When I asked my brother in law Bob what cake he would most want for the upcoming California wedding reception of his daughter he said “white cake with pink frosting” to which I immediately responded “BORING!” – but as I thought about it more and how he described this combination reminding him of convenience store treats of his youth, like Grandma’s Cookies, Hostess Zingers and Snowballs I was inspired! I decided to make a white coconut cake, with this coconut frosting I usually put on chocolate cake then just smother it in coconut flakes so it has the effect of a hostess treat, but with homemade goodness. The result was a resounding success, people went nuts for it! And just to make life easy I was able to doctor a cake mix for the cake and it was honestly so perfectly moist, bouncy and delicious I’m glad I didn’t make the cake totally from scratch. I used some pink dye just for Bobby J, but this would be extra pretty keeping all ingredients white as well, do what makes you feel good.
For the Cake:
1 package white cake mix (I used pillsbury, but any should work)
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons warm water
3 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
For the Frosting:
16 ounces or 1 box powdered sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup butter
4 ounces cream cheese cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon coconut
1 drop red or pink food coloring if using
3 cups shredded coconut (I mix normal sweetened coconut with unsweetened wide flake coconut I buy from Sprouts because I think it’s so pretty)
- Preheat oven to 350 – spray or parchment line two 9 inch baking pans. I spray and parchment line because I’m careful like that, but do what works for you. It’s also a good time to get out your cream cheese and butter for the frosting so they can come to room temperature.
- Mix sour cream, oil, water, extracts and eggs one at a time making sure they are all incorporated, then add cake mix and mix for a few minutes making a consistent batter.
- Pour into your prepared cake pans trying to get them as even as possible (I put them on a scale but that’s because I’m a dessert blogger and want my business to look legit – you could probably eye ball it and get close enough to even). Bake for about 25-28 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the cakes are risen and browned nicely. Let cool 5-10 minutes then turn out of pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the frosting, mix together the cream cheese, butter and boiling water then start to slowly add the powdered sugar making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, last mix in the coconut extract. Put your frosting in the fridge to get it a little thickened for 20 minutes or so.
- To frost, cut the round top off your bottom layer, then turn, cut side down onto a cake board or plate. Pile a big glop of frosting onto this layer and spread out being sure to only touch your frosting spatula to the frosting and never to cake, just to the ends. Next even out your next layer by cutting the round top then plop that on top of your frosted layer cut side down. Put most of your frosting on top of the cake and spread out slowly – being careful to only touch the frosting and not the cake so you don’t pull up crumbs. If you do, wash off our spatula and get more frosting to cover, there will be some left over. Spread the top so it goes past the border of the cake then take frosting and scoop it on to your spreading spatula as you go along the sides turning your cake so you get a nice even layer all around the sides. Last do a nice back and forth or a circular swirl on top then before it hardens press your coconut into the top and sides of the cake. It’s helpful to have something under it so clean-up is easier. Serve at room temperature – keeps for a good 3 days or more if you keep it covered.