Two recipesHere are two recipes that were tested and proven (not by me) to be very good coconut cakes.
Fresh Coconut Cake (Susan Purdy)(yields 7 1/2 cups batter, one 4 layer 9" cake)
1 fresh coconut ( to yield 1 cup fresh coconut liquid and 2 cups firmly packed grated fresh coconut meat - 1 cup for cake, 1 cup for the icing)
3 cups sifted cake flour
3 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large egg whites
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
The Icing is a double recipe of Boiled icing - coconut flavor, to which you add 1 cup freshly grated coconut.
Prepare the coconut as described, piercing the eyes with a screw driver, and reserving the strained coconut liquid for the cake. If you do not have a full cup of liquid, make up the difference with milk or cream.
Bake the whole coconut at 350 F for about 30 minutes, then crack the shell with a hammer, break off the shell, and use a veggie peeler to take off the brown skin. Break up the meat and grate it in small batches in a blender or a food processor.
Prepare 2 - 9" baking pans with butter and flour. Position rack in lower third of the oven, and preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. Set them aside.
In the medium sized bowl of the mixer, whip egg whites until stiff but not dry. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and scrape the beaters into the bowl. without washing the beaters, return them to the mixer.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until completely blended to a smooth granular paste. Add a little of the flour mixture and a little of coconut liquid and beat on slow speed just to blend , this works well by hand, too. Continue alternately adding a little of the flour then the coconut liquid, blending after each addition, ending with the flour. Stir in the vanilla and 1 cup of the whipped egg whites, just to lighten the batter.
With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped whites over onto themselves once or twice to make sure they are amalgamated. With a light touch, fold the egg whites into the batter in several additions. Spread 1 cup grated coconut onto a piece of wax paper and crumble it to break up any clumps. Gradually sprinkle the coconut onto the cake batter, and fold it in.
Place batter into prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the cake tops look golden brown, start to pull away from the edges, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans, then place unmolded layers on the rack to cool completely.
Joni's recipe from Epicurious
Coconut cake from the Shubox Cafe
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lépez)
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl to blend.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and sweetened,cream of coconut in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients and then buttermilk, each just until blended.
Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites with pinch of salt in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.
Divide cake batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.