Archive for the ‘Layer Cakes’ Category

Lemon Curd Cake

[I could not find this recipe on Martha’s website to link to, although there are lots of recipes for lemon curd, sour cream cakes, and frosting so you could probably poke around there and figure something out.  Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

I love just about anything baked with lemon and this cake is certainly no exception. It’s wonderful.  It’s also very, very lemony. So if you don’t like tartness in general or lemon in particular, you may come to a very different conclusion.

Sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, other cake ingredients. What’s not to love.

The batter was very easy to make and lovely to work with. (This attachment is similar to my mixer paddle that has a flexible blade that will clean the sides of the bowl as you mix.)

And it baked up perfectly! I’m sorry I didn’t get a shot of the baked cakes.

Each of the two cakes is halved, yielding four layers.

Some of that mind-blowing lemon curd goes in between each layer. The curd is the only thing between each layer of cake.

The frosting is a lemon version of the MSBH’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  This frosting – the Swiss Meringue Buttercream – is an absolute dream to work with. Making it gets a little involved but you end up with the fluffiest, creamiest, smoothest, most wonderful frosting.  To make this lemon version, you just add some of the lemon curd and stir it all together.

A crumb layer of frosting is applied and the cake is chilled before the final frosting is applied.

The recipe does not talk about this but once all the frosting was applied, I used a clean offset spatula dipped in hot water to smooth the frosting, making it look a little more “finished.”  I think I learned about this from one of Martha’s baking videos, although I don’t remember exactly. You just lightly drag the wet spatula over the frosting.  Wipe it off before dipping it back in the water but leave it wet to drag across the frosting.

The recipe then instructs you to use the remaining lemon curd to decorate the cake. It says to use a parchment paper piping tool but I knew that would be far, far beyond my ability.  I opted for a plastic Ziploc bag. I think the parchment paper tool would have created better looking decorations, certainly. And I will use one before this project is over. But this cake was not the cake for that, you guys. This cake was not the cake.

The use of layered pieces of parchment paper to shield your cakestand while decorating is a tip I definitely remember getting from one of Martha’s videos and she also mentions it in the MSBH.  It’s so brilliant. You just slip the paper out when finished and voila, the cakestand is clean and tidy without having to transfer the cake from somewhere else.

The decor is amateurish but I still kind of like it.

Per the instructions, you make a double batch of lemon curd for this cake but I had nearly 2 cups leftover. I think you could get away with making just 50% more.  Not that I minded having extra…

Okay, so like I said this cake is amazing. The cake part is moist and delicious, the curd is beyond-a-doubt incredible, and the frosting will knock your socks off. It also looks lovely and held up well for several days.  It is quite lemon-y and I can see some people being overwhelmed by the tartness that comes through in every bite. But those people should just get over it and love this cake for all that it is. Another delightful summer dessert that will surely impress a cookout crowd or picnic companion.

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[I could not find this recipe on Martha’s website to link to.  Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

Okay, so. This is the beautiful layer cake that Martha is presenting in the cover photo of the MSBH.  The results of my first attempt are displayed above. From the top layer up, mine is lovely. The bottom three layers, however, leave a lot to be desired. I don’t know what went awry in the cake baking step of this recipe, but I clearly did something very wrong.

Also, it should be mentioned yet again, I am not so good at the cakes to begin with. In fact, when I finish the “Cakes” chapter of the MSBH, I think I will hold a poll here where people can vote on my “ugliest cake.” There will be some doozies, I guarantee it. This one here may very well be in the running.

You start out with a whole bunch of eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt which is whipped together until thick.

A mixture of flour and cornstarch is added and just mixed in. There is no leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder. Then vegetable oil finishes the batter.

The flour gunked up at the bottom of my whisk and I didn’t notice this until after I had added the vegetable oil. I think this might have been what most adversely affected my cakes. I dug the gunk out and remixed it in as well as I could.

The batter goes into two round pans and then it’s baked.

The cakes baked up beautifully, or so I thought. When I removed them from the oven they were puffy and golden and delightful, although they did smell a little eggy and looked too bubbly.

The cakes quickly deflated like souffles and what remained were weird spongey fungus-looking things.  Hideous!

My morale was even more deflated than the cakes were. I really do feel a bit defeated when things don’t turn out. I hate to waste the ingredients and the time. I especially dislike how much it rattles my confidence to take on the more difficult cake recipes waiting for me later in this project.

