I love my husband most of all, but I think coconut comes in a close second. When I was trying to figure out what kind of cake to make for his birthday on January 2nd, I pulled out three different options. The common denominator was coconut and I didn’t even realize it until it was pointed out to me on Twitter. Oops! After a bit of deliberation, I honed in on Smitten Kitchen‘s key lime coconut cake which she adapted from Gourmet. It’s obviously a cake with a very fine lineage.
This isn’t a floofy cake with billowy frosting. It’s simple and straightforward and perfectly moist and delicious. The toasted coconut is prominent and the lime is as tart and citrusy. With a drizzle of a rum and lime icing on top, it’s everything a good cake should be.
And it’s a great cake for winter birthdays because it tastes so tropical that you can almost feel the sand between your toes, instead of cold rain falling on your head. But, I’ll take cold and rainy as long as Cornelius is right beside me. And bringing this cake in my old tin cake caddy to the local legion for Sunday night trivia while drinking cheap watery beer with great friends, well, it’s a birthday to remember! Everyone loved this cake, especially Cornelius, so don’t hesitate to make this for your next birthday or just because it’s raining outside.
elsewhere: Is your new year’s resolution to not skip breakfast? Well, try this delicious egg, cheese, spinach and potato frittata on for size over at Poppytalk. It’s so good that we ate it several times during the holidays and I’m still not sick of it yet.
coconut lime cake
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 c granulated sugar
1 T lime zest
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups flour minus 2 teaspoons
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 c milk
1/4 c fresh lime juice
2 T fresh lime juice
1 c powdered sugar
1 T rum
Toast the coconut in a skillet in a hot oven (350F) for 10-15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and cool, but don’t turn the oven off.
In a mixer, whip together the butter, sugar and lime zest until fluffy. Mix in the eggs and beat until combined. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and fluff with a fork. Add into butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add in half of the coconut, save the remainder for the topping. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and lime juice and pour into the batter, mixing slowly one final time until well blended.
Butter and flour a 9 x 2″ round cake pan, tapping out any excess flour. Pour in the batter and smooth out the top. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then invert onto rack and cool completely.
Whisk together powdered sugar, lime juice and rum and spoon over cake. Top with remaining toasted coconut.
Happy New Year! What a great birthday cake for your husband. It sounds and looks delicious, and is yet another of your recipes to add to my “want to try” list. I love coconut and lime flavors.
just bookmarked this for MY husband’s next cake occasion! Do you think it would be good with coconut milk in place of the milk-milk? That thought just came to me….
bellcurves, get going on those recipes 🙂 this is a good one & i’m sure you’ll love it.
laura, yes, it would be great with coconut milk! i’ve made cupcakes with cmilk and it worked lovely.
p.s. you guys actually might my husband – Les Camacho, of EllisLab? You’re going to make him a very happy man! LOL 😀
laura, that’s hilarious! my husband has been to a couple EE conventions & we use EE all the time!
I’m running a half marathon in Florida this weekend and after I get back to NYC, I have a feeling I’m going to be craving the tropical weather! This sounds like a wonderfully delicious cake. happy birthday to Cornelius!
isn’t smitten kitchen just fool-proof?
happy birthday to your husband!
happy cake eating to you!
Oh, heck, yeah. I know what I’m making this weekend!
I’m grateful for your post today. It reminded me that I need to send out a birthday card. Many birthdays in January, not to mention my own. I think I would love this cake. Happy birthday to Cornelius!
Your husband is so lucky to have you baking him scrumptious cakes like this one! What better way to show your love than with lovingly prepared food.
That cake looks so yummy! I’m also a fan of coconut in all shapes and forms. I’m so glad to see that it turned out well.
Wow, good luck Joanne on the run! You are awesome!!
Alana, I feel the same way. This is a good one!
I’m sure you’ll love this one, Danabee.
Yes, a few January birthdays here too. This would be a great cake, Tracy. Happy birthday!
Oh, he knows it, Rachel! He’s a lucky dog.
Thanks Bijoux, it was perfect!
I want to eat that cake.
This is our kind of cake — gets the job done without all the frill and fuss. Layer cakes are pretty, but in the end it’s just going to get eaten. Plus I could actually get a full bite of this in my mouth! Great summery flavors, too.
Cheers and happy New Year,
This looks lovely! I have been on quite the coconut kick lately. Consider it bookmarked and ready to go for my return to college–my house mates will love it.
mmmmmm that looks delicious!! Adding it to my “must try” list
um wow – i <3 Smitten Kitchen! But I would have never seen this recipe with out your hard work which lead to Tasteologie picking it up! 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I'm going to work on making these gluten free, vegan, cupcakes!
Awww…what nice stuff you have to say about your husband! 🙂 I like that you didn’t make him a “floofy” cake, too. If Cornelius is anything like my boyfriend, I’m sure he appreciated the lack of sugar and frosting overload.
Kimberly, please do. It’s a good one.
Yes, definitely Heather, no frills, no fuss – just deliciousness!
Thanks Maggie, I’m sure you & your housemates will love it.
Glad you found me, cookmarked! Hope you stick around awhile 🙂
Maddie, he’s a keeper and I’m completely smitten.
oh the gods above…this does look mighty delicious….isnt it amazing that some people dont like coconuts?
Shellie, totally shocking 🙂 I love them and this cake is so perfect!
I love coconut everything too! So this definitely looks amazing. I love the simplicity of it too, something you can make everydya. Can’t believe I missed this cake on SK.
I just made this using Dove’s Farm Wheat and Gluten Free Plain Four…(and a wee bit of xantham gum and gluten free baking powder) it turned out perfectly. YUM!
That is a huge compliment because making cakes wheat and gluten free is always a challenge.
The only thing I wasn’t sure on was the correct temperature to cook the cake at? I set my fan forced oven to 180 degress celcius and the cake took 40 minutes.
Thanks for sharing such a delightful recipe. x
Diane, the recipe states 350F to toast the coconut – but keep the oven on for baking 🙂 Glad the substitutions worked out fine. It’s a fantastic cake.
Thanks for the clarification. It’s less than a fortnight later and I am baking another one of these. I’ve had so many lovely comments on it. The cake freezes well too… I cut some up before freezing so I can have a cheaky treat every now and then – I just defost it in the microwave for 25 seconds and it tasts just as delicious as it did before freeing.
Thanks again for such a fabulous recipe.
I realize that this was posted years ago, but wanted to add a comment for anybody tempted to make this cake—GO FOR IT!! I made it last night and it was so delicious! I subbed coconut milk (unsweetened) for the milk and I cooked the glaze, because I didn’t like the flavor of the powdered sugar. With or without substitutions, I am sure this cake will be a winner. It was so easy, too. Thanks for the great recipe.