Monday, June 27, 2016

Coconut Ginger Layer Cake

This cake has made an appearance twice this year at two different events. It's been a huge hit both times. 

I love me a coconut layer cake and usually prefer one with a white cake base. This one has a yellow cake flavored with ginger and laced with coconut flakes. The yellow cake actually works better with the ginger flavor. 

The cake has ginger extract and powdered ginger. The buttercream is also tinged with ginger flavor and studded with coconut flakes. I pressed coconut flakes into the side and top of the cake and covered the top with chopped crystalized ginger.  

A perfect dessert for a summer BBQ or party. 

Coconut Ginger Layer Cake
Cook Time:  Prep time: Yield: 12 pieces

For the cake:

  • 21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon  salt 
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 sticks (one cup)  unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure  vanilla extract  
  • 5 eggs 
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

For the coconut ginger buttercream frosting:

  • 2 stick unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 8 cups confectionary sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes, plus a few tablespoons for garnish
  • 1 cup chopped candied ginger


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease and flour 2 8' or 9' cake pans. Set aside.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and ground ginger in a bowl; set aside. 
  • Place the unsalted butter and white granulated sugar in a mixer and cream together until fluffy. 
  • Add the extracts.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well combined into the mixture before adding the next. 
  • Turn the mixer down to low speed and alternately add the combined dry ingredients in thirds alternating with the  buttermilk.
  • Add the coconut flakes and beat until everything is just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. 
  • Let cool in the pans for 15-20 minutes, then de-pan the cakes, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. 

For the coconut ginger buttercream:
  • Place the softened butter in a mixer, add the buttermilk, 3 cups of the powdered sugar and the ginger extract.
  • Beat on low speed until everything is combined. 
  • Mix in the ground ginger.
  • Add the remaining powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
  • If the mixture becomes too thick, thin out with additional buttermilk, adding one tablespoon at a time until the frosting is creamy and spreadable.
  • Beat in the shredded coconut.

Assemble the cake:
  • Use a serrated knife to trim the top of one of the cake layers.
  • Place the trimmed layer on a cake plate or cake stand. 
  • Crumb coat the cake by using an offset spatula to spread a thin layer of  buttercream on the cake completely covering the sides and top. The layer on top should be thick.
  • Gently place the second layer on top and also cover with a very thin layer of buttercream. 
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour.
  • Remove from the fridge and use the remaining buttercream to spread a thick layer of buttercream over the tops and sides.
  • Sprinkle the top of the cake with some coconut flakes.
  • Place the candied ginger on the top of the cake.
  • Cut and serve. 

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