I wanted to bake something coconutty….and something with orange. At the same time I wanted it to be a simple cake…with maybe a thin layer of frosting… It’s hard to say, it was a strange craving, but it lead me to this exact orange coconut cake. I was just following my instincts and may I say, this time my instincts were absolutely right! I was enjoying the flavour of this cake so much. It is really a simple coconut cake soaked in orange syrup and frosted thinly with cream cheese frosting.

     

It tasted delicious, you could taste all the ingredients and all of them work so well together. Surpisingly, even though I thought I would be baking a winter cake, what with all the orange flavour, it turned out to be very refreshing, so I will definitely bake it during summer as well, only maybe substitute orange for lemon or lime. I think that dark chocolate ganache instead of cream cheese frosting would make for an even more decadent winter alternative. We’ll see about that. But let’s get back to this cake for now.

     

This coconut cake is so simple, yet so elegant combining the three main ingredients – coconut, orange and cream cheese. It is also very easy and fast to put together, however it requires several hours to set and soak up all the orange syrup. So make it the day before you plan to serve it or, as I did, at least 6 hours ahead.

preparation time: about 45 minutes, does not include cooling and setting
baking time: 25 minutes, 180°C/350 F
baking pan size: Φ26 cm/10 in

Ingredients for the batter:
100 g soft unsalted butter
100 g granulated white sugar (I put 50 g of brown and 50 g of white)
3 whole eggs
100 g all-purpose flour
140 g coconut flour*
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100 ml yoghurt
*I don’t know about your packages of coconut, but in my country the “coconut flour” is a mixture that is not as mealy and finely in texture as regular flour, it is chunkier and you can see the coconut flakes, but they are not as large as shredded coconut flakes.

Ingredients for the orange syrup:
80 ml freshly squeezd orange juice (1 large juicy orange)
60 g granulated white sugar

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting:
20 g soft butter
100 g cream cheese
100 g powdered sugar

1. Cream together butter (make sure it is completely soft, at room temperature) and sugar using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a whisk until the sugar is melted and the mixture looks pale and frothy.

2. Add whole eggs, but add them one at a time, mixing for about 20 seconds between each addition. This will help incorporating the eggs much better.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingedients – flour, coconut, baking powder and salt. Have yoghurt measured and on hand.

4. Start adding the rest of the ingredients into the mixture of butter, sugar and eggs, while carefully mixing on low speed. First add 1/3 of dry mixture, mix for about 10 seconds, then add 1/2 of yoghurt, mix for 10 seconds and go on, alternating between dry mixture and yoghurt finishing with the dry. Mix only until everything is incorporated, but don’t overmix. Use a spatula at the very end to make sure everything has been mixed in.

5. Pour the batter into a prepared baking pan and let it bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350F for about 22-28 minutes. The top should be lightly golden brown and should spring back when you touch it – that’s how you will know it is done.

6. While the cake bakes, make the orange syrup. Squeeze a large orange and pour the juice into a small saucepan. Put on the stove on low heat. Add the sugar and stir occassionaly until it starts to thicken. I cooked mine all the time while my cake was baking. It shouldn’t be super thick, like an actual syrup, but should start thickening and become a little sticky.

7. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the hot syrup all over the top. Make sure you have covered every part of the cake and let it rest for several hours (at least 6 hours). By that time, the cake will have absorbed all the liquid and will have become perfectly moist and flavourfull. After about an hour, you can move it to the fridge if you want to cool completely.

8. After the coconut cake has set and cooled completely, make the cream cheese frosting. Combine all the ingredients (make sure the butter and cream cheese are super soft) with a whisk and smear the frosting on top of the cake. Enjoy with a glass of white wine.

 

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ORANGE COCONUT CAKE
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