Coconut Sour Cream Cake
No, I have not abandoned you, Cooking con Booze – it’s just the past few weeks have been full of holidays and visitors and weddings and all day dance parties. Factor in recovery time for all of these events and I have been busy either boozing and grooving or vegging on the couch with grapefruit juice and a headache.
Before my schedule got hectic I made this Easter cake. Shirley Corriher’s book, Cookwise, is worth buying for the chocolate chip cookie recipe alone. And prior to this, that’s all I’d made from it. But now having burned through a whooping TWO recipes in the book I’m going to elevate it to the CCB pantheon of cookbooks, even though the book itself has not a single recipe that features booze. I added it here.
The booze: rum
The other stuff: for the cake–sugar, butter, flour, baking powder, salt, buttermilk, vanilla, butter, eggs, oil for the icing–sugar, sour cream, coconut flakes, vanilla
The cake: Shirley is like a one woman American Test Kitchen, so not only are you supposed to cook from her recipes, you’re supposed to learn valuable lessons about food science and chemistry and why your cake will have a different consistency if you beat the fats for longer, etc. I have only retained tiny morsels of cake knowledge which I will share with you below.
Folks, when baking, the temperature of all your ingredients is important. Something about bubbles, I think. Anyway, to insure proper temperature place the bowl and the whisk you plan to use and 1 1/3 c sugar in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you get started.
Meanwhile get all your other ingredients out of the fridge. You want them to be room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×2 inch cake pan. Cut out a circle of parchment paper and stick it to the bottom of your pan. Sprinkle with flour.
Here’s another thing to know about – sifting is really important! So spread out a piece of parchment paper and sift 1.5 cups cake flour (all-purpose if you can’t find cake flour), 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Now do it again. At least two times to get out any lumps. Combine 1/2 cup of buttermilk (at room temp) and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside.
Cream one stick of butter (room temp!) on a medium speed in a mixer (you can use a handheld mixer) with your frozen whisk fitting until light in color. About 3 minutes. Add the sugar from the freezer in a steady stream with mixer running. Continue to beat for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Add the 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks (also room temp) one at a time, beating on medium for about 30 seconds after each. Continue to beat until the mixture is light and airy. Should be a couple minutes.
Stir in 1/3 cup of mild-flavored oil (like vegetable or walnut). Fold in half the flour mixture with a large rubber spatula, scraping down the sides to make sure everything is mixed in. Fold in half buttermilk mix. Repeat with remaining halves of each.
Pour batter into the pan. Smooth the batter with the rubber spatula. Bake until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. The sides should just be beginning to pull away from the pan.
Now you will want to pour yourself a drink and watch an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Resist! You need to make icing and the icing needs to chill for a half hour so you need to do it NOW! Sorry, did I stress you out? Don’t worry, this icing will only take second. Ru can wait.
The icing: Stir together 1.5 cups sugar, 1 16 oz container of sour cream, 12 oz of unsweetened coconut flakes, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and 1.5 tablespoons of dark rum. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
That’s it. FOR NOW! Mwah ha ha.
No really, take a break.
Cake done, yet? If so, remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small knife and flip onto a cooking rack. While the cake is still a little warm slice horizontally into 3 even layers. If you screw it up it’s OK. As long as you have one nice layer to put on top, no one will know. I had a giant hole in one of my layers. See…
No big thing, just cut off a little more from another layer and cover it up. Pour 1-1.5 Tbsp fo rum on top of each layer. Ice all layers generously, with 1/4 to 1/3 of the icing. refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
The tips: Use the right kind of flour. I only had bread flour and pastry flour, so I used a half and half combo. 10 minutes later I flipped to Cookwise’s intro on cake baking and read that these flours contain more gluten than all-purpose or cake flour and will weigh your cake down. Too late for me, but not for you.
Regardless, this cake is amazingly delicious, and it has a lot to do with the incredible sour cream icing. It’s crazy spreadable too, resulting in a very pretty cake. Next time I think I’ll use less sugar so you can really tell it’s sour cream. Will also probably use more rum.
So, don’t be intimidated by how long this recipe it. It took me longer to type up this post than to make the cake. Cake recipes are always long, and trust me, this one is worth it.