My Put On Your Apron ‘Cause We’re Baking A Cake A Week project has been going great! I feel like I’m starting to get a hang of some basic cake decorating tricks. To date, I’ve made a chocolate marshmallow cake to practice leveling cake layers, and a vanilla Swiss buttercream cake to practice ruffle decorating. This week I focused on buttercream consistency, and a decorating technique called” scalloping”. After seeing Country Living’s coconut cake I was inspired, so in honor of the very glorious, “we’re out of the woods”, “everyone is happier” season that is known as spring, and the Easter holiday I’ve made you this delicious and lovely coconut Easter egg cake.
Okay, let’s put this cake together! I used Ina Garten’s coconut cupcakes recipe for the cake base. It really is a perfect yellow cake (moist, not too sweet, with a little hint of almond flavor, and, thanks to the shredded coconut, has a great texture). I baked it in two 9-inch round cake pans. After crumb coating the cake, I scored the sides vertically. This helps to pipe in a straight line.
To make a scalloped look, I piped a column of large dots.
Then I gently placed the tip of an off set spatula in the center of a dot and pulled it across to the right. This created a “petal” shape.
Once I completed a column I piped out another column of dots onto the tails of the petals.
After the sides of the cake were covered I piped two rings of scallops around the perimeter on top of the cake.
Finally, I nestled 3 malted milk eggs into a nest of toasted coconut to complete the look. I then stared at the cake for a couple of hours because I just couldn’t believe that this horrible cake decorator made such a pretty cake. It’s that easy.
The right consistency of the buttercream is vital. I’ve found that 2 cups of powdered sugar per stick of butter works well to hold a decorative shape, while also being smooth enough to frost. Initially, I made a batch using 6 cups of powdered sugar and 3 sticks of butter (plus a little salt, coconut milk, and coconut extract). It wasn’t enough, however, for me to fill, crumb coat, and scallop the entire cake. I then made some more to finish the decorating. All in all, it took about 10 cups of powdered sugar and 5 sticks of butter. I had a little left over, but that’s okay.
- 3 cups (375 g) All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- 3 sticks (340 g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 2 cups (400 g) Sugar
- 5 Extra Large Eggs
- 1 and ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 and ½ tsp. Almond Extract
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 7 oz. Sweetened and Shredded Coconut
- 5 sticks (565 g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 10 cups (1250 g) Powdered Sugar
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp. Coconut Extract
- 1 to 2 TBS. Coconut Milk or Regular Milk
- Blue Gel Dye
- 7 oz. Shredded Coconut
- 3 Speckled Chocolate Malt Eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease, and then line with parchment, and then grease the parchment of two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a bowl connected to a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Add the sugar, and mix until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- On low speed, mix in the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Add the flour mixtures in three batches alternating with the buttermilk. Be sure to begin and end with the flour mixture.
- Finally, fold in the coconut.
- Divide the dough evenly between the two baking pans. Bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted in the middle of the cakes.
- Cool the cakes in their pans on wire racks. Once completely cooled carefully invert the cakes onto a cutting board. With a serrated knife, level each cake, and then wrap up the cakes in plastic and set aside. Good job.
- You may want to make the buttercream in two batches. Just cut the ingredients in half.
- In a bowl connected to a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the mixer on low speed and add ½ cup of the powdered sugar. Mix together until incorporated. Mix in the extracts and the salt.
- Mix in the rest of the (or most of it) powdered sugar in small batches. Once the buttercream is stiff add the milk, a tablespoon at a time until you reach a good consistency for frosting and decorating a cake. You might need to add more powdered sugar or more milk to achieve this.
- Finally, add in your color until you get the shade you want. If you are making the buttercream in two batches then remember how many drops of dye you used in the first batch.
- Place the buttercream in an air-tight container until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Spread the shredded coconut onto a large baking sheet. Bake the coconut for about 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to watch closely as it can brown fast. Mix it around from time to time for even baking. Once toasted, set aside to cool. Turn off your oven.
- Place one cake layer on a turntable cake stand. Spread ¾ cup of the buttercream evenly around. Place the other cake layer over top. Crumb coat the entire cake in a thin layer of buttercream. Place cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Scoop some of the buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a large circle tip (I used a #12). With a straight end of a spatula mark the sides of the cake with vertical lines, about an inch apart. Pipe out a column of dots down a line. Using an off set spatula, place the tip in the middle of a dot and gently pull to the right to create a tail. When you’ve completed your column of “petals” then pipe out another line of dots, overlapping them a bit onto the tails.
- Once the sides are covered then pipe out two rings of scallops around the perimeter on top. Finally, create a nest with the toasted coconut in the center, and nestle in the 3 chocolate malt eggs. You’re done!!!
- Two 9-inch round cake pans
- Parchment paper
- Wire racks
- Standing mixer with whisk and paddle attachment
- Off set spatula
- Rotatable cake stand
- Pastry bags
- Round tip #12
- Baking sheet