coconut bundt cake with lime drizzle

This cake makes me want to put on a frilly apron and sit outside on a checkered blanket in front of my pretend picket fence. Something about the words “bundt” and “drizzle” together in one sentence. It’s sweet and cheesy retro goodness; the kind of thing you’d expect to find at a bake sale. The cake part here is adapted from Joy of Baking, and the glaze is my addition – I can imagine a rum drizzle (aka glaze) also working nicely here, but the tartness of the lime makes and especially nice foil to this rich cake. In fact, we were wishing we had even more lime with our coconut, so I included an optional lime syrup below that, if the mood struck you, you could use to soak the cake before you “drizzled” it. I will warn you, this recipe calls for coconut cream (Coco Lopez or the like), which I secretly kind of like, but if you want to skip out on the unpronounceable ingredients, you could easily substitute pure coconut milk. You will, however, be missing out on the requisite pina coladas made with the rest of the open can – your call. Serve this up just as it is, or spoon some berries or chopped pineapple and mango on the side. Makes one very big cake, enough to feed 12-16.

Coconut Cake
6 eggs, separated
½ tsp cream of tartar
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar, divided
¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups buttermilk
¼ cup coconut cream
½ cup coarsely shredded coconut for topping

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large bundt pan. Set out the two different coconuts* on separate sides of a sheet pan. Toast 8-10 minutes until golden and aromatic.
Meanwhile, combine the egg whites, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the cream of tartar. Whip until stiff peak form and then set aside. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another separate small bowl, combine the buttermilk, coconut cream, and vanilla extract. Set aside the dry and wet ingredients. 
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or using a hand held mixer), cream together the butter and the remaining sugar (1 ½ cups) until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat well. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Fold in the finely shredded toasted coconut. 
Add the whipped egg whites to the batter and, using a rubber spatula, carefully fold together. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown, set, and a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan and then tip out onto a cooling rack and continue cooling at least 1 hour before glazing.

*If you can’t find the coarsely shredded coconut, substitute regular shredded coconut – it’s generally available at Whole Foods or other specialty shops, and makes a pretty presentation, but isn’t essential. 

Optional Lime Syrup
The juice of 3 limes
½ cup granulated sugar

Lime Drizzle
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp lime juice

Make the Syrup and the Glaze and Serve:
If you choose to use the syrup, simply combine the lime juice and the sugar, whisk well, and set aside until the cake is slightly cool. Then, using a pastry brush, generously brush the glaze all over the surface of the cake before you drizzle on the glaze.
For the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and add the lime juice 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well after each addition to ensure no lumps are visible. Once the cake is somewhat cool, using a small spoon, carefully drizzle the cake with the glaze. It is best to do this while the cake is still on the cooling rack to avoid puddles of glaze on the serving plate. While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle the coarsely shredded toasted coconut on top of the cake. Transfer to a serving plate, cut, and serve. The cake keeps well wrapped at room temperature up to 3 days and frozen up to 2 weeks.

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