These cakes were certainly salvageable, but I wish they had turned out better.

After the cakes cooled, I prepared my berries by washing them and made my whipped cream. The MSBH says you can add the insides of a vanilla bean to the whipped cream if you desire and you should! You should desire to do this! It makes the whipped cream so much better. (I left some of the strawberries with their hulls to use on the top of the cake to make it prettier.)

Okay so now it’s just a matter of assembling the layer cake.  Each round is sliced in half horizontally and one layer is placed on the cake stand.

It’s spread with a quarter of the whipped cream and topped with the berries.

Here’s something I learned: err on the side of using more of the berries rather than less. Really crowd them on there and get them all the way to edge, along with the whipped cream. I didn’t do this on my first layer and it doesn’t look very good. I did do this with subsequent layers and they look much better.

Even though it looks like I used more than enough berries and got my whipped cream close enough to the edge in the photos above and below, I really didn’t.

The next few layers are done in the same manner – whipped cream and berries and cake, whipped cream and berries and cake. Pretty simple.

And then of course the final layer of fruit at the top should look the best.  I found that halving the strawberries and putting several of them down first and then adding different berries a few at a time helped layer them in way that wasn’t too purposeful, but still looked nice. This step took a lot more care and attention than I would have guessed!

Okay, so let us revisit what the final cake looked like. I’d rather not, but let’s.

Pretty wonky. Also very tall and a little unruly. When it came time to slice it, I was just like, “This is not going to end well.”

Honestly, even the perfectly symmetrical version on the cover of the MSBH had to have been a beast to portion into slices. I also found it telling that there is no sliced photo of this cake in the book.

And, lo and behold, slicing made an even bigger mess of an already sloppy cake.

In hindsight, I should have used my angel food cake knife to slice it rather than a regular thin chef’s knife.  I really do think that would have helped avoid the cake smooshing down on itself.

One thing I definitely concluded after slicing and then eating some of this cake is that if you’re planning on serving it at a cookout or picnic (which I was until I realized what a nightmare it would have been) it should just be constructed as a trifle. Just cube or tear the cake into pieces and layer with the berries and whipped cream.

Granted, if this is baked and assembled well, it would be darn impressive. But a trifle would taste exactly the same and be so much easier to contain, transport, and serve – not to mention a lot faster. So that’s something to keep in mind.

The taste is quite good, but how can you go wrong with fresh berries and vanilla bean whipped cream in the summer??? The cake texture and flavor is lovely, even my ill-fated results. It’s velvety and vanilla-y and ideally complements the whipped cream and fruit. Indeed, the major flavor comes from the berries in every bite. Perfect for summer and utterly delicious.

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Pull up a chair, this is going to take a while.

Okay, so, this is basically a layer cake just with lots of layers of frosting and cake.  And then some decorative caramel candy stuff stuck on.  That said, the process to making this thing is very involved, with a ton of steps, and after making it I can absolutely understand calling it something fancy like “torte.”  After drudging through all this, I definitely would have been disappointed with just “cake.”  I can also see why it’s under the “Special Occassion Cakes” section of the MSBH – you wouldn’t want to spend all this time and effort on just an everyday cake.

You start, however, with a pretty simple cake batter (flour, leavening, salt, sugar, milk).

You lighten (and futher leaven) the batter with eggs whites, beaten with sugar to soft peaks.  I got a small bowl & whisk attachment for my standing mixer, as the regular bowl is too large to allow the mixer to adequately beat eggs whites.  I’m really happy with it.

I used this smaller bowl and whisk to beat my egg whites.

This is gently folded into the cake batter.

And this batter is divided amongst three 8-inch cake pans and then the cakes are baked.  I hated the smell of the cakes baking – extremely egg-y smelling, like tons and tons of eggs cooking in my house.  I actually gagged several times. (These are my favorite cake pans and I prefer these cake liners.)

My cakes baked in a funky way, with super dark edges, so I had to trim them off.

Luckily, the baked cakes do not taste like cooked eggs – they have a very light, sweet, creamy flavor.

Then the three cakes are cut into three even layers (each).  This can seem daunting but it’s not altogether difficult.  The MSBH has good tips for doing this using a serrated knife and toothpicks.  You can also use a “cake leveler” – a simple tool you can find at most craft or food stores.

