Delightfully Delicious Coconut Cake

I have a mother in law that absolutely adores coconut and I always make her a coconut cake around Mother’s Day.  But let’s be honest here.  I’m a pretty darn big fan of it myself!  I find myself adding it to all kinds of recipes that don’t list it in the ingredients like cookies, cakes, or smoothies and it really bumps it up a couple of notches.  Something I’ve found that frustrates me about typical coconut cake recipes is that you start with a boxed cake mix.  Well, friends, not this one.  This one comes from the heart!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking boxed mixes.  There’s a time and place for them, heck I use them myself!  But when I’m baking a cake for someone special I feel it adds an extra touch when I make the cake completely from scratch.  And let me tell you, this cake is so moist, tasty and just plain GOOD.  And when it’s all done up it looks like a cloud you wanna float around on for a while and just BE.  Can’t argue with that!

Before this cake even made it to the oven, I had my two girls bustling around me “Mom, whatcha makin’ now?  It smells sooo goood!”,  “Can I have some right now?  Isn’t it done yet?”  Geez, where on earth do they get their patience from…or lack there of.  Aren’t we onto the recipe yet?  I can’t believe we haven’t started learning about this fluffy goodness already 😉

Delightfully Delicious Coconut Cake

Ingredients:

1 Cup Butter (softened)
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
2 tsp. Coconut Extract
5 Eggs
2 ½ Cups Flour
1 tsp.  Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray two 8” round pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix together and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla, and coconut extract.  Mix together with whisk or fork.  Set aside.

4. In a separate, large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Beat well after adding each one.

5. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk combination to butter mixture until all is combined and mixed until smooth.

6. Pour batter evenly between the two prepared 8” pans.  Bang pans lightly on hard surface a few times, like a counter or table, to force air bubbles in batter to come to the surface.

7. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted near the center of the cake.

8.  Allow cakes to cool in pans for at least one hour.  Transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.

9.  When completely cool, frost with your favorite frosting.

To frost my coconut cake, I used our Professional Like Buttercream Frosting from our Cookin’ Up Sweet Treatsebook available in the Amazon Kindle Store. You can download it on your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android Phone, and your home computer! Learn more here.  I added 2 tsp. of coconut extract to it and I was in business. I was just eating the frosting out of the darn bowl!  It was that good! Feel free to do that to your favorite frosting as well.  Give it a try with a whipped topping like Cool Whip if you prefer.  It would lighten things up, but be careful when adding the extract because it can thin out your whipped topping.  Just use a watchful eye.

Here’s how I assembled the cake:

Take your first layer and use a serrated knife to cut off the very top of the cake to produce a level surface.   Do the exact same thing to your second layer.

Take your first layer and place it on your cake stand or plate.  A trick to get it to stay in place is to take a small dollop of your frosting and swipe it down on the middle of your cake plate.  Works like glue!  Spread about a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of frosting on top of your first layer.

Sprinkle a thin layer of coconut on top of the frosting.  Not too much otherwise your top layer won’t stick properly to your bottom layer.

Take your second layer and place it upside down (so the bottom of your second layer is now your top!) on your first layer.

Proceed with covering the entire cake with the rest of your frosting.  When finished, sprinkle coconut all over the cake, pressing coconut gently onto the sides.  Garnish with fresh berries or chocolate curls if you’d like.

Don’t you just want to cut a slice and dive right in?  I sure did, the second after I took this picture.  I just couldn’t help myself.  And I had plenty of help eating it too.  Remember those ‘patient’ children I mentioned earlier?  Well, they finally got to taste what their noses were so excited about 🙂


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This post is partying over at:The Shabby Creek Cottage, Whipperberry, Serenity Now, Today’s Creative Blog, Tip Junkie, Home Stories AtoZ, Savvy Southern Style and others

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Sinfully Good Chocolate Cupcakes: Perfect Dessert for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is drawing near and I wanted to bake a simple chocolate cupcake that would make a great dessert for anyone to make for their mom.  These moist, chocolatey tidbits really ‘take the cake’ when it comes to chocolate cakes.  What mom wouldn’t love to have a cupcake like this to follow up their Mother’s Day meal?  A delicious ending to any day really.

I made these when I was visiting all of the Brady Girls in Utah last week. We tried out different recipes and had a good ol’ time.  When the cupcakes came out of the oven, I had my niece right up next to me, begging to have one even if they were still the temperature of the hot oven!  I hadn’t even frosted them yet!  She was able to snag one, and then another, and this continued as the night went on and I proceeded to frost them.  Once the frosting hit the tops of these babies, they were fair game and they disappeared.  Granted, I did my fair share and ate way too many.  But, that’s what vacation is all about, right?!  Indulgence.  And these cupcakes make you close your eyes and just savor the flavor as you bite into them.  Or if you’re my niece, grab two or three and run as fast as you can so her aunt doesn’t catch her and give her the noogies she deserves for stealing her baked goods 🙂  I love family!  Show your mom how much you love her by baking her some Sinfully Good Chocolate Cupcakes this Mother’s Day! Here’s the Recipe:

Sinfully Good Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Sugar
1 ½ Cups Flour
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
¾ Cup Boiling Water
½ tsp. Instant Coffee

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Place paper liners in two cupcake pans.

