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Coconut Layer Cake

Coconut Layer Cake

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For the cake, preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with Kelapo coconut oil spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, shredded coconut, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat coconut oil and granulated erythritol until well combined. Beat in egg whites and coconut extract.

Beat in half the almond flour mixture, then beat in almond milk and then remaining almond flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared loaf pan and bake 50 minutes, or until golden brown and just firm to the touch.

Remove and let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then loosen around edges with a sharp knife and turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cake is completely cool, cut horizontally into 3 even layers.

Place a metal bowl and beaters into the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove can of coconut milk from fridge and turn upside down. Open with a can opener and pour off the coconut water (reserve for another use).

Scoop out the solidified coconut cream left in the can and place into the chilled metal bowl.

Joanne Fluke Has Some Recipes to Die For

Since the Hannah Swensen Mystery series debuted in 2000 with Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Joanne Fluke has been serving criminally delicious recipes with her murder mysteries for 20 years. Her latest release Coconut Layer Cake Murder is no different, with over 20 recipes included in between chapters of murder and mayhem, as Cookie Jar owner and baker Hannah Swensen must prove her sister’s boyfriend’s innocence in a crime—which is harder than figuring out what went wrong with a recipe.

From cakes to cookies to muffins, murder isn’t exclusive to one dessert. Below are five recipes from the Hannah Swensen Mystery series that will satisfy any sweet tooth!

From Coconut Layer Cake Murder (2020)

DO NOT preheat your oven quite yet—this dough needs to chill before you bake it.


1 cup raisins (either brown or golden)
1/4 cup rum (I used white Bacardi)
2 cups salted, melted butter (4 sticks)
2 cups brown sugar (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 cup white (granulated)sugar
2 large eggs, beaten (just whip them up in a glass with a fork)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar (critical!)
1 teaspoon salt
4 and 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it.)

Dough ball rolling mixture:

1⁄2 cup white (granulated)sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best)

Hannah’s 1st Note: If you’re making these cookies for children or if you don’t want to use rum, simply substitute water for the rum and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for flavor.

Place the raisins in a microwave-safe bowl that will hold 2 cups.

Pour the quarter-cup rum over the top of the raisins.

Heat the raisin and rum mixture for 2 minutes on HIGH.

Let it sit in the microwave for 1 minute and then take it out and remove it to a pot holder or towel on your kitchen counter.

Cover the bowl containing the raisins and rum with a sheet of foil to keep the heat in. The raisins will plump up while you’re mixing up the rest of your cookie dough.

Place the 4 sticks of butter in another microwave-safe bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH. Let the melted butter sit in the microwave for another minute and then remove it to another pot holder or towel on your kitchen counter.

Add the sugars and mix. Let the mixture cool to room temperature while you beat the eggs and then stir them in.

Add the vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix well. Add flour in increments, mixing after each addition.

Use your hands to roll the dough in walnut-size balls. (If dough is too sticky, chill for an hour before rolling.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl to make the dough ball rolling mixture. (Mixing it with a fork works nicely.)Roll the dough balls in the mixture and place them on a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard sheet. Flatten the dough balls with a greased spatula.

Bake at 350°F. for 10–15 minutes. (They should have a touch of gold around the edges.)Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove the cookies to a rack to finish cooling.

Yield: Approximately 8 dozen, depending on cookie size.

From Chocolate Cream Pie Murder (2019)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F., rack in the middle position.


The Batter:
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (measure AFTER draining and patting dry)
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup white (granulated)sugar
3⁄4 cup salted butter (1 and 1⁄2 sticks, 6 ounces)
2 beaten eggs (just whip them up in a glass with a fork)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1⁄2 cup whole milk
1⁄2 cup finely chopped walnuts (measure AFTER chopping)

Crumb Topping:
1⁄2 cup white (granulated)sugar
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup salted butter (1/2 stick, 2 ounces)softened to room temperature

Grease the bottoms only of a 12-cup muffin pan (or line the cups with double cupcake papers—that’s what I do at The Cookie Jar).