This one is by Wilton and cost just a few bucks.  It has a thin wire on a metal brace.  The brace’s legs have notches so you can adjust the height of the wire (thus the thickness of the layer you’re slicing).

The theory is a lot like that behind the wires that are used to cut big hunks of cheese or sausage – you run the thin wire through the cake achieving a a smooth cut.  I use a long, smooth, back-and-forth motion as I guide the leveler across the counter.  Pretty easy!

The slices are fairly thin and (ideally) level.

In the end, you have nine layers of cake.  I’ll say right here that it took four hours from the start of getting my ingredients together to the end of wrapping the sliced cake layers for assembly the next day.  Some of that time (about an hour) is for baking and cooling and and cleaning, but my point is: this is a very labor-intensive recipe.  You’re doing a lot a different steps, requiring major use of your standing mixer. (By the way, if you can do this with a hand-held mixer (or entirely by hand – no electric mixer!) then you are my hero and probably have extraordinary upper-body strength and a sense of determination unparalleled by others.)

So anyhow, I split the project up into two days – the cake day and then the frostings & decoration day.

On day two, I made the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream which is a variation of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  As with the base recipe, you start with egg whites and sugar cooked to 160°F in a double boiler.

I also used this time to melt some bittersweet chocolate for the frosting, also done with a double boiler.

The cooked egg white/sugar mixture is then beat (I used the same small bowl and whisk mentioned above) to stiff peaks.

Then a bunch of butter is gradually mixed in (I changed to the large bowl and paddle attachment at that point) and then the melted chocolate.  The mixer beats it all into this gorgeous, creamy, fluffy, chocolate buttercream frosting.

Some unsweetened heavy cream is whipped (again, I used that small bowl and whisk attachment!) and folded in to some of the chocolate frosting.  This will be the frosting between layers of cake.

And then it’s a matter of assembling the cake.  A thin layer of cake is topped with a dollop of frosting and spread evenly.  Repeat nine times.

Once you’re done with the layers, you apply a crumb coat of frosting and allow the cake to chill completely in the refrigerator.  You may notice my cake leaves a lot to be desired in both balance and straightness.  Welcome to my life in the world of cakes.

While the cake was chilling, I got together my stuff for the caramel dots and sticks that garnish the cake. (You can find SILPAT mats here.)

Long-time readers will be familiar with my  troubles with caramel.  Sadly, this post will offer no signs of improvement.  I followed the directions precisely (and even avoided distraction by not taking pictures) but my caramel was a flop.

The recipe instructs to “immediately” remove the caramel from heat when turns “light golden around the edges, about 8 minutes.”  I so did exactly this! It was both “lightly golden” and “8 minutes” had passed! And then I did everything else the recipe instructed, but my caramel was nowhere near as dark as that in the MSBH’s photos and my resulting dots and sticks look really anemic and awful. Not to mention looking not much like dots and sticks.

I then finished frosting the cake with the remaining frosting.

At this point you are instructed to decorate the top and sides of the cake with the caramel dots and sticks.  This would make it so hard to slice, however!  Right?  Seemed fairly ridiculous, although presentation-over-practicality seems par for the course in the land of Dobos Tortes.

I opted to place the caramel garnishes on after slicing.  And finally, I was done.

The second day took me another good four hours, so all-told this recipe is an eight-hour affair unless you’re very organized and a pro at assembling and frosting cakes (admittedly, I am a bit of a lagger in this area).  Eight hours for a cake?  It looks pretty and tastes good, but I don’t know if it’s that good.

You don’t really taste the cake at all – it’s completely drowned out by the frosting.  That’s alright though, it’s damn fine frosting!  But I think you could use a much easier cake recipe with less steps and the end result would be fine.  The frosting is well-worth the effort; I don’t think you could achieve the same soft, fluffy texture and pure-chocolate flavor with anything other than a swiss meringue.

The caramel dots and sticks are a total pass for me – even if they had turned out darker and more caramel-y, and even though they are traditional for the Dobos Torte, I would have been happier with dark chocolate discs and sticks or something like that.

It would take me several tries to get a torte that looks as perfect as the one featured in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.  It’s truly is something to behold.  Mine definitely looks… amateurish in comparison, to say the least!

