Coconut cakes are among my favorite layer cakes for birthdays or other special occasions. The contrast in textures between the cake, filling, frosting & grated coconut can be varied depending on your tastes. Many of us like uncomplicated coconut cakes with nothing but the flavor of this fruit (or nut, or seed, depending on how you classify it) shining through. There are times when only this type of cake will do. I love them. I love making them. I also love enhancing cakes with complementary flavors whenever possible, because it can be fun and unexpected for the lucky recipient.
Orange pairs beautifully with coconut and this particular cake gets plenty of it in the filling and icing. A silky Orange Curd is sandwiched between two scrumptious Coconut Cake Layers ,which are then swathed in fluffy, Orange Seven Minute Frosting. Generously sprinkled with thick shavings of unsweetened coconut, the cake is every bit as delicious as it looks. It's very easy to assemble and is perfect for a birthday, a dinner party or a weekend luncheon.
Coconut Cake with Orange Curd
~ This cake was made for aunt Marg's birthday. ~
Coconut Cake: The Components
3/4 cups Orange Curd
3 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
Before icing the cake, place 4 strips of wax paper or parchment paper on your cake stand, pedestal or plate to keep it free of frosting while decorating. Arrange 1 Coconut Cake Layer centered on the stand, either face up or face down. If your layers are slightly domed, you can trim them to make them level.
Place 1 cup of the Orange Seven Minute Frosting all around the perimeter of the first layer; you're building a damn. I gather a bit of icing with a metal offset spatula and release it along the edge. The icing behaves beautifully, so it won't slide off.
Fill the layer with the 3/4 cups of Orange Curd and smooth it out.
Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of the coconut flakes over the layer. This step is completely optional, but I like the contrast in texture & flavor.
Carefully arrange the second cake layer over the first & center it. The orange curd will anchor the layers, while the seven minute frosting will keep the curd itself from spilling down the sides.
Quickly frost the layers with the remaining seven minute frosting. You don't need to be too careful or professional at this point, because the coconut flakes are going to cover everything.
Place the cake stand over a rimmed baking sheet.
Carefully begin packing in the coconut flakes all around the top & sides of the cake. If you encounter any big clumps of coconut, simply break them apart before adding them to the icing. The rimmed baking sheet will keep any stray flakes from going all over your countertop.
Let the frosting set for about 10 minutes before removing the strips of waxed paper. What you'll end up with is a perfectly iced cake and a perfectly clean cake stand.
The cake will keep on your counter for several hours.
Slicing into the cake reveals all that sweet goodness.
Although I think this cake is best eaten the day it's assembled, leftovers will keep for a day in the refrigerator, tightly covered. The cake layers themselves can be made a day in advance or even frozen (well-wrapped) for up to a month. The orange curd can also be made a few days ahead, leaving only the simple Seven Minute Frosting to make the day of your celebration. Assembling the cake, as you just saw, is quick and easy. Make my Coconut Cake with Orange Curd, the next time you want to mark a special occasion with something sweet & delicious. Bon Appetit!