3½ c. all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
1 Tbs. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2¼ c. sugar
12 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
5 large eggs
1 ⅓ c. whipping cream
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
½ c. coconut milk
2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ c. whipping cream
½ c. sugar
4 oz. unsalted butter
2¼ c. sweetened flaked coconut
¼ c. sour cream
2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
Preheat oven to 325º. Butter and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt until blended. In a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the cream and vanilla, then the coconut milk. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Divide the batter equally among the 3 pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool.
To Make the Filling:
Stir the cornstarch, water, and vanilla in a small bowl to dissolve the cornstarch. In a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the cream, sugar, and butter to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in coconut.
Cool the mixture completely. Mix in sour cream, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Make the frosting and have ready to frost the cake.
Directions for assembling the cake:
(Coconut-Milk Mixture between each layer) Combine: 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted ½ 13½-ounce can coconut milk mixed with 2 cups simple syrup.
Place 1 cake round on a plate. Brush with the coconut-milk mixture, then top with half of the filling. Place a second cake layer atop the filling, brush with the coconut milk/syrup, and top with the remaining filling. Place the third cake layer atop the filling and spread frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Pat the toasted coconut on the top and sides of the cake, pressing gently so it sticks. Cover and refrigerate.
Let the cake stand 3 hours at room temperature before serving.
Garnish the plate with toasted coconut and, if desired, crème anglaise.