Strawberry Coconut Cake – “Sweet Six”

by Marla on November 10, 2009 · 4 comments

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girlx and Marla

I went a bit off course with this cake my friends. It is not the usual super duper healthy kind of baking that you usually find over here. I had some fun with good old fashioned refined ingredients. A rarity indeed. All my daughter wanted for her 6th birthday was a big pink strawberry cake. How could I refuse?

Sugar does not happen often on my blog because I am sugar free. For this cake on the other hand I went all out. Really.

Theme Type2

How cute is that Mrs. Potato Head? Used to love that toy as a kid. It is so fun to watch my kids play with toys that I have such find memories of.

Candy w-type

Isn’t all that candy fun! I found it at a super cool place here in the OC called Powell’s Sweet Shoppe.

Powell's Candy Store

I often refer to The Cake Book by Trish Boyle. It is an excellent resource for everything cake. Beware, it will make you very, very hungry.

Cake Book

Look at all of that strawberry jam on the perfect vanilla/coconut cake. We adore berries over here and cannot not get enough of them. Check out my Very Blueberry Layer Cake. The great news is that is gluten free too.

Jammy Layers

Pink frosting means guaranteed smiles. Even by the men and boys at the party.

Frosting pics

Don’t forget your goodie bag.

Goodie Bags w-typeWhat is your favorite birthday cake? Did your mom used to make you BIG cakes when you were a kid?

“Sweet Six” Strawberry Coconut Cake

Makes about 20-25 servings (see note)
Adapted from Trish Boyle’s The Cake Book
NOTES:
  • The recipe I am providing makes two 9 inch cake layers or one half sheet ( jelly roll pan.) The frosting and filling recipes are for that size cake. I doubled everything in this recipe for this birthday cake, frostings and fillings as well. I needed 4 layers, each 1/2 sheet was cut in half lengthwise to get those four layers.
INGREDIENTS
Coconut Cake
  • 3 1/4 cups A/P flour (remove 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons Potato or Corn Starch (the addition of this gives you a nice tender crumb, it’s OK if you don’t want to use starch just use all the 3 1/4 cups flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Sticks (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 6 large Egg Whites
  • 2 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup Whole Milk
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup sweetened Flaked Coconut (make sure you have extra if you want to add to sides of cake)

Strawberry Jam

  • I used a jar of Trader Joe’s Strawberry preserves. You can use fruit sweetened or regular jam here. For the two 1/2 sheets I used about 16 oz of jam. If you go smaller you will need less, maybe about 8 ounces.
Milk Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
  • 3 1/2 ounces high quality Milk Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 pound softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 2/3 cup Confectioners’ Sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting

*You are basically doing the same thing as the above Milk Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling except you omit the chocolate and add some food coloring of choice.

  • 1 pound softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 2/3 cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Food Coloring of choice

    Vanilla Simple Syrup

    *If you want to make sure that your cake remains nice and moist go ahead and boil up a batch of simple syrup.

    • 3/4 cup Water
    • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
    • 1 tablespoon pure Vanilla Extract (You can use whatever flavor extract you would like to infuse your cake with. Lemon, Almond or Coconut extract would also be wonderful)

    METHOD

    Cake: Position racks to middle of oven. Pre-heat to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment or grease with some butter.
    Sift flour, baking powder, starch and salt into bowl. Combine with a whisk. Using your electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat softened butter at medium high speed until creamy, about 30 seconds.
    Slowly add the sugar and beat about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add egg whites one at a time. Beat well after each addition and scrape down sides when necessary. Add vanilla extract. Slow down your mixer to low speed. Grab your flour mixture and milk mixture and add in intervals, flour then milk. Alternate flour three times and milk two. Keep the mixer speed on low as contents will splash if speed is too high. Mix until flour is just combined, you don’t want to toughen up batter. Fold in Flaked Coconut with spatula.
    Put the batter into greased pan(s), smooth tops with spatula. Bake cake(s) for about 25-30 minutes. Test doneness with a toothpick. When inserted, the toothpick should come out clean. Edges of cake(s) should be lightly browned. Let cakes cool and then invert carefully to take out of pan.
    Milk Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling: Melt the milk chocolate over barely simmering water in a double boiler, stir frequently. Remove from heat when melted and set aside to cool a bit. In your electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for about 1 minute on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add milk chocolate and beat until blended. Add lemon juice, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar. Mix until well blended. Turn mixer speed to high and beat until smooth, creamy and fluffy, about 1 minute.
    Cream Cheese Frosting: In your electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for about 1 minute on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add lemon juice, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar. Mix until well blended. Turn mixer speed to high and beat until smooth, creamy and fluffy, about 1 minute.
    *Both the filling and frosting needs to be at room temperature before using. You can store them in the refrigerator for about 3 days if you want to prepare them ahead of time.

    Vanilla Simple Syrup: Boil water and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let cool. Stir in the extract of choice.

    Cake Assembly: Cake layers should be cooled. Frostings should be ready to go. Jam available.

    Choose a plate or cake board. Trim cake to desired size. Lay down first cake layer, add a layer of jam,then a layer of milk chocolate cream cheese filling. Continue adding layers with filling and jam, leave the top layer bare.
    When all of your layers are stacked, take a heaping spoonful of your cream cheese frosting and put it in another container. With an offset spatula apply a “crumb coat” to your cake. This is a very thin layer of frosting that seals the cake and prevents the crumbs from exposing themselves in your finished coat of frosting. Placing the crumb coat frosting in a separate container will prevent the rest of your frosting from getting contaminated with crumbs. Crumb coating is easier when your cake is firmer, so placing the cake in the freezer or fridge for a bit can help. My cake was too large to fit in my fridge. It worked out very well regardless.
    When cake is completely sealed in the crumb coat, let it cool in the fridge or freezer for a little while until the cream crumb coat firms up. Frost the cake. When frosting is complete, you can take handfuls of sweetened coconut or sprinkles and press them gently on to the edges of the cake.

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    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Andrea DiGeronimo November 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Cake! I have been waiting for this. Marla your cakes are the best, freshest, most wonderful I have ever tasted. I don’t say this often but your cake is worth every calorie. What is your all purpose flour 0f choice? I can’t wait to try this recipe out! Thanks, Andrea

    Reply

    2 Andrea DiGeronimo November 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Wow, your skin looks fabulous, you look gorgeous, great pictures! Clean diet equals radiant skin. Give a big Birthday hug from us. Melia talks about her all of the time. She had a friend over after school today and she was telling her about . xo, Andrea

    Reply

    3 marla November 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Andrea, we missed u guys so much at ‘s party!
    Most of the stores carry unbleached all-purpose flour. You can buy organic ones too. I generally use Whole Foods or King Arthur brands. Here is a King Arthur link to check out to see their products: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/flours/

    Reply

    4 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets November 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    This looks like the best possible type of indulgent treat, Marla. Happy sweet 6 to your little girl!

    Reply

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