With a good part of the country facing below freezing temperatures and snowy/icy conditions, I thought this would be a good time to post the recipe for the coconut lime rum cake I served at my 24×24 party. I’ve gotten quite a few requests for the recipe, and I think the cold weather might have something to do with that. I realize a slice of cake isn’t going scrape the ice from your car or shovel the snow piled up in your driveway, but maybe it will at least help you forget about those things for a while.
I love any type of coconut cake, but this one is especially wonderful because of the addition of limes (oh, and rum). Though the recipe called for Key limes, I used standard limes with no problem (though I’ll be trying it again with Key limes when I find them). This cake is incredibly moist and has a wonderful balance of coconut and lime flavor. The rum comes through, too, which may have to do with me brushing the cake with rum shortly after removing it from the oven. I used coconut rum, but you could certainly use light or gold rum. Even Eric, who is not a fan of coconut, absolutely loved this cake. Toasting the coconut is the key, as it transforms the coconut from stringy to crunchy. Eric thought it was a little odd at first that I was putting toasted coconut inside the cake, but I promise it works. The glaze for the cake is tart and pairs perfectly with the cake. Instead of topping the cake with additional toasted coconut, I decided to use an idea from another coconut cake recipe and make fresh coconut ribbons. I loved the ribbons and knew as soon as I made them that they would be the star of the table (and they definitely were). Not just for presentation, they added an additional layer of coconut flavor and texture that everyone loved.
- COOK TIME:
- YIELD: 1 9-inch cake
For the cake:
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
2 large eggs
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup fresh lime juice, divided
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon rum (plus more for brushing, optional)
For the coconut ribbons:
1 medium coconut
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Heat oven to 350º. Generously butter a 9×2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. On a small baking pan, baking coconut for 8-12 minutes, stirring halfway through, until toasted. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the coconut and stir to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, granulated sugar and lime zest on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add 2 tablespoons lime juice to the milk and stir well. With the mixer on low speed, add flour and milk mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with the flour.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly in pan, then turn onto a wire rack. Brush with rum (about 1 tablespoon), if desired. Cool completely on the wire rack.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the coconut ribbons. Leave the oven on after removing cake. Pierce one eye of the coconut and drain coconut water. Save for another use. Bake coconut in a shallow baking pan for about 15 minutes. Using a hammer, break the shell and remove from flesh. Leave oven on.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel coconut into thin slices (enough for 2 cups). Toss with confectioners sugar and bake until dry but not toasted, 5-10 minutes. Set aside while you prepare the glaze.
To make glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice and rum. Slowly pour glaze over the cooled cake, then top with coconut ribbons and serve immediately.