But overall, delicious!

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Okay, two things:  1)  There is no caramel where there should be caramel on my Banana Caramel Cake, and 2)  I don’t even care.  More on that later!

So, super great cake!  This is one of the recipes I did before, photographed, and then my memory card decided to go all FUBAR and I lost the footage.  So I had to make it again, that is how committed I am to this blog.

No problem, though, as I needed a cake for a dinner party I was attending (start a baking blog and suddenly you’re the one bringing dessert to every shindig you’re invited to) and per the hosts, that cake could not have nuts, chocolate, or booze in it.  This Banana Caramel Cake with Mascarpone frosting fits the bill.

The cake part of this recipe is super easy – it’s like a cross between banana bread and a simple milk-eggs-and-butter cake recipe.  The bananas and other wet ingredients are folded into the creamed ingredients by hand.

And that all goes into two buttered-and-floured round cake pans.

They bake up nicely.  I did adjust my recipe for altitude (I’m at 7,200 ft above sea level) by increasing the oven temperature by 25°F and adding another 3T of flour to the dry ingredients.  And because I think they’re awesome, I used my evenbake cake strips to ensure the sides didn’t burn.  All went off without a hitch.

The cakes then cool completely.

I trimmed the tops so the two cakes were even.

The cake is now ready for its middle layer, which is sliced bananas cooked in caramel.  The caramel is simply cooked sugar.

The sugar melts down and turns a golden amber and then the banana slices go in to cook a while on each side.  Through trial-and-error I learned that thicker slices are better.  Like, maybe try to get three slices from each banana.

Once cooked, the banana slices are transferred directly onto the bottom cake layer.  Some of my bananas fell apart (they get really soft and fragile upon cooking) but overall it was an easy process.  In the future I might add a couple extra sliced bananas to that layer – it’s just so good!

The frosting is a simple and light mascarpone frosting that comes together very easily in the mixer.

The resulting frosting is incredibly light and smooth, almost the exact consistency of thick whipped cream.

The second cake layer is placed on top of the banana layer and then I applied a crumb layer of frosting.  The mascarpone frosting was so easy to work with – I love it.

Then it’s just a matter of frosting the cake.  There is a lot of frosting from this recipe, but I recommend using it all – just keeping putting it on there and evening it out.  The frosting is barely sweet – it doesn’t have much of a flavor at all other than a very subtle tang from the mascarpone – so you can use a lot and not worry about it overpowering the cake.  In fact, I think you need a lot of it to help moisten the bite of the cake and to brighten the deep flavor of the caramelized bananas.

Once the cake is frosted, it’s finished by drizzling with a caramel sauce.  This is made by cooking up some caramel.  Easier said than done.  I followed the recipe twice and both times, everything went well until the caramel started cooling.  Once it started to cool, it became and thick, tar-like mess that in no way could be “drizzled” upon a cake.

I will most like make this cake again but I will opt to use a purchase caramel sauce to drizzle on top.  The cake definitely needs something to decorate the stark whiteness, but the MSBH caramel is way too finicky for me bother with it again.

I didn’t have any store-bought caramel sauce on-hand so this cake remained bare.  We hardly missed it however, because the cake itself is such a knockout.

Seriously, this cake is wonderful.  The cake is moist and tastes like a light, fluffy banana bread.  The banana layer is the star – it has rich, deep caramel flavor and the bananas themselves taste really intense.  The frosting is the perfect match for both the cake and the caramelized bananas – it’s light, fluffy, soft, with little sour-sweet kick from the mascarpone and powdered sugar.

The cake keeps very well in the fridge.  It was a huge hit at the dinner – almost everyone wanted the recipe.  Another win for the MSBH!

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This is a fun recipe with really spectacular results.  Especially if you are looking for a dessert that isn’t too sweet – not sweet at all, actually, but certainly delicious.

Apples are everywhere right now, including the elusive McIntoshes that don’t make an appearance in Laramie at any other time of year.

I always wash fruits and vegetables in a citrus wash, even if I end up peeling them.  I don’t know why I do this, but I cannot not do it.  Just one of my many needless habits.

The apples are used to make a caramel-y applesauce that will go into the cake batter.  A simple caramel is cooked on the stovetop (the MSBH has clear instructions on how to do this and if you make enough of the MSBH’s recipes, you make A LOT of caramel on the stovetop).

