Seafood at Home 101: Baked Coconut Shrimp

So many think seafood can be a scary thing to try to cook in your kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be. I’d like to show you a few simple seafood dishes that anyone can make at home. So here’s … Continue reading

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chipotle Chocolate Cake!!!

A man’s dream come true (or woman’s)! Oh yes, we did throw all of the rules out the window on this one! This moist cake is coupled perfectly with just enough spicy, just enough sweet, and some wonderfully smokey bacon, … Continue reading

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


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


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

Samoas Fruit Dip: Adapted from Something Swanky

The following recipe is adapted from Something Swanky’s Samoa Dip. We wanted to share with you this great dip from our friend Ashton, so please check out the full blooded recipe and more of her blog at Something Swanky! We … Continue reading

Coconut Oatmeal Cookie Pick-Me-Up

I needed another baking pick-me-up.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Let’s crank up the oven and get rollin’!  I decided to bake one of our yummy cookies from our Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats eBook available on Kindle and Free Kindle reading apps everywhere!

These cookies really are a pick-me-up. They’re loaded with oatmeal and coconut which are great energy providers and darn it, coconut makes me pretty happy!  They’re also a thinner buttery cookie so they’re perfect for packing to take with you to work or school.  They’re certainly kid approved too.  My youngest was begging for one, took one bite, and said “Its…sooo good!  You make the best!”  Granted, she’s only three.  But we all know kids will be your most honest judges, good or bad 🙂

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Simply put, these are crazy delicious!


1 Cup Butter or Margarine (softened)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 ½ Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Salt
2 Cups Oatmeal
2 Cups Shredded Coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Cream the butter and sugars together at medium speed.   Beat in eggs and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then gradually stir into wet ingredients.   Stir in oatmeal and coconut.

4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet at least two inches apart.  Sprinkle tops of cookies with additional coconut.

How do you resist eating the perfect cookie dough ball?

5. Bake one baking sheet at a time for 9-12 minutes.

Makes:  Approx. 3 Dozen

Time:  Approx. 1 hour

Tip:  Pack some of these cookies to bring to your next sporting event, like your children’s soccer games, softball games, etc.  Share with the other kids and parents.  They’re sure to provide some needed energy for the players as well as the spectators 🙂  And you’ll be the hit of the event for bringing such an amazing treat!

So try out these yummy cookies and try a few more recipes from our eBook here on our blog. If you like them please pick-up a copy of Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats that is Free to borrow for Amazon prime users and has over 60 of our favorite cookies, brownies, and bars recipes!!!

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


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)


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