Triple Threat Coconut Cake

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Servs: 16   Prep:   Cook:

I learned to love this cake from my Big Mama and Big Daddy.

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  • add   2 fourteen oz cans coconut milk
  • add   2 cups self rising flour
  • add   1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter - softened
  • add   1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • add   3 large eggs
  • add   1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • add   1 cup reduced coconut milk (see instructions below)
  • add   Frosting:
  • add   3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • add   2 sticks unsalted butter - softened
  • add   4 cups confectioners sugar
  • add   1/4 cups reduced coconut milk
  • add   1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • add   pinch of salt


  1. Make ahead: Bring coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium to high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking often, until reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Be careful not to reduce beyond 1 1/2 cups or the solids will start to separate from the fat. Cool to room temperature: it can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.
  2. Grease & flour two 8 inch cake pans. With an electric mixer, beat butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time and then vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in half the flour mixture then the reduced coconut milk and finally the remaining flour mixture. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans: bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a wire rack: let cool 5 minutes.
  4. For the Frosting:
  5. Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Spread coconut on a 13 x 9 inch baking sheet. Toast stirring occasionally, until flakes are dry and some are light golden, about 20 minutes. With an electric mixer, beat butter in a bowl until smooth. Slowly beat in sugar until combined. Beat in coconut milk, vanilla and salt until creamy smooth.
  6. Assemble cakes as follows: Place a cake layer (top side down) on a cake stand lined with strips of wax paper. Using a knife spread 1/3 of the frosting over the cake top. Sprinkle with coconut. Place the second layer (top side up) over the first. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides. Sprinkle generously with coconut on top and sides. Remove wax paper when frosting is complete. Refrigerate cake 30 minutes prior to slicing.

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