I was restless Monday night and wanted something sweet, didn't want to drive to the store, ran out of cookies, ran out of boozy cheesecake, now what? I saw a bag of sweetened coconut flakes that had been sitting in my pantry being neglected. There was no time like the present to use it up. I sat on my kitchen counter going through my recipes and I decided on a coconut cake.
Well actually its normally a plain vanilla cake using buttermilk, egg whites, and sugar. I didn't have buttermilk and I didn't want to scratch my plan so I looked through my fridge. I saw the solution.... Yoplait Coconut Greek Yogurt. I just found it that day at Target and had to get some. What is the worst that could happen? I did a quick google to see if anyone else was using greek yogurt to substitute for ingredients. Buttermilk wasn't one of the common ones but I went a head anyways.
To my surprise the cake came out moist and soft. For a frosting I wanted something without butter. I chose a fluffy white frosting. I love the sheen, texture, and the way the coconut sticks to it. You can substitute any frosting you want with this recipe. I have done it with chocolate, buttercream, and even a glaze. Now again I am by no means a professional just a tech geek showing my appreciation to the kitchen.
Impromptu Coconut Cake
6 Large Eggs Separated egg whites and yolks
2 1/2 Cup of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of plugra butter unsalted, room temperature
2 cups of granulated white sugar (divided 1 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup of Yoplait Coconut Greek Yogurt
3/4 cup milk (skim, whole, or 2% works)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 cups of toasted coconut flakes or shredded
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Note: If at all possible let the eggs get to room temperature after separating them for optimal results.
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a stand mixer beat butter until soft. Then slowly add in the 1 3/4 cup of sugar continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy. Now start to add in the egg YOLKS one at a time, mixing well after each yolk. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl throughout this process you want everything to be well mixed. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix till combined.
Be careful not to over mix the batter. Placing the mixer on the low setting slowly combine the flour and yogurt alternately taking turns. Always begin with the flour and end with the flour. It should take you no more than 4 turns. When you run out of the yogurt continue the process with the milk.
In a clean bowl with your stand mixer, whip the egg whites until foamy. Next add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Then slowly stream the 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over beat the egg whites. This is a delicate process but worth the patience. Take a rubber spatula and fold in the egg whites to the batter. Work quickly but gently do not deflate your egg whites.
Divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with the spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes. The toothpick should come out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. Then take the cakes out of the pan. Let cakes cool before frosting.
In a saucepan, stir together sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. Medium high heat took about 4 minutes.
In your stand mixer, whip the eggs whites and vanilla bean paste until soft peaks appear. Gradually stream the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the egg whites bowl, continue beating until stiff peaks form and nice sheen appears.
Frost Cake and sprinkle toasted coconut around the entire cake. If you make cupcakes you can dip the cupcake upside down into the frosting and then dip into the coconut flakes.
Toasted Coconut Directions:
Place coconut on cookie sheet and spread out a thin layer. If the coconut is thicker in other areas the coconut will not toast evenly. Place in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and bake for about 4 minutes. The coconut should start to brown at this point, take your spatula and move the coconut around making sure to keep mixture from clumping. Then place back in the oven and keep watching until the coconut gets a nice toasty brown color. Be careful coconut can burn quickly. Overall takes about 7 minutes.