The best {easiest} OMG {cheater} Coconut Cake EVER

Posted in FOOD
on June 10, 2013

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.

Cheater Coconut Cake

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.

Enjoy!

Coconut cake with lemon curd and Butter Cream icing  

For the Cake:

1 18.75 oz White cake mix
3 eggs
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
Lemon curd
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.

Lemon Curd:
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.

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