My husband doesn’t have as strong a sweet tooth as I do. Whenever I make something like cookies, he’s satisfied with one cookie whereas I want to have three, at least, plus I usually will lick the bowl of cookie dough clean. So when it came time to make him something special for his birthday last week, I wanted it to be something he would love.

Steve likes coconut.

Coconut Milk

And lime.

Limes

They are some of his favorite flavors. I came across a recipe for an “outrageous” coconut-cream cake in one of my food magazines and I knew I was on the right track. But I thought adding some lime to the cake would make it amazing. I’ve often made lemon curd and I have a recipe that I absolutely love. I swapped the lemons for limes and the lime curd was delicious, both sweet and tart, and incredibly fresh.

The coconut flavor didn’t come through as strongly as I would have liked, but I didn’t mind so much, the overall cake didn’t suffer for it. Still, next time I might play with the amount of coconut milk included in the batter. I frosted the coconut cake filled with lime curd with what is called a seven-minute icing. It’s not that different from meringue, basically just sugar and egg whites. But they’re whipped over simmering water, cooking the egg whites and creating a light, fluffy and marshmallowy icing. It’s divine and it paired very well with this cake. Oh, and it’s fat-free.

The whole cake came together beautifully and was completely delicious. We served the cake at a birthday party held in Steve’s honor and the cake was very well received. Lucky for Steve and I, the cake wasn’t completely devoured at the party. We’ve been enjoying the leftovers all week.

Coconut-Cream Cake
From Fine Cooking Magazine
Makes one triple layer 9 inch cake

1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
3 cups All-purpose Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Sugar
2 large Eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream,
6 large Egg Whites, at room temperature

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, mix the coconut milk with the vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Add half of the coconut mixture and mix until incorporated. Continue adding the flour mixture and coconut milk, alternating the two and ending with the flour. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Pour the batter into a large bowl.

After cleaning the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the eggs whites on high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, gently stir a large spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to loosen it, and then fold the remaining whites gently into the batter.

Divide the cake batter evenly among three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans lined with parchment paper. Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack, staggering so that no pan is directly over another. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then invert the cakes onto racks to cool completely.

Lime Curd
From the Cake Art
Makes approximately 3 cups

1 cup Fresh Lime Juice
1 tablespoon Lime Zest
1 cups of Unsalted Butter, divided
1 cup Sugar, divided
10 large Egg Yolks

Bring the lime juice, lime zest, half the sugar, and half the butter to a boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining half of the sugar together in a bowl. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Temper one-third of the boiling liquid into the egg yolks, slowly and small spoonfuls at a time. Add the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and return to a boil, cooking until the whisk leaves a trail in the curd. Remove from heat and add the remaining half-cup butter, stir to combine. Strain the curd with a mesh strainer into a shallow dish. Cover with plastic wrap right against the curd to prevent a “skin” from forming. Chill completely.

Note: because of all the egg yolks, the curd is yellow in color. I wanted mine to be green to match the lime flavor so I added some blue food coloring.

Seven-Minute Frosting
From Smitten Kitchen
Makes approximately 4 cups

5 tablespoons Water
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 1/3 cups Sugar
2 large Egg Whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk the first 5 ingredients together in a large stainless steel bowl. Set the bowl in a wide, deep skillet filled with simmering water. Make sure the water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl. With a hand mixer, beat the whites on low speed until the mixture reaches 140 degrees F. Do not stop beating while the bowl is in the skillet, or the egg whites will overcook. If you have to stop beating to take the temperature, remove the bowl from the heat.

Once the egg whites have reached 140 degrees F, beat on high for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the skillet, add the vanilla, and continue beating on high speed for 3-4 minutes more. My frosting did not have the proper consistency until I had beat it for the full 4 minutes more and let it sit in the bowl for about 5 minutes. Use the frosting the day it is made, it will harden over time.

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9 Responses to Coconut-Cream Lime Cake

  1. Anonymous says:

    This looks amazing!!

  2. ivorypomegranate says:

    Three layers!? One intense cake, but the flavor combination sounds so good! I'll have to bookmark this, it would be perfect for a spring dinner party.

  3. Carolyn Jung says:

    Beautiful cake! Fit for a birthday celebration, indeed. My husband is the opposite of yours — he "says'' he doesn't like dessert. But then, he'll eat only the sweetest ones. Go figure…. ;)

  4. Caitlin says:

    How wonderful! I love me some lime&coconut….great idea!

  5. Food o' del Mundo says:

    BEAUTIFUL! BRAVO! These are some of my favorite flavors as well. I recently found coconut flavoring oil at Whole Foods I use it when coconut milk is in a recipe – because, I too sometimes feel the coconut flavor isn't enough with just the coconut milk. ~Mary

  6. grace says:

    fluffy frosting, coconutty cake, tangy filling–this is all kinds of awesome. wonderful display!

  7. Annalise says:

    Food o'del Mundo, what a great idea! I'll definitely try that next time.

  8. Lindsey says:

    I am so torn over this. This cake looks absolutely amazing. I love the combination of coconut and lime. My husband on the other hand hates lime, and my sister (whom I share all of my baked goods with) hates coconut. I think maybe I will make these into cupcakes and fill a few of them with the lime curd…my sister can make her own goodies ;)

  9. Anonymous says:

    I can't wait to make this cake – and the idea of making the recipe into cupcakes and fill them with the lime curd is brilliant…..!!!!

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