Valentine’s Day is exactly a week from now, so to get everyone in the spirit, we baked something that will surely make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.. okay maybe not. But we do hope that this Red Velvet Coconut Cake looks tempting enough for you to make for that special someone. The red and white on this cake really shouts Valentine’s! Oh, and believe it or not, this is actually the very first cake we’ve made on our blog! Hooray! We figured it was a fun challenge to bake this together, and luckily it did not turn out disastrous, since baking is not our forte! With the help from Catcora.com and Paula Deen’s Red Velvet recipe, we tweaked it a bit to create this Red Velvet Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting that is sprinkled entirely with shredded coconut! If you love sweet desserts, you are in for a delicious treat!
Sift together 2 1/2 cups cake flour, 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Gently mix together.
In a mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks of softened unsalted butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup shredded coconut. Then add 3 large eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low, gradually add 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, and 1 vanilla bean (shown below). To get the batter looking a lovely red, add 2 tbsp of red food coloring.
Instead of vanilla extract, we scraped a vanilla bean instead. If you don't have this on hand, then use 1 tsp vanilla extract to be added to the wet ingredients.
We combined the dry ingredients with the red batter by hand instead of using the electric mixer. In a separate bowl, combine 1 tbsp white vinegar with 1 tsp baking soda and let it activate. Then add it to the batter.
Spray two 8-inch cake pans and divide the mixture into two. (Note: We didn't have two pans handy, so we just used one cake pan for the batter. This will have a longer baking time and we had to cut off the top of the cake after it baked to get it flat.) If you have the two cake pans, it should take about 25-30 minutes to bake or until toothpick comes out clean.
As you can see, we sliced off the top of our cake to give it a smooth texture to prepare for the icing.
We also cut the cake into 3 layers and added a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on each piece. Cream cheese frosting is prepared by mixing 1 package of softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, 4 cups confectioner's sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. If the frosting is not as smooth, add 1 tsp of water to help the consistency be more spreadable.
Frost each layer of the cake and finish off with the entire outside of the cake. Don't worry if you get red velvet specks when you are icing because the coconut flakes will cover it.
Sprinkle about 1 cup of shredded coconut over the entire cake, making sure to cover all areas of the frosting. This was definitely the most enjoyable part! Maybe it's because we were at the finish line.
From the outside, it just looks like a white coconut cake, but once you slice into the cake, you get the beautiful red velvet color which is perfect to serve for a Valentine's Day dessert. So now you can have your cake... and eat it too!
To view or print-out this recipe, click here: Red Velvet Coconut Cake