If you haven’t done so already, put the crushed pineapple in a strainer with a small bowl underneath it. Press it down with the back of a mixing spoon, trying to get out as much juice as you can.

Pour the drained juice in a refrigerator container and save it for someone who likes to drink pineapple juice. Once you’ve completely drained your pineapple, measure out 1 cup of pineapple and place it in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the crushed, drained pineapple with 1 Tablespoon of the all-purpose flour. Then mix the flour with the pineapple. (The flour will help to soak up any moisture left in your crushed pineapple.)

Get out a medium-size mixing bowl and a wooden spoon if you intend to make this recipe by hand, but you can use an electric stand mixer or a hand-held mixer from this point on if you wish.

Place the white (granulated)sugar in the bottom of the mixing bowl.

Add the softened, salted butter and mix it with the sugar. Mix until the ingredients are light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, mixing them in thoroughly until they are well incorporated.

Sprinkle in the baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix them in thoroughly.

Add HALF of the all-purpose flour to a mixing bowl and mix it in with HALF of the whole milk.

Add the remaining flour and the remaining milk. Mix until everything is thoroughly blended.

Mix in the crushed pineapple and the finely chopped walnuts by hand.

Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full and set them aside. If you have batter left over, grease the bottom of a small tea bread loaf pan and fill it with your remaining batter.

Crumb Topping:

Mix the sugar and the flour in a small bowl. Add the butter and cut it in until it’s crumbly. (You can also do this in a food processor with chilled butter and the steel blade by processing in an on-and-off motion.)

Hannah’s Note: If your topping isn’t crumbly enough, just put it in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer of your refrigerator for 5 minutes or so. That should be enough to make it crumble in your fingers.

Fill the remaining space in the muffin cups with the crumb topping. Then bake the muffins in a 375 degree F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes. (The tea bread should bake about 10 minutes longer than the muffins.)

When your muffins are baked, set the muffin pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. (The muffins need to cool in the pan for easy removal.)Then just tip them out of the cups and enjoy.

These are wonderful when they’re slightly warm, but they’re also good cold.

Yield: 12 muffins and perhaps a tea bread.

From Raspberry Danish Murder (2018)

DO NOT preheat your oven yet. You must do some preparation first.

Hannah’s 1st Note: Frozen puff pastry dough is good for all sorts of things. When you buy it for this recipe, buy 2 packages. You’ll only use one package in this recipe, but keep that second package in your freezer for later. Thaw it when you want to dress up leftovers by putting them inside little puff pastry packets and baking them, or make some turnovers from fresh fruit. Puff pastry can also be used for appetizers.


The Pastry:
One 17.5-ounce package frozen puff pastry dough (I used Pepperidge Farm, which contains 2 sheets of puff pastry)
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon water (right out of the tap is fine)
White (granulated)sugar to sprinkle on top

The Raspberry Sauce:
3⁄4 cup fresh raspberries (you can also use frozen, but you’ll have to thaw them and dry them with paper towels so they won’t have an excess of juice)
2 Tablespoons water (right out of the tap is fine)
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom (if you don’t have it, use cinnamon)
1 and 1⁄2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1⁄2 cup white (granulated)sugar

The Cream Cheese Filling:
8-ounce package brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature (I used Philadelphia)
1⁄3 cup white (granulated)sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Drizzle Frosting:

1 and 1⁄4 cups powdered (confectioners)sugar (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1⁄4 cup whipping cream (that’s heavy cream, not Half & Half)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄8 teaspoon salt

Thaw both sheets of puff pastry dough according to package directions. Do this on a floured surface (I used a bread board). To prepare the surface, sprinkle on a little flour and spread it around with your impeccably clean palms.

While your puff pastry sheets are thawing, make the raspberry sauce.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine the raspberries with the water.

In a small bowl, combine the cardamom, cornstarch, and sugar. Stir with a fork until they are thoroughly mixed.

