Who’s Coco? My coconut cake. She’s the real “Girl from Ipanema”. She’s dressed in a layer of cream cheese frosting, wears mango chunk lingerie, and accessorizes herself with pineapple slices. Yeah. And she drives me loco. And about everyone else who has taken a bite out of her. My mom, my dad, my sister, and my dog. Man, Coco…I can’t even tell you how many girls are green with envy the moment they look at your fine face.
But as I was making Coco, I kept thinking about, well, myself. I wondered what I was doing with a spatula in my hand, softened butter oozing on the butter plate in front of me, and flour on the well-rounded tip of my nose. Hello! This is Natalie! The Natalie who before starting this food blog baked things an average of twice a year…and that was from boxed mixes. This is the Natalie who used to walk into a grocery store only to help her mother carry the bags, never paying attention to anything she passed by in the aisles besides shampoo.
But, what ho! I sit here and write this and realize that I’m not that Natalie anymore. I’m like Natalie 2.0. The Natalie 4G. I am now the Natalie who bakes/cooks a minimum of twice a week. I am the Natalie who jumps into the car headed towards the grocery store and spends bonding time with her mother tapping watermelons for ripeness.
Man, that is one hell of an evolution.
So my blog is now exactly 4 months old! And my dad is now, well, I’ll keep that number to myself for now (you’re welcome, Dad).
Coconut Cake (Adapted from Organic and Chic by Sarah Magid)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 7 egg whites
- Cream cheese frosting
- Mango chunks the size of your pinky nail (optional)
- 4 pineapple slices
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
(The best way to soften butter is to just microwave around 15-20 seconds.) Cream the butter and sugar together, either manually or using an electric mixer (which will take approximately 3 minutes).
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the vanilla and almond extracts with the coconut milk set aside.
Alternately add flour mixture and the coconut mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir after each addition.
Using clean beaters and bowl, beat the egg whites until they are almost stiff but not too dry. Stir a spoonful of egg whites into the batter, and then add the rest slowly. Now pour the batter into your pans and even out the top with a spatula.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Frost both layers of the cake. Place small mango chunks in between and pineapple slices on top. Ta da!
Doesn’t it look delish? Well it was pretty delish.
Oh..the last bite. I told you Coco makes me go loco.
And the weather has been amazing in Seattle! So this tropical cake should go well with any summer venture you have in mind. This tropical cake certainly went well with my puppy..who immediately took a nap on the lawn afterwards. Look at him…aww