It all started with one recipe for coconut cake. Then another. Then I had a pint of strawberries that had to get involved. Then before you know it three’s not a crowd but a delicious and rich combination of fruity flavors.
The original recipe called for a cream cheese frosting. But when I opened my fridge and found none, I turned to a simple icing recipe that I adapted a bit so it would pair with the flavors of the cake. The result was perfect!
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
for the cake
2 1/3 cups cake or all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
for the filling
1 28 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 T. cornstarch or flour
Rounded 1/4 cup sugar
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, divided
for the icing
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted before measuring
1 1/2 T. butter, soft
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 to 4 T. milk
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and line bottoms of 2 buttered 9×2 inch round cake pans with rounds of wax or parchment paper. Dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.
1. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a glass measuring cup stir together milk and vanilla.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter 1 minute and add sugar in a steady stream, beating until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
4. Beat in eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition, until pale and fluffy.
5. Stir in flour mixture in 4 batches alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture and stirring after each addition until batter is smooth.
6. Divide batter between pans, smoothing tops, and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each pan and invert cake layers onto racks, remove wax paper carefully and cool cake layers completely.
Can be made while cakes are cooking or cooling
7. In a heavy saucepan stir together filling ingredients until cornstarch or flour is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and simmer, stirring, 3 minutes. Cool filling completely.
8. Combine all ingredients except coconut in medium bowl and whisk until completely combined. Fold in coconut.
I just made two layers, but as the original recipe points out, it would be wise to slice each cake layer in half to create four thin layers.
9. With a long serrated knife halve each cake layer horizontally. Stack cake layers on a cake plate, spreading filling and layer of strawberries between layers.
10. Pour icing on top and create mosaic of strawberries on top.