Coconut Cake

 

Coconut Cakes in one form or another have been around for generations in places with coconut palms as native plants or anywhere they are imported. They are mentioned from the beginnings of written history, and likely originated in Southeast Asia, but are found anywhere tropical. 

Coconut Cakes

The earliest coconut cakes were closer to what we would call a pudding. Layer cakes have been popular for about 300 years and I suspect someone made one with coconut fairly early on. A Smithsonian Folklore site mentions a recipe at least two hundred years old. The tasty fruit has been growing in Florida from the 1880's when some washed ashore from a shipwreck and took root. 

The fillings vary from the usual buttercream to meringue like cooked frosting, and between layers custard fillings are common. Often, little or none of the fruit is in the cake itself, but only in the filling or coating the icing. 

Some of the best incorporate coconut cream or milk in the filling or as the liquid to make the cake. This can be extracted by pouring boiling water over fresh grated coconut and straining, but is easily found canned and ready to use. 

Using the fruit toasted seems to be more recent than the plain fresh type. Most modern recipes will include white flour, butter and eggs as well as leavening, and coconut, of course. Good cooks usually prefer it unsweetened if fresh is not available.

Coconut Cake Recipes 

This Recipe uses a Duncan HinesGolden Cake, made to package directions (about 30 minutes cooking time) and then filled with fresh or fresh frozen coconut, sugar, and sour cream, part of which is reserved and mixed with whipped cream to top it.

A very different recipe from part of the US, Hawaii, features Taro. It has nine ingredients that include two cups of mashed cooked taro root. Cooking time for this cake is 45 minutes. 

Here is a recipes that uses lemon and here's one that has fresh raspberries.  

This is another one with lemon and a seven-minute frosting recipe. The author recommends making the lemon curd several days in advance so it can become firm and more flavorful. 

 

 

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