2. With an electric mixer, mix the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a large bowl for three minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the sugars, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add slowly to wet ingredients.

4. Boil ¾ cups of water and add ½ tsp. instant coffee and stir.  Add to cake batter and stir using a rubber spatula.  Batter will seem thin, but this is okay!  Note:  if you don’t want to add coffee, feel free to leave it out.  Coffee intensifies the flavor of chocolate so if you’re a coffee lover, add another 1/4 tsp. -1/2 tsp. of instant coffee.

Runny batter is okay!

5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake both cupcake pans for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted near the center of a cupcake comes out almost clean.

6. Repeat step 5 until batter is gone.

7.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in cupcake pans for 5 minutes.  Then remove let finish cooling on counter.

8.  When completely cool, frost with your favorite buttercream frosting, like our Chocolate Buttercream Frosting in our ebook, Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats available in the Amazon Kindle Store. You can download it on your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android Phone, and your home computer! Learn more here.

Note:  You can also use this recipe to make a cake! Works great in a 9×13″ pan or two 8″ pans.  Just be sure to spray pans with cooking spray and line bottom of pans with parchment paper.

Tip: If you do not have buttermilk on hand, use one cup of milk and add 1 Tbs. of white vinegar to it.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes for milk to sour.  Easy homemade buttermilk!

Makes:  Approx. 3 dozen

…P.S. We will have a youtube video up showing you how to decorate these bad boys in a couple of days! I’ll link it here, so stay tuned… Happy Mother’s Day!


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Get more from the Brady Girls at your fingertips with Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats!

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This post is partying over at: The Shabby Creek Cottage, Savvy Southern Style, Whipperberry, Serenity Now and others

Dang Tasty Whole Wheat Pancakes

These little power houses are energy packed and so easy to make. They are light and fluffy despite the powerful ingredients like fresh ground whole wheat and flax seed that pack a punch full of fiber and protein. I made this recipe after being so tired of the same old pancake mixes with tons of sugar and generic ingredients. It’s so import to me to put healthier food on the table as I have gone through the transition of  being extremely obese to just a few more pounds to go. I do grind my own wheat and flax seed, but you don’t have too.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Easy homemade whole wheat and flax seed pancakes, are great when topped with fresh fruit!

grinding flax seed

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbs. Flax Seed (ground)
1 Cup Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Butter (melted)
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Cup Butter Milk

Directions:
In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.In a separate bowl beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla together. Then add the mixed wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and then add the melted butter. Mix just until combined, it’s okay if the batter is slightly lumpy.

Makes 12 medium pancakes, with only 140 calories per pancake!

Carrot Cake Made With What?!?

A much requested dessert has once again been requested -my scrumptious carrot cake! It doesn’t matter if there’s a special occasion or not. Someone will call, email, text, or sky write (okay, a slight exaggeration there) asking for me to bake one up and bring it on over -it never fails! It is just that good. This carrot cake has a few special kick-it-up-a-few-notches ingredients that make it like no other:  pineapple and coconut!

I know! So not the norm for a carrot cake. But let me just say, you will be floored with the surprise, and filled with the happiness only this amazing flavorful treat can bring. Any doubts will be chewed right up as you inhale this confectioner’s paradise!

Know what else? As we all should be looking for more ways to work veggies into our diet, there are two cups of carrots in this recipe.  Score!  Why split hairs about what part of the meal the veggies are in as long as we’re eating them 🙂

Scrumptious Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

¾ Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
¾ Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Tbs. Pure Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp.  Baking Soda
¼ tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
2 Cups Shredded Carrots
1 Cup Coconut Flakes
1 8 Oz. Can Crushed Pineapple  (with juice)
 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.   Grease the sides of two 8” round pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Or use one 9×13” pan and grease sides and bottom.  Set aside.

2. Mix the oil, eggs, buttermilk, sugars, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix together. Then gradually pour those dry ingredients into the wet mixture above, until mixed well.

4. In a medium bowl, combine carrots, coconut, and pineapple together.  Using wooden spoon or strong spatula, add carrot combination to above batter, folding in well.

5. Pour batter evenly into both 8” pans or into 9×13” pan.

6. Bake for approximately 45 minutes for 8” pans or 50 to 60 minutes for 9×13” pan or until a toothpick comes out almost clean.

7. Cool completely in pans on wire racks.  Frost when cool.

Tips… Don’t have buttermilk? No Problem! Make your own buttermilk by adding 1 Tbs. White Vinegar to 1 Cup of regular Milk, then let it sit for 5 minutes to get good and sour. This recipe only calls for 3/4 cup buttermilk, so you will not use all of it, but we want to make sure the portions of milk to vinegar are correct to make that perfect tangy flavor that we need.

Also, if you like nuts and raisins in your carrot cake, feel free to add a cup of each along with the carrots mixture.  I have personally found this carrot cake works wonderfully without them, but make it to your tastes.

Finally, I frost the cake with our Luscious Cream Cheese Frosting from our eBook: Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats: Cookies, Brownies, and Bars available now in Amazon Kindle Store. The cake and frosting make the perfect pair!

Try this for yourself and let me know how you like it. Shoot me off some comments because I’d love to hear what you think of the ‘secret’ ingredients.

This post is partying over at:Savvy Southern Style