We hosted a family barbecue a couple weekends ago at our house. Eric and I used our citrus marinade on flap meat steaks, and I made a big batch of my cuban-style black beans, a simple mixed green salad and a pot of basmati rice. My aunt Elen had brought some awesome spicy grilled chicken that Maxine had made for everyone to enjoy as well. We had so much food to eat for dinner, but there is always room for dessert right?
My youngest sister, Sasha, told me that my mom loves red velvet cake so I should make one for the barbecue. My mom recently had her 50th birthday, and Eric & I taken her out to dinner. Afterwards, we got together with part of the family for some cake. We figured we could celebrate again with this homemade cake since not everyone was together from the last celebration, plus we had a couple more birthdays to celebrate for the month of July. Anytime our family gets together, it's a reason to celebrate and eat lots of food and eat some cake. Birthdays, food, fun and cake are always a good reason to celebrate with all the loved ones in your life.
Adapted from Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist
2 ½ cups cake flour, plus more for the cake pans
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons red food coloring (preference natural coloring from India Tree)
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (light or regular)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350° F and position the rack in the middle. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with PAM and flour the bottom. Remove any excess flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Pulse the coconut in a food processor until very fine, or finely chopped. In the KA mixer, cream the butter, sugar and coconut on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, add the red food coloring, buttermilk and coconut milk and mix until combined. With the KA mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture alternating with the milk mixture in 3 batches. Stop and scrape down the bowl twice if needed.
In another small bowl, add the vinegar and baking soda - you will see the mixture bubble, but it's just reacting to the baking soda. Add this vinegar mixture into the cake and mix well. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let the cakes cool until you are ready to frost them.
2 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
pinch kosher salt
pinch cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
In the KA mixer with the wire whisk, beat the egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form. In a small saucepan on high heat, bring the corn syrup to a boil. While beating the egg whites on high speed, slowly drizzle the hot corn syrup at a steady rate. Beat for 3 to 4 minutes until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla and salt and whip for an additional 30 seconds.
Assemble the cake:. Transfer 2 cups of whipped frosting to a medium bowl and fold in 1 cup of shredded coconut. Place one cake layer on a large plate and spread the frosting evenly with the coconut frosting. Top with the second layer cake layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining additional frosting. Cover the sides and top of the frosted cake with the remaining cups of shredded coconut. Add additional sprinkles if desired. Because the frosting is delicate, the cake is best served the same day that it's made.