And then the chopped McIntosh apples and some lemon juice are added.

This cooks until the apples disintegrate, leaving you with a very rich, golden applesauce.

The batter itself is very straightforward, and this recipe is closely related to the Spiced Pear Bundt Cake I made last year.  Once ready, it’s portioned among three 6″ round baking pans.

I bought these cake pan wraps at a kitchen store some time ago and finally remembered to use them.  They are fabric wraps with velcro fasteners that fit around the pans and are meant to keep the edges of the cakes from becoming hard and tough.

I have no clue as to how they work – they are “aluminized fabric” and you soak them in water before wrapping the pans.

I only had two strips so one of my pans baked without them.  In the end, the strips really did what they were supposed to do – the two cakes baked with the strips came out with smooth, soft edges whereas the cake that baked without them took about 7 minutes longer to bake and came out with hard, crusty edges and an uneven top.  So hooray for good things.

I did adjust the leavening and flour levels for altitude and was happy with the results – no more fallen cakes.

I then cut the tops of each of the cakes to make them all the same height (2 inches) and as level as possible.

The frosting is so simple yet unique – goat cheese, cream cheese, and confectioner’s sugar.  That’s it, but it’s such a nice change.  And it’s all just whipped together in the mixer.

I made it the night before and stored it in the refrigerator.  I let it warm up a bit and mixed it again at high speed for a minute before using and I had no problems.

This is a very tall cake and so I didn’t even bother beginning with my cake stand.  I just put it on a plate as I began to frost it.

Super easy cake to frost, as the sides are left bare.  (This means that any imperfection in the sides of the cake will show, however.)  Because each layer is so heavy and tall, I recommend frosting each top before placing it on the layer below.

The frosting is quite thick but fairly easy to work with.  Mine didn’t “ooze” at all, even at room temperature.

Once assembled, the cake is done all but for the decorative “Caramelized Lady Apples.”

Now, I am posting the MSBH photo and recipe for this garnish here because it had me absolutely perplexed.  First, here is the photo of the cake in the MSBH:

You can’t really tell, but that’s the top of the cake with the white Goat Cheese Frosting and three Lady Apple slices drenched in caramel goodness.

Now, here is the recipe that is supposed to instruct you how to make this delightful garnish (click to enlarge):

I read that recipe several times and while it tells you most everything you need to know, I think the editors really dropped the ball on a few things.  Minor oversights, but oversights nonetheless. Or am I just completely reading this wrong?  How in the WORLD would two halved lady apples cooked cut-side down result in the garnish pictured in the book?  What am I missing?

Instead of “halving” the lady apples, I cut them into discs.

I left the peel on, because it’s a fantastic shade of pink and would bring at least a tiny amount of color to an otherwise beige dessert.

Then I cooked them, per the recipe, in the caramel, flipping them over half-way through.

Then off to dry on a piece of parchment.  (I poured the remaining caramel over a whole apple – bonus caramel apple, I win!)

The apple discs remain rather soft and leathery (mine did, anyhow) but really add a lot to the cake.  They taste good too – just like a caramel apple.

And there you have it!  An Apple Spice Layer Cake with Creamy Goat Cheese Frosting and Caramelized Lady Apples!

I thought slicing it would be a nightmare but it was actually super easy.  I did use an angelfood cake knife which I think contributed a great deal to the ease of slicing this tall, narrow cake.  I also cut the slice fairly large, rather than cutting thin slices, and we just shared.

As for flavor, the cake itself is delicious – a perfect apple spice cake recipe to have at your disposal.  If in a hurry you could use store-bought applesauce instead of cooking it yourself, but the homemade sauce really brings a lot of rich, fruity, burnt-sugar flavor to the cake.  Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice are used perfectly.

The frosting is very creamy with a super tangy punch and not at all sweet.  You can hardly taste the sugar – not sweet at all (did I mention it’s not sweet?) and is a perfect match to the moist, fluffy, earthy apple spice cake.

Like I mentioned above, this is a perfect cake for people who don’t like sweet things.  And it’s also perfect for autumn.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.