Sprinkle the contents of the bowl on top of the raspberries and water in the saucepan. Stir everything together until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Cook the contents on the stovetop at MEDIUM HIGH heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture reaches a full boil. Continue to stir for 2 minutes. Then pull the saucepan over to a cold burner, turn off the burner you used, and let the raspberry sauce cool to room temperature.

While your raspberry sauce is cooling, make the cream cheese filling.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with the sugar and the vanilla extract. Beat the mixture until it is smooth and creamy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter.

Hannah’s 2nd Note: If your forgot to soften your cream cheese, you can do it by unwrapping the cream cheese, placing it in a microwave-safe bowl and nuking it for 10 seconds or so in the microwave.

Hannah’s 3rd Note: You will not be making the Drizzle Frosting yet. You will do this after your Raspberry Danish are baked and cooling on racks.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

While your oven is preheating, prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.

Check your sheet of puff pastry to see if it is thawed. If it is, it’s time to prepare it to receive its yummy contents.

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on your floured board. Sprinkle a little flour on a rolling pin and roll your puff pastry out to a twelve-inch square.

Hannah’s 4th Note: I use a ruler to make sure I have a 12-inch square when I’m through.

Use a sharp knife to make one horizontal cut through the middle of the square and one vertical cut through the middle of the square. This will divide it into 4 equal (or nearly equal)pieces.

Break the egg into a cup. Add 1 Tablespoon of water and whisk it up. This will be your egg wash.

Transfer one of your cut squares of puff pastry to your prepared cookie sheet.

Use a pastry brush to brush the inside edges of the square with the egg wash. This will make the edges stick together when you fold the dough over the cream cheese and raspberry sauce.

Measure out 1⁄4 cup of the cream cheese filling and place it in the center of the square.

Spread the cream cheese over the square evenly to within 1⁄2 inch of the edges.

Spread 2 Tablespoons of the raspberry sauce over the cream cheese.

Pick up one corner of the square and pull it over the filling to cover just a little over half of the filling. Then pick up the opposite corner and pull that over to overlap the first corner.

Since the egg wash you used on the square of puff pastry dough acts as a glue, that second corner should stick to the first corner. If it doesn’t, simply use a little more of the egg wash to stick the two overlapping corners together.

Hannah’s 5th Note: This sounds difficult, but it’s not. You’ll catch on fast once you complete the first one. It takes much longer to explain than it does to actually do it.

When you’ve completed the first of the 4 squares, cut your second sheet of puff pastry and repeat the process to complete those.

Once you have all 8 Raspberry Danish on the cookie sheets, brush the top of the pastry with more egg wash and sprinkle on a little granulated sugar.

Bake your Raspberry Danish at 375 degrees F., for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on top.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven to a wire rack and let the pastries cool for 10 minutes. While your Raspberry Danish are cooling, make the Frosting Drizzle.

Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl and mix it with the cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Continue to mix until it’s smooth and thoroughly combined.

Use your favorite method to drizzle frosting over the tops of your Raspberry Danish. A pastry bag (or a plastic bag with one of the corners snipped off)works well for this.

Hannah’s 6th Note: If you don’t want to use a pastry bag to do this, simply mix in a little more cream so that the frosting will drizzle off the tip of a spoon held over the pastries.

When all the Raspberry Danish have been decorated with the frosting drizzle, pull the parchment paper and the Raspberry Danish off the cookie sheet and back onto the same wire rack.

These pastries are delicious eaten while slightly warm. They’re also good cold.

If any of your Raspberry Danish are left over (I don’t think this will happen!),wrap them loosely in wax paper and keep them in a cool place.

From Banana Cream Pie Murder (2017)

DO NOT preheat oven. This dessert needs NO baking!


1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 1⁄2 pound)salted butter, softened
1 cup cashew butter
1 pound powdered (confectioners)sugar
1 and 1⁄2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers (I used Nabisco Nilla wafers)
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (6-ounce by weight bag is fine)

Hannah’s 1st Note: Take the 2 sticks of butter out of the refrigerator, unwrap them, and put them in a covered mixing bowl the night before you want to make this Brownie Candy. They’ll be nice and soft in the morning.

