On New Year's Day I declared myself officially sick of cooking. I had no plans of ever preparing food for fun again, but just nine days later I found myself peering into my cupboards searching for something to bake. As is often the case, I was a bit over zealous in my purchasing of holiday baking supplies for December. Now I am the proud owner of random bags of butterscotch and dark chocolate chips, blocks of white melting chocolate, and a plethora of nuts. Not being one to waste, I will put these items to good use in the next few weeks. A bag of freshly grated coconut in the pantry and a few limes in the crisper reminded me of a delicious Lime Coconut Cake that I made last winter, just for the sport of it.
I acquired this recipe from the entertaining and informative blog Smitten Kitchen. The author and creator of this online cooking extravaganza, Deb, briefly declares that Smitten Kitchen is about, "Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City." I learned about Smitten Kitchen and about blogs in general from Martha Stewart on "The Blogging Show" in January of 2009. If I remember correctly, Deb was perched in the front row with her laptop on her knees. She shared about when her post on Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, which I have requested for my birthday on Monday, crashed her server. As soon as the show was over I logged onto smittenkitchen.com and have been drooling over its gorgeous photographs and quality recipes ever since.
This recipe for Lime Coconut Cake is perfectly suited for recreational cooking because it involves zesting, squeezing, whisking, and mixing. It also provides the wonderful aromas of coconut toasting and cake baking. It produces a tender cake that is perfect with a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold milk. The toasted coconut adds flavor and texture when perched atop the gooey citrus icing. My family is so glad that I got my zeal for cooking back and so am I.
Lime Coconut Cake
(closely adapted from Smitten Kitchen which acquired it from Gourmet, March 2009)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest (key limes or standard limes)
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour (or 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 3/4 teaspoon salt + 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder whisked together)
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon coconut rum (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously butter or spray a 9 inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
- Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Toast coconut at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, stirring twice. Cool coconut.
- Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and lime zest with an electric mixer until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Whist together flour and 1/2 cup toasted coconut (reserve remainder for topping).
- Stir together milk and 2 tablespoons lime juice.
- At low speed, mix flour and milk mixtures into egg mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top of cake is slightly golden and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool slightly, then turn out of pan and discard parchment.
- Whisk together confectioners sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice (add more if icing is too thick), and rum (if using) and spread on cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.