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Fluffy Holiday Coconut Cake by Shirley Dana

0 Comments 20 May 2012

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Thank you to my neice Shirley Dana, the expert gourmet baker in the family who is always wiling to share a sect recipe with the entire world!

Check out her website HERE. Thanks Shirl!

Fluffy Holiday Coconut Cake by Shirley Dana

“Getting ready for the Jewish holidays? Here’s an unbelievably moist and fluffy kosher coconut cake recipe perfect for Shavuot. It definitely takes some planning in advance, but the end result is heavenly – melt in your mouth white cake filled with creamy dreamy coconut custard and piled high with whipped cream and more sweet coconut. The whipped cream frosting that I prefer with this cake has a bit of cream cheese mixed in – this not only gives it a lovely tangy taste, but it also stabilizes the whipped cream, allowing it to stay fluffy and high for longer than regular sweetened whipped cream. Of course, you can finish the cake with toasted or regular sweetened coconut… depending on the look you are going for.

Enjoy!! Shirley C. Dana”

Fluffy Vanilla Cake:

  • 5 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into cubes

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease, line with parchment, and flour two round 8-inch pans.

2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed  for 30 seconds.

4. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.

5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.

6. Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh to ensure 2 even layers.

7. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not overbake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.

8. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.

Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  •  1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 ½  tbs butter at room temp
  •  1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  •  1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
  1.  Bring the milk a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks with the sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk to temper the yolks so they won’t curdle.
  3. Whisking the entire time, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk.
  4. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (to the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Keep it at a boil. still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
  1. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the butter until the bits are fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth.
  3. When the pastry cream is completely cooled, slowly fold in the whipped cream until no streaks remain. Fold in the toasted coconut.

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Frosting:

  •   1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  1.  Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth.
  2. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.

 Cake Assembly:

  1.  To assemble the cake, slice the two 8” cakes in half once they have chilled a few hours in the freezer.
  2.  Fill each layer with the toasted coconut pastry cream.
  3.  Generously frost the cake with the whipped cream, and sprinkle toasted or regular sweetened coconut all over the tops and sides of the cake.
  4.  Enjoy!


Cake Recipe:

Adapted from Sweetopolita

Pastry Cream:

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Whipped Cream Recipe:

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