Coconut Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Whether you're craving a tropical flavor or decadent dessert, even if you don't yet know you have such a craving, this three-layered Coconut Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream is sure to satisfy! The simple white cake stacked on heaping layers of 'fancy frosting' remains light and fluffy with each bite. The sweetened flakes within the batter suggests what its coconut flaked exterior provides: a deliciously classic coconut cake. This was another dessert eaten up in less than 24 hours, so be sure to save a slice for later if you want seconds! Enjoy!!

Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: ~1hr 45min

White Cake
1/2 Cup Butter, unsalted, softened
1/2 Cup Sugar, granulated
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
3 Eggs
2 Egg Whites
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
(or Coconut Extract or Lemon Juice)
3 Cups Cake Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes
Salt, pinch

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
6 Egg Whites
1 Cup Sugar, Granulated
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Cups Butter, unsalted, softened
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
(or Coconut Extract)
Salt, pinch
1 to 1 1/2 Cups Sweetened Coconut Flakes, for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cake LayersCream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and add into the mixture. Fold in the sweetened coconut flakes until well-integrated. Grease and flour two 9” baking rounds. Fill each to a bit more than halfway, and put the excess into only one of the pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until inserted knife comes out clean. Allow to cool completely by removing to a cooling rack. 

Note - if your oven bakes at a high heat, as mine does, lower the temperature prior to baking or shave the edges of the cake after they are chilled if desiring a clean-white finish.

Swiss Meringue ButtercreamDissolve the sugar in the egg whites in a double boiler on low heat. Remove from the heat and whip until until a light and fluffy meringue forms (i.e., soft peaks). Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar at a time, until reach desired sweetness. Fold in the vanilla extract and salt, and softened butter 1/2 cup at a time until the frosting is cohesive. Refrigerate until needed, but no longer than a half hour.

To Frost
  1. Chill both cake layers until firm. 
  2. Cut the taller cake layer directly in half to create the bottom and top layers of the cake.
  3. Prepare the second cake layer by slicing off the rounded top and shaving its bottom.
  4. On a serving plate, spread 2/3 cup frosting from the bottom layer's center to ~1/4" of the edge.
  5. Lightly press the middle layer and frost again.
  6. Lightly press the top layer and apply a crumb coat by scraping a thin layer of frosting around the entirety of the cake. Chill for 20 - 30 minutes, until the frosting is firm. 
  7. Frost the remainder of the cake to desired thickness. 
  8. Sprinkle the coconut around the entirety of the cake, only lightly pressing into the buttercream.

Note - the cake can be served chilled or room temperature, but slicing may be easier when the cake is chilled.

Nutrition Info (1 serving): (Coming Soon!!) 
Calories , Total Fat: g, Sat. Fat: g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: mg, Carb: g, Fiber: g, Sugars: g, Protein: g