Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seasonal (kinda....) Sunday--Coconut Macaroon Cake

Ok, so I'm finding it hard to stay seasonal right now because of the waiting, waiting for fresh spring vegetables to take the place of all these root guys, the undergrounders like carrots, celeriac and spuds that thankfully keep us happy on the cold, dark nights of winter. But this has always been my problem. I am a Texas girl and this European Spring that takes forever to really ignite makes me terribly impatient.

So, I hope you'll forgive me if I slip out of my self-imposed seasonal constraints every once in a while. Today is coconut. Shredded coconut. Which is seasonal only in the way that all dried fruits and the like are seasonal. You can eat them at any time and they add a bit of cheer to the root vegetable days of waiting for strawberries.

One of my favorite recipes is Ina Garten's coconut macaroons, not to be confused with the French macaron....more oooooo and less on. The recipe is very easy and quick and only calls for a few ingredients. The light, coconut morsels are perfect for taking to a friend's house for tea and keep forever in a cookie tin. That is if you don't eat them all on the first day.

The other day I got to thinking. Wonder what would happen if I made a coconut macaroon cake? Hmmmm. I thought it over and over and made one version that went down well with Ms Butt Bumper and the kids. Mon Mari didn't think it was sweet enough and I was disappointed with the outcome of a meringue icing. I cooked it in a bundt pan just because I think bundt cakes are really pretty but it wasn't as macaroony as I'd hoped. So I tried it again.This time I upped the sweet, gooey factor, used a round pan instead of a bundt and iced it with a cream cheese, coconut and sugar glaze. As it cooked everyone kept coming into the kitchen to have a look, drawn by the smell of toasty coconut.
bundts are just so pretty
You could make a chocolate sauce to drizzle over rather than the cream cheese if you have a Mounds/Bounty bar lover in your family. I like it as it is though, uncomplicated in its milky, sugary coconut purity. There isn't any sugar in this cake other than what is found in the milk and I find it sweet enough. I hope you like it too.

this is buttermilk in France if you can't find it
Coconut Macaroon Cake

2 cups flour
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup buttermilk
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. or 4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
6 egg whites at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl.
Stir buttermilk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and almond extracts together in a large bowl. Slowly add in dry ingredients while stirring until combined. Add in the softened butter and mix on low speed with an electric mixer.
Separate egg whites and save the yolks for something else like hollandaise.
Julia Child's Blender Hollandaise

In a separate bowl whisk egg whites until they are almost white and by this I mean no longer clear and just a bit stiff.
When the egg whites are ready gently fold them into the cake batter. Careful not to break down their whisked bubbliness.
The mixture will be quite thick and gooey because of the sweetened condensed milk, not to worry.
see. it's pretty thick.

Pour the batter into a prepared round cake tin or bundt pan if you prefer. Be sure to butter the pan you choose very well and dust lightly with flour.
If you're using a round pan it is a good idea to butter it and then line it with parchment paper. It works like a dream to release your beautiful cake.
Cook for 30 minutes at 350F/180C.

Cream Cheese Glaze
1/2 c. or 4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl mix softened cream cheese with powdered sugar in intervals....using up to 1 cup of the sugar as needed. I do it to consistency and taste. There isn't any butter in this so that's why it's more runny, more of a glaze. If you want a thick traditional cream cheese icing you can use the recipe that calls for butter instead.
When the glaze is runny enough to drizzle over the cake add in vanilla and stir to combine. Then pour over the cooled cake and let it drip over the edges. It will harden a bit as it stands.


You could also ice it simply by sprinkling over powdered sugar as I've done here.
simple powdered sugar


  1. Oh Aidan, that picture with the icing all dripping down...I'm salivating! Gooey heaven.

  2. Wow. Good idea. I love coconut macaroons too, but I wonder if this cake wouldn't be even fluffier if you made it in the US: my buttermilk pancakes made-in-France don't turn out nearly as light when using the Elben fermented milk, so I have been reluctant to try other baked buttermilk recipes...Also, speaking of Bundt pans (and in my case silicone pans) have you seen any spray&bake/oil&flour type products in France?

  3. Yup, I agree with Kirsty on the gooey icing dripping down, I think I just died and went to heaven!

    I hope I have the courage to try this recipe.


  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE coconut flavored stuff! This looks so moist and delicious. Since my husband is discovering the joys of baking (I'm a cooker, not a baker), I'm showing him this post as soon as he gets him!! nom nom nom x

  5. thanks guys. it is funny because in this week's lidl flier they've a coconut cake with powdered sugar that looks like mine. make mine instead.
    i'm not a baker either but ma fille loves it and is great at all the fiddly bits.
    aidan x

  6. I've got behind with your blog, but catching up now. So enjoyable! This cakes looks awesome, and thanks for showing the buttermilk container. I've been looking for ages for some for my Irish recipes. And my Frirish ones (you'll have to see my blog to find out what those are!!)
    Amitiés, Stephanie


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