(I do not take credit for this title. This title is 100% the brainchild of my boyfriend)

Sometimes a girl just has to do something with her hands to keep her mind from scattering. I felt this way on Saturday, and so I decided the best thing for me was to make this complicated coconut layer cake I found in Saveur (again, I should just change the name of this blog to "shit I made from Saveur"). It includes my variations.

This recipe is apparently from a Southern Baptist grandmother from Mississippi. And the way I hear it, these are the finest recipes you can get. In the South, women used to make these cakes every Sunday as a matter of course. Personally, this cake took me 6 hours. I'm sure this cake is like perogies: the more you do it, the faster it gets, but still.

One of the things I love about my grandmothers and my great-grandmothers and studying history in general is that I love to see the way they filled their days. And I can think of no better way to fill your day than making this complicated cake, made with butter and sugar and an obscene amount of eggs and lots and lots of love:

Coconut Layer Cake
For the cake:

16 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
5 eggs

For the frosting:

6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh coconut water
2-3 cups toasted coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 350. Place coconut flakes on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Butter and flour two round cake pans, about 9" each. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, set aside. Whisk together buttermilk and vanilla in a bowl, set aside. In a bowl or a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 mins. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high, and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds. Divide batter between prepared pans, and smooth top with a rubber spatula, drop pans lightly on a counter to expel large air bubbles. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 mins, invert onto wire racks and let cool completely. Using a serrated knife, halve each cake horizontally, producing four layers, set aside.

Please note this cake should have four layers, but I only had three because I royally fucked up the slicing of the first layer, which resulted in Stella doing this:

Facecouch? Whatever you wanna call it, I got the message loud and clear.

Make the frosting: Place egg whites and salt in a bowl and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, add sugar a little at a time. Add vanilla and increase speed to high, beat until meringue forms stiff peaks.

To assemble, place one layer on a cake stand drizzle with 3 tbsp coconut water, spread with frosting, and sprinkle the top with toasted coconut. Repeat until all layers are assembled. Cover the entire top and sides of cake with the meringue frosting and sprinkle all sides with the toasted coconut. Serve cooled or at room temperature.

Oh yes please:

This was delicious, a perfect thing to do with idle hands, and incredibly huge. I took most of it to work, cut off huge slabs for everyone else I know, and still had so much left I threw away about 2 slices. But worth it. So, so worth it.


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