Wildflowers are blooming along the highways.
Students are anticipating graduation.
Summer vacations are being planned.
Friends and family are celebrating birthdays nearly every weekend.
Easter is this weekend (again if you happen to be one of the few hundred who were given a complimentary calendar featuring Easter twice).
The world is looking for cake recipes to say, “hey, celebrating, this is fun.”
Yea, yea, yea.
The world seems a little less than chipper right now. All that forced happiness is getting to everyone. I know because every day I talk to the world. Right now, hermitry sounds quite nice. Living off the grid appeals. An extended, spontaneous vacation in a secluded locale would be perfect. Crankiness seems called for this week. Not that this is right. See above after all.
I think I may have had something to do with this. Consider this post my attempt to make things right…genuinely cheery.
This cake doesn’t allow for crankiness. Which is why this cake got to jump the post draft queue. Not that you can tell, but it did. By several weeks.
It’s also why this is going to be a short post. All the celebrating and enjoying of the fine weather (even if it is already too hot) doesn’t leave much time for reading a blog post.
And please don’t be worried by the three steps. I swear they are all easy.
Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd filling and Coconut Cream Cheese frosting
The picture shows the cake in the process of being frosted. The finished version with frosted sides could have been pictured but then you wouldn’t have seen the lemon curd. Lemon curd is scrumptious (though it was unfortunately named curd — which also doesn’t make sense since it would be ruined if it in fact curdled) which is why this picture was posted. And why I am renaming it…lemon satin. Perhaps.
In making this I discovered that not all canned coconut milks are equal. I do not know what your grocery store is like, but at mine coconut milk can be found in three sections. Small, pricey cans are located in the baking section. Large, less pricey cans can be found in the Middle Eastern section. Large, even less pricey cans can be found in the Asian section. After an unintentional and less than inclusive (I skipped the small expensive can.) test the cheapest brand was found to be the best.
For best frosting results I suggest setting out the frosting to soften, but leaving the cake in the fridge to stay cold.
from Coconut Cupcakes from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola oil
2 cups coconut milk
1 ⅓ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
Heat an oven to 350°. Grease two 9 inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In one bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a second bowl, mix together oil, milk, sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the coconut.
Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. This may have been about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven. When mostly cool, flip cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely before putting together with the frosting and lemon filling.
adapted from Coconut Frosting in Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
3 tablespoons butter, softened
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 short cup powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Beat in coconut milk and then vanilla. Beat in sugar. Add in shredded coconut.
adapted from Almond Lemon Curd on Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier
Zest from about 4 small lemons
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
½ cup sugar
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature and diced
Get out a double boiler. Fill pot with some water and set over medium heat, bring water to a simmer. In the top bowl, beat the eggs. Add in the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Add in the butter. Set over the simmering water. Whisk gently as the butter melts. Then continue to stir with the whisk, but don’t whisk – this is to keep the eggs from curdling. The lemon will thicken and it is done when a clear line can be traced into the back of a lemon-curd coated wooden spoon. Remove from heat, pour into a jar and refrigerate. The mixture continues to thicken as it cools.
I’ve made lemon curd three times (all in the last year and a half). I only had problems the second time. Though I swear there was a clear line on the spoon it must not have been cooked long enough because it never thickened properly. This was fixed by pouring it back into the double boiler.
Layer the lemon curd or satin between the two cake layers. Frost all over with frosting. Or in shorter words, assemble. Eat.