Triple Coconut Layer Cake with 7-Minute Frosting

“Never discard anything without saying thank you and good-bye. …
Tidying is the act of confronting yourself. …
We can only transform our lives if we sincerely want to. …
Anxiety arises from not being able to see the whole picture. ..
Follow your intuition and all will be well. …
Tidying orders and relaxes the mind.” Marie Kondo

Long before Marie Kondo was a sensational tidying-up phenemonon, we have been steadily purging our home of the accumulating stuff of life.  Where she has been most helpful to us has been in the editing of books.  Books are one of my life’s greatest passions and I have a hard time giving them up.  Armed with Marie’s promise of sparking joy by keeping only meaningful tomes, I have been donating piles and piles of books to the library, Goodwill and friends.  I had however a secret cupboard of special cookbooks that didn’t get culled.  A rebellious hold-out of sorts.  I just couldn’t part with these books.  One of them was Martha Stewart’s classic “Entertaining” book which I’ve had since 1989!  Although I haven’t made anything from it in YEARS(Marie’s voice is nagging me!), it is the book from which I learned to cook.  Many legendary dinner parties were inspired from its pages.  It is what led many to dub me Martha Stewart back in the day.  So in order for Prince Charming not to KonMari my cookbook stash, I justified its existence by finding a dessert recipe for a potluck in its well-worn, stained pages. This old-fashioned coconut cake won me over.  I had never tried a boiled 7 minute frosting back in its popularity days.  It was a fluffly, delicious concoction in a marshmallow-fluff sort-of consistency.  The cake sparked joy to all who enjoyed it, including its baker and Prince Charming.  Step away from the book stash,  Marie. The cookbook is, for now, staying!

Doesn’t the cake look like a giant snowball on our January iced over patio table? The pretty branch is from our beloved witch hazel tree blooming in the winter garden.

Triple Coconut Layer Cake with 7-Minute Frosting

Adapted from Martha Stewart

For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk(can use plain milk)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites

For the frosting:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup roasted coconut chips(Trader Joe’s)(Optional)

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter and flour three 8-inch circular cake pans. Scald the coconut milk and pour over the coconut.  Let steep and cool while you prepare the batter.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla.  Mix the flour with the salt and baking powder.  Strain the milk from the coconut.  Start adding the flour mixture to the batter, alternating it with the milk in about 3 parts.  Add the coconut and mix well.
  3. Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff.  Fold gently into the batter.  Divide equally in the 3 prepared pans.  Bake 20 minutes in the middle of the oven or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Check it after 15 minutes.
  4. Cool completely before frosting.

For the icing:

  1. Place 3 egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler over rapidly boiling water.  Beat with a hand mixer for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat, add vanilla and keep beating until fluffly and glossy.  Spread icing between layers, adding a sprinkling of coconut over each layer.  Spread the rest of the icing on top and on the sides of the cake with a spatula.  Sprinkle coconut along the sides and on the top of the cake.  If using the coconut chips, place in the center of the cake top.