I feel like coconut is everywhere nowadays. From cosmetics to the newest butter replacement it seems to have muscled its way into every grocery aisle. Most coconut products are astronomically high in potassium, making them a very limited item in the renal diet. Not for us! We make this divine coconut cake work with a heavy hand of coconut extract, coconut oil frosting, and crisp, flavorful toasted coconut as a beautiful garnish for the top. The key really is the coconut extract and toasted coconut flakes.
- For the Cake:
- • 3 cup all purpose flour
- • 2 cup sugar
- • 1 Tbsp baking powder
- • 1 cup rice milk
- • 1 cup butter*
- • 2 tsp coconut extract
- • 5 egg whites
- • ¼ cup coconut flakes, optional for garnish
- For the Frosting:
- • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- • ½ cups rice milk
- • ½ cups unsalted butter or coconut oil
- • ½ cups sugar
- • 1 teaspoons coconut extract (increase to 2 for extra coconut flavor!)
- Preheat oven to 350° and grease 2 (9 inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Grease and flour parchment paper. Set aside.
- Allow eggs whites to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.
- In a small bowl, mix milk and coconut extract together. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar. Mix until light and fluffy. Add flour and baking powder, into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk and coconut mixture. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into cake batter. Pour into prepared pans. Spread with spatula to cover pans completely with batter.
- Bake at 350° for approximately 30 minutes or until wooden tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes then removed from pans, set cakes on cooling rack and discard parchment paper.
- For the Frosting: In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the coconut and beat well.
- Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15- 20 minutes. Use immediately!
- Toast coconut flakes in oven for 7 minutes. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.
*To decrease the fat and calories in the recipe you may also replace ½ the butter/coconut oil with applesauce
**This is not a low calorie or low carb recipe. For patients with diabetes, consider a small portion or limit the amount of icing applied to the cake.
This cake is moist, fairly dense, and has the most delightfully delicate coconut flavor. I made the student helping me today take most of it home because I was worried it would end up rounding out my breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of the week. This is not your Aunt Sal’s fluffy white coconut cake with inch-thick coconut frosting that you get at Easter. This might actually be better (but don’t tell Aunt Sal!)
To find out more about coconut and the renal diet, check out the upcoming newsletter of Dialysis Patient Citizens where I comment more about coconut.