Hannah’s 2nd Note: I chop my vanilla wafers in the food processor with the steel blade in an on-and-off motion. If you don’t have a food processor, put them in a sealable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Just make sure they’re finely crushed.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix the salted butter with the cashew butter. A wooden spoon works well for this. Continue to mix until the mixture is smooth, creamy, and thoroughly incorporated.

Add the powdered sugar to your bowl. There’s no need to sift unless it’s got big lumps. Stir until the powdered sugar is thoroughly incorporated.

Measure out a cup and a half of crushed vanilla wafers and add them to your bowl. Mix until you have a homogenous mixture.

Spray the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, you can line the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and spray that.

Dump the butter, cashew butter, powdered sugar, and crushed vanilla wafer mixture into the cake pan and pat it out as evenly as you can in the bottom.

Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over MEDIUM heat or in a heavy metal saucepan on LOW heat, stirring constantly.

Alternatively, you can melt the chips in the microwave by placing them in a small microwave-safe bowl or Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup and heating them on HIGH for 1 minute. At the end of that time, let them stand in the microwave for 1 minute and then try to stir them smooth. If there are still lumps, heat them in 20-second intervals with 20-second standing times until you can stir them smooth.

With a heat resistant spatula, spread the melted chocolate on top of the mixture in the cake pan. Spread it out as evenly as possible.

Place the pan in the refrigerator until the Brownie Candy is firm. This will take at least 2 hours.

When your dessert is firm and the chocolate on top has hardened, take the cake pan out of the refrigerator and cut your dessert into brownie-sized pieces.

Yield: Approximately 24 to 36 pieces, depending on cutting size.

From Wedding Cake Murder (2016)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

The following recipe can be doubled if you wish. Do not, however, double the baking soda. Use one and a half teaspoons.

1 cup softened butter (2 sticks, 1⁄2 pound, 8 ounces)
2 cups white (granulated)sugar
3 Tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 beaten eggs (just whip them up in a glass with a fork)
2 cups crushed salted potato chips (measure AFTER crushing) (I used regular thin unflavored Lay’s potato chips)
2 and 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 and 1⁄2 cups peanut butter chips (I used Reese’s, a 10-ounce by weight bag. I know that’s close to 2cups, but I like lots of peanut butter chips in these cookies)

Lisa’s Note: The butter in this recipe should be at room temperature unless you have an un-insulated kitchen and it’s winter in Minnesota. In that case, you’d better soften it a little.

Hannah’s 1st Note: 5 to 6 cups of whole potato chips will crush downinto about 2 cups. Crush them by hand in a plastic bag, not with a food processor. They should be the size of coarse gravel when they’re crushed.

Mix the softened butter with the white sugar and the molasses. Beat them until the mixture is light and fluffy, and the molasses is completely mixed in.

Add the vanilla and baking soda. Mix them in thoroughly. Break the eggs into a glass and whip them up with a fork. Add them to your bowl and mix until they’re thoroughly incorporated.

Put your potato chips in a closeable plastic bag. Seal it carefully (you don’t want crumbs all over your counter) and place the bag on a flat surface. Get out your rolling pin and roll it over the bag, crushing the potato chips inside. Do this until the pieces resemble coarse gravel. (If you crush them too much, you won’t have any crunch—crunch is good in these cookies.)

Measure out 2 cups of crushed potato chips and mix them into the dough in your bowl. Add one cup of flour and mix it in. Then add the second cup of flour and mix thoroughly. Add the final half cup of flour and mix that in.

Measure out a cup and a half of peanut butter chips and add them to your cookie dough. If you’re using an electric mixer, mix them in at the slowest speed. You can also take the bowl out of the mixer and stir in the chips by hand.

Let the dough sit on the counter while you prepare your cookie sheets. Spray your cookie sheets with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray, or line them with parchment paper, leaving little “ears” at the top and bottom. That way, when your cookies are baked, you can pull the paper, baked cookies and all, over onto a wire rack to cool.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto your cookie sheets, 12 cookies on each standard-sized sheet.

