Hey there! I hope you all had a great weekend; we sure did! We did some painting of trim, which I will share soon, and celebrated a birthday.
It was Bekah’s birthday at the end of last week – she turned 10! I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. She’s gone from precocious toddler to a ‘tween in a blink. The first time I met Bekah, she was 2 and just the cutest little chatterbox you’ve ever seen, completely full of life, with sparkling blue eyes and an infectious giggle and smile. When she’d tell a story, you’d nearly be afraid she’d burst from excitement – no matter what the topic. Not much has changed.
|Before my time.. but holy cuteness!|
Today, she has grown in to a beautiful girl, both inside and out. She is a straight A student, sings like an angel – non-stop I might add – and there literally is not one thing I can think of that the girl is not exceptionally good at – she excels at everything she tries. And, everything she tries, she does with such.. life. Best of all though, she still nearly bursts when she tells a story. No word of a lie.
|Fearlessly taking on the ocean|
Being a step-parent is hard sometimes – it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had really. I’m constantly in a state of trying to figure out how to be better at it. In spite of the fact that being my a step-daughter has it’s moments – I’m no picnic to live with – she excels even in that area. Some times, it’s rough; almost like we are speaking different languages. But, more often than that, there are moments where we share a laugh, or a private joke, or she asks me a question because she is interested in hearing my point of view.. and sometimes, I get one of her extra special hugs just for no reason at all – and, it’s those moments that make it all worthwhile. I wouldn’t trade one moment with her for anything in the world, no matter the moment. Truth.
We were able to celebrate her birthday this past weekend. Her birthday cake request – a coconut cake in all it’s fluffy, coconut-ty goodness. I was happy to oblige. It was OMG good. The 20+ we shared it with agreed – it’s great having a large family!
This recipe is for what I call a cheater cake – it starts with a box mix, but you won’t know it when you taste it. Trust me on this.
Coconut cake with lemon curd and Butter Cream icing
For the Cake:
1 18.75 oz White cake mix
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 6 oz container vanilla flavored yogurt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups of flaked coconut
Coconut Cream Butter Cream
Preheat oven to 350°. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well blended.
Pour batter into 2 9″ prepared pans. Sharply tap the pans once on counter top to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
To assemble, place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread top with a thin layer of lemon curd, followed by 1 cup of coconut cream frosting. Spread a thin layer of lemon curd on the bottom of the second cake layer before stacking on top of the first. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle 2 cups coconut over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.
For this particular cake, I used a high quality jarred lemon curd, to save time. However, when time permits, I prefer to make my own and have included the recipe I follow religiously. You can find it, and more than a handful of other yummy recipes, here.
I am a HUGE proponent of homemade butter cream. Homemade butter cream takes very little time, and can elevate even a store bought cake to decadent proportions. If you can spare the 15 minutes to make it, it will be well worth your while.
Coconut Cream Butter Cream:
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 lbs powdered sugar
1 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut extract
Cream your butter and shortening together using a hand or stand mixer – this is by far the most important step! I often cream the butter/shortening for at least10 minutes on low on my stand mixer. When creamed, the butter will have a very whipped, creamy appearance.
Add coconut cream, vanilla and coconut extract. Mix well, beating on low for about 2-3 minutes.
Add sugar, and beat well until a creamy consistency is reached. If needed, add additional coconut cream by the teaspoon as needed.