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This is the first cake recipe in the Cakes section of the MSBH.  I’m not a big fan of yellow cake, or of chocolate frosting for that matter, but as far as these two things go, this recipe is pretty top-notch.  I mean, I’ll still probably never make this recipe again for myself, but if you need a basic yellow cake with a basic chocolate frosting, you can’t do much better than this version here.

The cake recipe itself is a bit more involved than a box mix, but not by much.  The cakes baked up really well with little fuss.

One complaint: the cakes developed a really thick crust on the edges.

So once the cakes are baked and cooled, it’s all about the Dark Chocolate Frosting.  There’s a heapload of semi-sweet chocolate, and more-than-adequate levels of sugar and butter.

Tragedy struck when my canister of powdered sugar fell to the floor.  Not only did I have a huge mess to clean up, but I had to make a special trip to the store for powdered sugar.  I hate when stuff like that happens.  It totally throws off my groove.

So a few hours later, back in in the kitchen, ready to finish the frosting…

It goes without saying, this frosting is not really a health food!  The butter, sugar, and other bad-for-you ingredients are mixed with melted semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder – it is very, very chocolate-y. It is also very smooth, pretty, and easy to work with.  If you like chocolate frosting, truly, you can’t do much better than this recipe.

And then the cake is assembled and frosted.  I am so bad at frosting cakes!  I need to take some sort of class.

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I have no idea why I chose this cake to make last week when I wandered into the kitchen in the mood to bake.  Of all the cake recipes in the MSBH (and there are many I have left to do), this seemed the least desireable to my particular palate.  But I am a convert now!  This cake is awesome.

The cake is a pretty basic cake recipe that contains both shredded coconut (finely chopped in a food processor and stirred in with the dry ingredients) and unsweetened coconut milk instead of regular milk or buttermilk.  In fact, this would be a perfect cake for people with dairy allergies because there is no dairy in the cake or in the frosting.

The cake is supposed to be baked in two 9-inch square cake pans.  I only have 8-inch pans and I should have held back some of the batter, but didn’t.  The cake still baked up just fine, but I should have trimmed more off when leveling the two cakes.  Oh well, I’ll know better next time.

The Seven-Minute Frosting recommended for this recipe involves cooking water, egg whites, sugar, and light corn syrup over a double boiler.  I’ve never taken this approach to frosting before.

The recipe indicating bringing the ingredients up to 160°F but I noticed that the egg whites starting cooking (coming together in little white cooked blobs) at about 140°F so I took it off the heat then.  This may have actually been 160 (or higher) as I haven’t calibrated my thermometer in a long time, if I even did it at all.  In any event, I used a slotted spoon to scoop out the cooked bits before transferring the bowl to the mixer.

It takes about two minutes to cook the frosting ingredients and then they’re mixed on high-speed with a whisk attachment for five minutes, hence “seven-minute frosting.” The mixing process increases the volume of the frosting exponentially.  It smells a lot like cooked eggs while being whisked but you add some vanilla at the end which solves that problem altogether.  The resulting frosting is AMAZING: light and glossy, a very subtle vanilla-y sweetness, doesn’t leave any sort of nasty, cloyingly sweet aftertaste like so many frostings do.

Here’s the first cake layer with a layer of frosting.  I went way overboard and should have used about half the amount here!

Then the top layer.  I really just took this picture because it looks like a giant fluffernutter sandwich.  I’ve never had a fluffernutter sandwich – something about marshmallow and peanut butter sounds disgusting to me.

Then a crumb layer:

Then finally the frosting goes on the whole cake.  I hate doing this sort of thing and the Seven-Minute Frosting wasn’t altogether easy to work with.  It starts to liquify as it warms up so I was working quickly.  I do love the glossy waves that result from swooping the offset spatula through the frosting.

The MSBH recipe for the Coconut Cake instructs you to make coconut curls from an actual coconut, the same way you do for the Coconut Cream Pie.  Since I’ve been-there and done-that and decided it was a million times more work than it was worth, I opted to just sprinkle the top with shredded coconut and call it good.

The coconut milk in the cake itself makes the cake very rich and moist and the coconut flavor is so prominent that you don’t really need a flavored frosting (or even the coconut curls or shredded coconut on the frosting).  The main thing I learned is that less is more with both the cake and the frosting – my cake would have been much prettier and much tastier if I had thinner cake layers and been a bit more conservative with the frosting.

All in all, however, I love this cake and will make it again.

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