Hannah’s 2nd Note: I used a 2-teaspoon cookie scoop at The Cookie Jar. It’s faster than doing it with a spoon.

Bake your Peanut Butter Potato Chip Cookies at 350 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until nicely browned. (Mine took 11 minutes.)

Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet and then remove them with a metal spatula. Transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield: Approximately 5 dozen wonderfully chewy, salty and soft cookies that are sure to please everyone who tastes them.

Hannah’s 3rd Note: DO NOT bake these for anyone with a peanut allergy!

Lisa’s Note: These cookies travel well. If you want to send them to a friend, just stack them, roll them up like coins in foil, and cushion the cookie rolls between layers of Styrofoam peanuts, or bubble wrap.

5 Reasons to Love This Coconut Cake Recipe

  1. Not Dry: This coconut cake is mega moist. There’s no point wasting your time (or calories!) on dry cakes.
  2. Intensely Flavorful: Using coconut milk, shredded coconut, and coconut extract, you are guaranteed an intensely flavorful coconut cake.
  3. Soft & Fluffy: Following the recipe carefully, as well as using the power ingredients described below, you are guaranteed a soft-as-silk coconut cake crumb.
  4. Any Shape: Use this cake batter for coconut bundt cake, coconut cupcakes, a 2 layer cake, 3 layer cake, or a coconut sheet cake.
  5. Gets Along With Everyone: Use the frosting recipe below or try strawberry frosting, lemon frosting, brown butter cream cheese frosting, champagne frosting, chocolate buttercream. And don’t forget to drizzle salted caramel on top!

Recipe Summary

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour, not self-rising, plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Coconut Cream Filling
  • 11 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) sweetened angel-flake coconut
  • Seven-Minute Frosting for Coconut Layer Cake

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in the center of the oven. Line the bottom of three 6-by-2-inch buttered round cake pans with parchment paper. Dust the bottom and the sides of the cake pans with flour, and tap out any excess. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set the bowl aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-low speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, and keep beating until the mixture is fluffy and light in color, about 3 minutes. Gradually drizzle in egg yolks, beating on medium-low speed between each addition until the batter is no longer slick. Beat until the mixture is fluffy again, about another 3 minutes.

Alternate adding flour mixture and sour cream to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in vanilla. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans in the oven, if needed, for even browning. Transfer cake pans to wire racks to cool, about 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, and let cool completely on racks, tops up.

To assemble, remove parchment paper from the bottoms of cakes. Split each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Set aside the prettiest dome it will be used for the final layer. Place another domed layer, dome side down, on the serving platter. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of flaked coconut over the cake. Spread a generous 1/2 cup coconut-cream filling over coconut flakes. Repeat sprinkling and spreading process on the remaining layers until all but the reserved domed layer are used. Top cake with the reserved domed layer. Transfer cake to the refrigerator to firm for 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator, and frost the outside of cake with seven-minute frosting. Sprinkle remaining coconut flakes all over cake while frosting is soft do not refrigerate. Cake can be left out at room temperature for several days.

Recipe Summary

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks (reserve whites for frosting)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Seven-Minute Frosting for Quick Coconut Layer Cake
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment-paper rounds butter paper. Dust paper and sides of pans with flour, tapping out excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternately with milk in 2, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined.

Divide evenly between prepared pans. Place pans next to each other in oven (without touching) cook until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.

Cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges invert cakes onto a rack. Peel off parchment reinvert and let cool completely before assembling.

Assemble the cake: In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup store-bought lemon curd with 3/4 cup frosting. Place bottom cake layer on a platter tuck strips of parchment under edges of cake.

Leaving a 1-inch border, spread layer with lemon-curd mixture and 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut. Top with remaining cake layer.

Spread 2 cups frosting over top spread remaining on sides (push spatula in a forward motion to prevent crumbs). Sprinkle 1 1/4 cups coconut over cake pat gently on sides.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the coconut extract. Mix in flour and baking powder until just moistened, then stir in coconut. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.

