Easter Coconut Sheet Cake
Author: 
Yield: 24 servings
 
Ingredients
For the Coconut Sheet Cake
  • 2½ cups plus 2 tablespoons (330 g) cake flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4½ ounces (9 tablespoons/125 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons (325 g) granulated sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup (75 ml) coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons pure coconut extract
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180 g) cream of coconut
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) whole milk
  • 2 cups (180 g) lightly packed sweetened shredded coconut
  • 5 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
For the Coconut Frosting
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks/340 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 3 tablespoons cream of coconut
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 food dyes or gels
Instructions
Make the Coconut Sheet Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) if your pan is metal and 325°F (165°C) if it's glass.
  2. Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) glass or light-metal pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Line the pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs the pan on two sides.
  4. Lightly spray the parchment and the sides of the pan.
  5. Alternatively, you can butter and lightly flour the parchment paper and sides of the pan.
  6. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Set aside.
  8. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on
  9. medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add the coconut oil and beat until incorporated.
  11. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the egg, egg yolk, coconut extract, and
  12. vanilla, and beat until thoroughly combined.
  13. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  14. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream of coconut and whole milk.
  15. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk
  16. mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  17. After each addition, beat on medium speed until incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.
  18. Fold in the shredded coconut with a rubber spatula.
  19. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites vigorously for 1 minute.
  20. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the whites and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
  21. Gently fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the batter until almost combined.
  22. Fold another quarter of the egg white mixture into the batter until nearly combined.
  23. Finally, add the remaining egg white mixture to the batter and fold gently until completely combined.
  24. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven.
  25. Bake the cake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 42 to 48 minutes (if you're baking in a glass pan, you might need a few extra minutes).
  26. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
  27. Once the cake has cooled, you can gently lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper, if you want to—or you can serve it straight out of the pan.
Make the Coconut Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and sugar
  2. together until combined.
  3. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (double-boiler method, see page 19), making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the color is a milky white, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. The liquid should be warm to the touch.
  6. Place the bowl back onto the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high
  7. speed (start slowly at first) until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with the paddle attachment.
  9. Add the cubed butter, a few chunks at a time, and beat on medium-high speed (again, start slowly at first) until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  10. If the buttercream breaks (i.e., looks like it is curdling), keep beating until it comes back together.
  11. Add the cream of coconut, coconut extract, and salt and beat for 10 to 15 seconds to combine.
  12. Divide the frosting evenly into four separate bowls.
  13. Add a drop or two of food dye to each bowl (a lighter touch is preferred here to emulate muted pastel colors), and fold until the color is uniform; you can leave one bowl white if you like.
  14. If you own four separate pastry bags, fit each of them with a round medium tip; if not, gather four zip-tight plastic bags and fit them with four round medium tips (if you do not have tips, just be prepared to cut a corner of each plastic bag).
  15. Fill each bag with a separate color of frosting; if using a zip-tight plastic bag, cut a small triangle from one of the bottom corners after filling it three-fourths with frosting and zipping the top.
  16. Hold the first bag about ¼ inch (6 mm) above the cake and apply pressure to pipe a dot or “egg” of frosting into the corner of the cake.
  17. Carefully pull the tip slightly up and off to the side to mimic the pattern of the cake in the photo on page 87.
  18. Choose the next color and pipe the next two or three dots or “eggs” diagonally underneath the first color dot (see photo 1).
  19. Pick up your third color and pipe four dots underneath the second row of dots.
  20. Then use the fourth and final color to pipe the 5 or 6 dots or “eggs” underneath the third row of dots (see photo 2).
  21. Continue this pattern across the top of the cake until the complete cake is covered (see photos 3 and 4).
  22. Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set the frosting. Serve immediately.
Notes
How to store: the cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before slicing and serving.
Recipe by Baked Sunday Mornings at http://bakedsundaymornings.com/2015/03/31/in-the-oven-easter-coconut-sheet-cake/