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.

Chocolate Cake with Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb / 225g butter
  • 2 1/3 cups / 1 pound / 450g / caster or granulated sugar (superfine works best if you have it handy)
  • 4 eggs
  • 9 rounded tablespoons grated chocolate (approximately 3 standard squares of baking chocolate, or 90 grams / 3 1/2 ounces of other chocolate)
  • 5 rounded tablespoons / 50g / 1 3/4 ounces ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup / 5 ounces / 150g of cold, sieved or riced cooked potato (see below for specific directions about the potato)
  • 2 1/2 cups / 10 ounces / 300g flour (plain flour is fine, but cake flour is better if you have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup / 5 fluid ounces / UK 1/4 pint / 150ml milk

For preparing the pan you’ll bake in:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

 

Directions:

First prepare your cake pan. A tube pan like a Bundt pan works best for this recipe: but a springform cake pan works fine too.

  1. If using a tube pan or Bundt pan, butter it well inside, paying particular attention to any flutings or crevices in the pan. Then mix the flour and cocoa together and use this mixture to flour the inside of the pan.
  2. If using a springform pan, butter it too: then line it with a circle of buttered baking parchment for the bottom and a strip of buttered baking parchment for the sides.

 

Now prepare your cooked potato by one of these two methods:

  • Boil in unsalted water 2 medium-sized potatoes or 3 small potatoes in their jackets, then drain, cool completely, peel, and rice or sieve.
  • Or if you prefer, peel and chunk 2 medium-sized potatoes or 3 small potatoes, boil for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain them, dry them briefly over low heat until most of the steam has stopped rising, then remove from heat and mash well, ricing or sieving when fully cooled.
  • An important note about the potatoes: Do not add them to the batter if they are even slightly warm. If you do, the result will be a heavy cake that may fail to rise, or only rise partway. Also: We have never tried this cake with instant mashed potatoes. Better to play it safe and use the real thing.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F / 275° C. Then prepare the cake batter:

 

3.   Grate the chocolate on a fine grater, or pulse in a food processor, or crush with a mortar and pestle, until reduced to small granules. (The food processor is by far the easiest and fastest way: the grater and mortar-and-pestle are more labor intensive, but produce a slightly finer result.

4.When this is done, sift the flour once by itself. Then sift it a second time with the cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

5. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.

6. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks, one at a time, to the creamed mixture, beating well after each one.

7. Stir in the grated chocolate, ground almonds and cocoa. Add the sieved potato and stir again.

8. Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently until smooth after each addition.

9. When this process is complete, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the whipped egg whites carefully into the cake mixture.

10. Spoon into the prepared springform pan or Bundt pan / tube pan: tap gently once on the counter to settle. Bake for 1 3/4 hours. Test for doneness with a toothpick or skewer at the end of this time: bake for another 15 minutes if needed.

11. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for at least twenty minutes before removing from the pan: then cool on a rack.

12. To finish, frost the chocolate cake with a chocolate-based icing, or (if you prefer the simple approach) dust with confectioners’ sugar / icing sugar.

* For those who’re interested, Butlers Irish Chocolates are available in the US from this online source.

Vanilla-Fudge Marble Cake

Vanilla-Fudge Marble Cake
 Photo by A. Jones

Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 c. sifted flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. margarine or butter
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 2/3 c. chocolate-flavored syrup
  • Semisweet Chocolate Icing

Semisweet Chocolate Icing: In small saucepan heat 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla over low heat, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.  Use immediately.

Slice of Vanilla-Fudge Marble Cake
Best of Both: Vanilla and Chocolate            Photo by A. Jones

Directions:

  1. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat margarine or butter on low to medium speed with an electric mixer about 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low to medium speed 1 minute after each addition and scraping bowl frequently. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to beaten mixture, beating at a low speed after each addition just until combined. Reserve 2 cups batter.  Turn remaining batter into prepared pan.
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine chocolate-flavored syrup and reserved 2 cups batter.  Beat at a low speed until well combined.  Pour chocolate batter over vanilla batter in pan.  Do NOT Mix.
  4. Bake 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.  Drizzle cake with Semisweet Chocolate Icing.
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens™websiteBetter Homes and Gardens Cooking for Today, Cakes