This cake recipe also does well baked in layers. Will make three 8 inch layers, or one 10 inch layer and one 6 inch layer. Reduce baking time if making as a layer cake, but keep the temperature the same. Test for doneness as indicated in recipe.

Coconut Cake

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled don’t be concerned.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in three parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).

To assemble, place one layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

6 Inch Southern Coconut Cake

3- In a small mixing bowl mix cornstarch, vanilla extract, and water.

4- Put coconut flakes in a food processor and process until fine.

5- Mix cornstarch mixture into hot cream mixture.

6- Pour hot cream mixture out into a large casserole dish or baking pan.

8- Let set in fridge for 12 hours

1- Preheat oven to 325'F grease two 6" round cake pans, line and grease bottoms of pans with parchment circles.

2- Cream together butter and sugar for 6 minutes until super fluffy!

3- Add eggs to butter/sugar one at a time until completely incorporated.

4- In another large mixing bowl sift together all your dry ingredients.(Flour, salt and baking powder.) Set aside.

5- In a measuring cup mix together cream and vanilla and coconut extracts.

6- Add flour and cream to butter mixture gradually, alternating between adding flour and cream. Start and end with flour mixture.

8- Pour batter out into pans and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

1- Beat butter and cream cheese together for 2 minutes until fluffy.

2- Beat in vanilla extract.

3- Beat confectioner's sugar in on medium speed one cup at a time until completely incorporated.

1- Heat water on stove top over medium heat in a small sauce pan.

2- Stir in sugar and dissolve it.

3- Bring water to a boil, then take off of heat and set aside to cool.

1- Once cakes are completely cooled, level off any doming in the cakes with a cake leveler or a serrated bread knife.

2- Divide each cake into two layers. You will have 4 cake layers total.

3- Place first layer of cake down on a cake dish and coat the cake layer liberally with simple syrup.

4- Spread about 1/2 cup of coconut custard on the layer evenly.

5- Place next layer of cake on top of that layer and repeat this process for the remaining layers, omitting a layer of custard on the very top of the cake.

6- Frost as desired with cream cheese frosting and garnish.
I like to garnish the sides of the cake with toasted coconut and top it with the untoasted sweetened flakes.

You can mix up your favorite piecrust recipe and line a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan. Alternatively, you can buy pre-made, frozen pie crusts at the grocery store. (If you do decide to buy the frozen pie shells, make sure to buy 9-inch or 10-inch deep-dish pie shells.)


1 and ½ cups whipping cream

5 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, shredded (approximately 2 cups–measure AFTER grating)

1 can (15 ounces by weight) corned beef hash

¼ cup finely chopped onion (measure AFTER chopping)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine the eggs with the whipping cream and whisk them (or beat them at MEDIUM speed) until they’re a uniform color. When they’re thoroughly mixed, pour them into a pitcher and set it in the refrigerator.

Sprinkle the grated cheese in the bottom of your cooled pie shell.

Open the can of corned beef hash and spread it over the top of the cheese.

Sprinkle on the onion, and add as many drops of hot sauce as your family would like.

Sprinkle the ground black pepper over the salt.

Sprinkle the ground nutmeg over the pepper.

Put a drip pan under your pie pan.

Take the egg and cream mixture out of the refrigerator and give it a good stir with a whisk or a mixing spoon.

Pour the mixture over the top of your Corned Beef and Pepper Jack Quiche until about half of the filling is covered.

Open your oven, pull out the rack, and set your pie tin and drip pan on it. Pour in more custard mixture, stopping a quarter-inch short of the rim. Carefully push in the rack, and shut the oven door.

Bake your Corned Beef and Pepper Jack Quiche at 350°F. for 60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a table knife inserted one inch from the center comes out clean.

When your quiche tests as done, remove it from the oven and set it, drip pan and all, on a cold stovetop burner or a wire rack. Let it cool for 15 to 30 minutes before you cut it into pie-shaped wedges and serve it.

