Layered Coconut Cake
1 cup butter, room temp (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons good quality vanilla (anything from Madagascar is awesome!)
3 cups cake flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sweetened, dessicated (shredded) coconut
Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the surface of the parchment paper as well. Lightly sift flour all over the sides and bottoms of the pans before tapping out any excess. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift the cake flour before adding the baking powder and sea salt. Whisk the three dry ingredients together and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer place the softened butter. Cream the butter on low speed, gradually increasing to medium speed. Once light and fluffy, add the sugar; beat until light and fluffy (this should take about 3 minutes or less). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix for an additional minute.
With the mixer on medium-low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide the batter between the 3 buttered/floured pans. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until ever-so-lightly browned on top. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for ten minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and continue to allow them to cool on the wire rack.
Once cooled, place one cake on a cake plate and start layering. I started with the lemon curd, toasted coconut and then frosting, repeated each time.
Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8-ounce packages Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon good-quality vanilla extract
2+ cups powdered sugar
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese at high speed until light, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the confectioners’ sugar; beat at low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.