting it would make.
Well, the thing to keep in mind is that Miyoko’s VeganButter is very sensitive to heat. That is, it softens very very quickly. So leaving it out to come to room temperature meant that when I was ready to make the frosting, the butter was almost liquid. Which made frosting the cake difficult – but I did my best. When I make this recipe again, or another cake recipe with buttercream frosting, I will just take out the VeganButter just before I need it (10 minutes at the most), knowing now that the heat of the mixer will probably be enough to get it creamy and smooth.
While it did not look terribly attractive, it tasted wonderful. One other thing I changed was regarding the coconut. In the recipe, they have you toast the coconut and only press it into the sides of the cake. I did not toast my coconut (toasting coconut is tricky, like toasting pine nuts – if you wait until you see some color, by the time you take it out of the pan, it has burned), and I mixed some into the frosting, as well as pressing some into the surface of the cake all around.