I’m not sure if there’s a Midwestern type of store-bought, deep-dish pie crust that can fully contain all the egg custard whipped up here, but the mid-Atlantic version I had certainly could not. I had about half of the mix left over by the time the quiche was finally in the oven, which was a good thing because it meant I could make a whole new quiche after we devoured the entire thing in one evening, a rarity in my family even with the help of my lovely assistant Karin.

Since Karin doesn’t eat spicy foods, we made the first quiche with half pepper jack and half Monterey Jack, and both sides came out tasting amazingly delicious. The nutmeg really does pair well with the corned beef hash, as do the hot sauce and egg custard in the second, fully pepper jacked quiche I baked. Oh gosh, I honestly want to go make this dish again now just thinking about it. I will definitely be using it to stave off the cravings I will inevitably have for the next book in the Hannah Swensen series!

Next week, we head to the East Coast to bake a cake that we fortunately won’t find a body in, unlike the unfortunate heroine of our next culinary cozy read. Do join me!

Coconut Cake

This moist coconut cake is reminiscent of the venerable classic that was a staple of birthdays for years, and is now most often found in the freezer case at the grocery store. Still, there's nothing like a fresh, moist, homemade coconut cake. If you've never made one, here's a great place to start.


  • 3 1/3 cups (400g) King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour
  • 2/3 cup (71g) coconut milk powder*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons (14g) baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons (142g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (298g) sugar
  • 6 large (210g) egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 drops coconut flavor, optional
  • 15 tablespoons (213g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 10 ounces (283g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (35g) coconut milk powder*
  • 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups (482g to 510g) confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Soak two cake strips, if you have them. Grease and flour (or line with parchment circles and spray with non-stick spray) two 8" square cake pans (or two 9" round cake pans) that are at least 2" deep. Note: If you want a taller cake, use two 8" round cake pans that are at least 2" deep.

To make the cake: Whisk together the cake flour, coconut milk powder, salt, and baking powder set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is extremely light and fluffy scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl after 2 minutes of beating, and beat for at least 3 minutes more. Add 1/4 of the dry ingredients mix until combined, and scrape the mixing bowl.

Combine the egg whites, milk, and flavors add 1/3 of the mixture to the ingredients in the bowl and mix until combined. Continue adding dry and wet ingredients by turns, until all are incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl one last time, and mix for another minute.

Divide the batter between the two pans, and wrap the outsides with the soaked cake strips. If you don't have cake strips, place the pans in larger pans add water to the larger pans until it's halfway up the sides of the cake pans. For 9" cakes, bake for 30 to 35 minutes for 8" cakes, bake for 38 to 42 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center and the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a rack remove the cake strips. Let the layers cool for 20 minutes, then turn out of the pan and return to the rack to finish cooling completely before filling and frosting.

To make the frosting: Combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and coconut flavor in a large mixing bowl. Beat the ingredients together at medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Sift the coconut milk powder and confectioners’ sugar together in a separate large bowl. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the butter and cream cheese mixture, mixing at low speed until fully incorporated then beating at medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.

To finish the cake: Split the cooled cake layers horizontally. Place half of one layer on a serving plate spread with a scant cup of frosting. Place the other cake half on top, spread with another scant cup of frosting. Repeat with the remaining layers until you've used them all. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

To decorate the cake: Press some coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle the remaining over the top.

Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve, and let it stand at room temperature for an hour before slicing and enjoying.

Tips from our Bakers

If you can’t find coconut milk powder use a can of unsweetened full-fat coconut milk. Put it in the refrigerator a day before you plan to bake, to help it separate. After opening, scoop out 1/4 cup of the solids from the top of the can and set aside for the frosting. Use the remaining coconut milk in place of the 1 1/2 cups of milk called for in the cake ingredients. (Don't worry if you don't have exactly 1 1/2 cups coconut milk the cake will be fine.) For the frosting, omit the coconut milk powder and use the reserved coconut milk solids and 8 ounces of cream cheese (instead of the 10 ounces of cream cheese called for in the recipe).