For me, baking is a way of relaxing. I love to bake and when I feel stressful, that is what I enjoy doing.
Recently, I was watching QVC, something I NEVER do and Paula Deen was on there promoting some of her new prepared food items she has come out with. One of them was a pre-made coconut layer cake that I thought looked amazing. I'm not too big on coconut, though I do enjoy it every once in a while. I decided to make this exact cake using Paula's famous recipe.
The recipe starts out with Paula's "1-2-3-4 Cake" recipe but substituting Unsweetened Coconut Milk for the regular milk.
Unsalted butter, sugar, eggs, self-rising flour, unsweetened coconut milk & vanilla
Creaming the butter until it's fluffy, then add the sugar and continue to cream for about 6-8 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
Add the flour and coconut milk alternately to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour: 1/3 flour...1/2 coconut milk...1/3 flour...rest of coconut milk...rest of flour.
Add the vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed.
Divide the batter EQUALLY among three 9" round cake pans that have buttered and floured beforehand. Tap your pans on the counter a few times to even out the batter and remove any air bubbles in the batter. Bake the cakes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool cakes in the pan while you prepare the filling mixture. It's also a good idea to put the cake pans onto sheet pans in case the cakes rise too much and some batter spills over. If you do get a "high rise" in the cake, you can always cut off the excess cake, with a long serrated knife, to even out the layers.
The filling ingredients consist of: 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup sour cream, 4 tablespoons milk and 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes.
Stir together the filling ingredients in a bowl until well blended.
Remove first cake layer from the pan and invert onto a cake plate. Using the "wrong end" of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1 inch apart until the entire cake has been poked.
Spread 1/3 of the filling mixture on the cake layer. Top with the 2nd layer and repeat process. Top with the 3rd layer and repeat process again.
Place the cake, at this stage, in the refrigerator overnight (and up to 3 days) to allow the cake to absorb the filling. I like to add skewers through the cake to keep the layers from shifting.
To prepare the 7-Minute Frosting assemble the ingredients: water, salt, light corn syrup (or cream of tartar), sugar, egg whites & vanilla.
Mix together sugar, corn syrup, salt, water and egg whites in a glass (Pyrex) or metal mixing bowl with an electric mixer for 1 minute.
Set the bowl over a pan of rapidly boiling water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Beat constantly on high speed for EXACTLY 7 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the pan and gently stir in the vanilla with a spatula. This icing is great for icing any cake or cupcakes!
Immediately frost the entire cake, top and sides, with the frosting and don't worry about beauty here. The entire cake is going to be covered in coconut!
Sprinkle top and sides of cake with plenty of sweetened shredded coconut!
The easiest way to cover the sides is to take a (clean) hand full of coconut and gently press the coconut onto the sides of the cake, all the way around. Yes, it's going to get messy, but be sure to work over a large plate or sheet pan to capture the falling coconut as this can be saved!
Of course, I couldn't resist! Try it and impress someone! Be sure to let me know how yours turned out!
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