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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mrs. June's Heavenly Coconut Cake

Is this not gorgeous? I love this cake, and it has a story.
The Players:
Julia (my friend, a co-preschool mom)
James (her husband)
Mrs. June (a neighbor of James' family when he was growing up in Missouri)
Stacy (another co-preschool mom)
Stacy's in-laws
Stacy's in-laws' friends

The Setting: The preschool Fun Fair cake walk in June

The Story: Julia made this cake for the cake walk, and as you can see, it's impressive. In fact, she one-and-a-halved it so instead of four layers she made it with six. Even more impressive. Stacy's in-laws came to the Fun Fair and fixated on the cake. They did the cake walk every time it ran, trying to win that cake. The in-laws' friends were there, too, and when they won a cake walk round, they nabbed the coconut cake. Later that evening they had the in-laws over and everyone ate it. It was proclaimed "the best cake we've EVER eaten."

The next day Stacy emailed me to ask if I'd made it. I wish I had, but alas. I emailed the whole parents' list trying to find out who it was and finally Julia fessed up, to her unnecessarily humble embarrassment. She emailed us the recipe with the explanation. This is a southern classic that James' neighbor used to make and it's his favorite from boyhood. She shrugged it off as undeserving of praise since she buys her coconut at the store instead of shaving it herself. Whatever. This cake rocks.

I knew I had friends coming over in July - a friend I hadn't seen since college graduation (Ryan Rowberry) and his wife who I'd never met (Barbara Christiansen, who turned out to be the sister of Rich Christiansen who we knew in Brooklyn!) It was the perfect occasion for something cold, towering and fluffy. Trust me, none of us went hungry.

This cake is best when made two days ahead of time and allowed to just meld and ponder in the fridge. Make sure it's covered and leave it alone. And look forward to the reunion.

1 white or butter cake mix
12 oz. flaked coconut
16 oz. sour cream
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups Cool Whip

1. Bake cake according to box directions in two 8" or 9" round pans. Allow to cool completely.

2. While the cake is cooking, combine the sour cream, sugar, and about 2/3 of the coconut (just leave out enough of the coconut to sprinkle on top of the cake.) Allow this mixture to set in the fridge as long as you can while the cake cooks and cools.

3. Once the cakes are cool, cut the layers in half longways using a long serrated knife or floss. *This is a tricky step for me of unsteady hands. I just took it slowly and worked my way around the cakes keeping an eye on both ends of the knife. My layers were pretty uneven but no one noticed since we were all eating with our eyes euphorically closed.

4. Remove the sour cream/sugar/coconut mixture from the fridge and set aside one cup of it. Use the rest of it to spread in between the layers of the cake (not on the outside). 5. Combine the extra cup you set aside to mix with the 2 cups of cool whip. Frost the outside of the cake with the cool whip frosting mixture. Then sprinkle the rest of the "dry" coconut on top of the cake. Cover, refrigerate for 2 days, and enjoy!

1 comment:

Celeste Elaine said...

Kari, I asked my mom to make this as my birthday cake, and WHAM! I am having this every year from now on! This was so beautifully moist and refreshing...we loved it!

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