Every first birthday I choose a signature cake for each of my children. Sounds sort of whacky and probably a tad labor intensive, but I always keep the recipe and use iterations of the original for each of their subsequent birthdays. My daughter Kate (18) has had the same cake from me for the last 8 years! We all look forward to each other’s cakes, which makes our family celebrations just that much more special.
Enjoy my newest creation! And note that the coconut really does not come through as too strong, it’s definitely a subtle flavor note.
Coconut Cream Dream: Teague's First Birthday Cake
This cake is fluffy and light like a cloud and does not taste particularly much like coconut. There are no coconut flakes for all you haters out there! Instead, I used the fat from the coconut milk to add a luscious texture to both the cake crumb and the glaze. Enjoy!
For the Cake
6 large egg yolks
1 can coconut cream (not to be confused with coconut milk)
3 cups flour (I use King Arthur brand, the "red bag": Unbleached, All-Purpose)
1 1/2 cups vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
3 lemons, zested (juice reserved for frosting) + 1 extra lemon to candy
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
For the Candied Lemon
1 lemon, sliced into 1/8th inch rounds
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp granulated sugar, reserved for garnishing
For the Glaze
4-6 cups powdered sugar (start with 4, add more to reach desired consistency--we're going for a glaze here!)
Juice of 3 lemons
1 can coconut milk (add 1 Tbsp at a time to reach desired consistency
1 pinch salt
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Begin by beating egg yolks (reserve and freeze whites for another time--great for Marshmallow Icing) in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add coconut cream and beat on high until pale in color and fluffed, about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and lemon zest.
- Add to egg mixture and slowly mix together to incorporate. Mixture will be slightly dry, coarse and sticky.
- Add butter cubes and begin by mixing slowly, then more quickly. Once all ingredients are incorporated, beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate.
- Line 3 spring form pans (1 large, 1 medium, 1 small) with parchment. Spray interior with cooking spray and fill each pan with batter 1/2 of the way.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until batter is browned and really fluffy, like a cloud.
- Remove from oven, release from pans after 5 minutes of cooling and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
While the Cake is baking, make the Candied Lemon and Glaze
- In a saucepan, combine lemon rounds, sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer until lemon rounds are slightly translucent and syrup is reduced, making sure to flip rounds occasionally. Cook for about 30 minutes, but watch carefully so you don't burn the lemons or make candy by accident.
- For the glaze, whisk powdered sugar with lemon juice and salt. Add coconut milk a little at a time until desired consistency has been reached. You want a slightly thick-yet-pourable glaze. Taste and adjust flavoring if needed. Add more powdered sugar to thicken and more coconut milk to thin out.
- Place largest cake round on a pretty plate, platter or cake stand. Pour a few Tbsp of the glaze in the center, stack with the next smallest layer, repeat with glaze then add the smallest cake layer. Pour glaze all over top (making sure cakes are completely cool) and top with Candied Lemon that has been tossed in reserved granulated sugar.
This recipe has been adapted from "All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake" from the illustrious cookbook, The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum