For the Coconut Cake:
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cup granulated sugar
13.5 ounces canned unsweetened coconut milk, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
5 large egg whites
For the Pineapple Filling:
20 ounce can crushed pineapple
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
4-5 cup powdered sugar
Remaining coconut milk, or 2 tablespoons regular milk
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
For the cake:
1. Line the bottom of two 8 or 9-inch cake pans with wax or parchment paper.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed (with hand or stand mixer) for 1 minute, until light and fluffy.
5. Add sugar and mix 1 minute.
6. Add 1 1/4 cups coconut milk and coconut extract and mix.
7. Gradually add flour mixture and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
8. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
9. Fold the egg whites into the batter until incorporated.
10. Spray the bottom and sides of the lined cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Divide batter evenly between the pans.
11. Bake at 350 degrees F 23-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
12. Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before inverting them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
13. Once cakes have cooled, use a sharp serrated knife cut each cake round in half horizontally, so that you end up with four cake rounds.
14. At this point I like to freeze the cakes for several hours or up to 3 weeks. They're much easier to assemble and frost when they are frozen. But, you can assemble them fresh, the day of.
For the Pineapple Filling:
1. Add all ingredients to medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir well to combine.
2. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and looks "glossy", about 5-8 minutes.
3. Pour filling into a bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap gently over the top and allow it to cool.
4. Once cooled, cover it with an airtight lid and refrigerate until you're ready to use it (up to 1 week).
For the frosting:
1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
2. Add powdered sugar and the rest of the remaining coconut milk (or regular milk). Mix until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add a little more milk, to thin, or powdered sugar to stiffen, if needed, until you reach your desired frosting consistency.
4. Stir in coconut flakes, saving some for sprinkling on the sides and top of the cake, if desired.
1. Place your first cake layer on your cake board or serving platter. Spread half of the pineapple filling over it.
2. Top with another cake layer. Smooth a layer of frosting over it.
3. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining half of the pineapple filling over it.
4. Top with last (4th) cake round.
5. Frost the sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle with coconut, if desired.
6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, before serving. Tastes even better the next day!
MAKE IT IN ADVANCE!
I like to make the cake, pineapple filling, and coconut cream cheese frosting at least one day in advance. That way, the cake is really easy to throw together.
I make the cake in 8 or 9 rounds, bake it and let it cool completely. Then I wrap it really well in plastic wrap and stick each layer in a ziplock freezer bag. Freeze for up to one month. Ive found that frozen cakes are the easiest to frost.
The pineapple filling and coconut frosting can be made ahead and placed in a covered container in the fridge. Remove the coconut frosting from the fridge about an hour or so before youre ready to frost your cake. This will allow it to come to room temperature.
DECORATING IS EASY!
I used a wilton 2D tip for the swirls on top of this cake. SO EASY. I also love the Wilton 1M tip. I use both tips with an Ateco flex 14 reusable piping bag. Those three items right there are my favorites for cake and cupcake decorating.
STORE IT COVERED, IN THE FRIDGE.
This is one of those cakes that really tastes better after its been in the fridge for at least 4 hours. It allows the flavors and texture time to settle and blend together. I think it even tastes better on day two.