Lemon Coconut Nest Cake

By Jackie Alpers for Real Simple©

Lemon Coconut Nest Cake

Photo by Hector Manuel Sanchez

Yield: 8 to 10 Servings

Ingredients: 

Cake:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2½cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • ½teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain, whole-milk, Greek yogurt

Frosting:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅓ cup plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon extract
  • 2c ups finely shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 cup large dried coconut flakes or chips, unsweetened
  • 2 teaspoon sprinkles in spring colors (optional)
  • 1 cup candy-coated chocolate eggs, such as Cadbury Mini Eggs

 

Directions: 

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the lemon juice, then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the yogurt, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Prepare the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and lemon extract until smooth.
  6. Frost the cooled cake, then press the finely shredded coconut into the sides and top of the frosting with your hands. Press the bigger coconut flakes on top. Garnish with sprinkles. Fill the hole in the middle with chocolate eggs before serving.

Hot Cross Buns

Recipe courtesy Levain Bakery

Hot Cross Buns

Make your Easter holiday dinner special. 

Hot cross buns are now traditionally served during the Christian Easter season, on Fridays during Lent and on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. However, their roots are rumored to have come from pagan spring festivals. Easter and the spring equinox all represent the season of renewal of nature in different traditions. What we now consider a cross symbol on top of hot cross buns was also originally a cross in honor of the moon for Egyptians and Greeks, a representation of a full moon and its four quarters to Romans.

Yield: 12 buns

Ingredients:

Buns:

  • 2 ounces fresh yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups high-gluten flour
  • Spice mix, recipe follows
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Glaze, recipe follows
Spice Mix:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus more as needed
  1. Directions:
    Buns:
    Crumble the yeast into a large mixing bowl and add 1 cup of the warm milk (the milk should feel just warm to the touch but not hot). Using the dough hook attachment, gently mix together.
  2. Add the honey, butter, 2 eggs, flour, spice mix, salt, and raisins. Start the mixer and gently pour in the remaining 1 cup of milk while mixing. The dough should come together as a soft ball after a few minutes of mixing. If it is too sticky add a few sprinkles of additional flour; if it is too hard add a few more drops of cold milk.
  3. Turn this soft dough out directly onto a sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise until about doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. When it has double in size, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough in half and each half in half, etc. until you have a dozen pieces. Shape these pieces into rounds with your hands. Place these rounds equally spaced apart on a floured piece of parchment on a sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until almost doubled in size. (If you press gently with your finger on a bun it should bounce back but your fingerprint should remain a bit.)
  6. Beat the remaining egg with a fork in a small bowl. Very gently brush this mixture on each of the buns. Using a sharp knife cut a cross shape in the top of each bun. Besides being decorative this allows the bread to rise nicely as it bakes.
  7. Bake in for about 15 minutes or until browned. Let cool.
  8. When cool, ice each bun with the glaze in a cross shape, following your cuts and using your spatula to drizzle icing on.
  9. Spice Mix:
    Mix together all the ingredients.

Glaze:
Put the sugar in a large bowl with the milk. Work the sugar and milk together until combined, adding additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time, until you have a nice smooth thick glaze.