Note: The giveaway is open for Greek citizens only. You can find more info about entering the sweepstake in the Greek post here.
Calling all coconut lovers; I have a special recipe for you.
I give you the ultimate Coconut Pineapple Cake recipe, which also happens to be dairy-free for those interested. A cake that people who tested it described it as the lightest dessert they have ever had. I know, you expect Christmas cookies and traditional dessert recipes from me this time of year but bear with me. I’ll explain everything.
A few days ago I received a Greek copy of the book The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook published by Terzopoulos Books. I must admit I wanted to buy this book. It’s been in my cookbook wish list for quite some time. I wanted to try at least one Hummingbird Bakery cupcake recipe, as they are said to be delicious.
After leafing through the pages of the book I found a recipe for Coconut Pineapple Cupcakes and thought that turning these cupcakes into a dairy-free cake would be a great idea since I was in search of a dairy-free cake recipe for my birthday. A big plus the fact that desiccated coconut looks like snow and you know…it goes with the season.
The idea for the snowy cookie city wasn’t mine, of course. I got it from Pinterest and you too can see the original post here. I am not sharing a gingerbread cookie recipe with you as I am still searching for my favorite one. There is a recipe however in the book The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook which I’ll try as soon as this whole dairy-free diet thing is over.
The dairy-free Coconut Pineapple Cake turned out to be a great success even though I didn’t have a birthday party after all (migraine issues). I came to believe this is the perfect cake to end a Christmas dinner. After all the heavy foods and the cheesy plates, usually found on Christmas dinner tables, people need to have a fresh and flavorful dessert.
This cake’s exotic flavor will make you ask for more. The coconut pineapple sponge is moist and full of flavor on its own; no syrup needed. The cake is layered and frosted with Coconut Whipped Cream. You can see the recipe I found after a short google research here.
Before moving on to the recipe let me tell you that there is a giveaway. One lucky reader will win a Greek copy of The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Terzopoulos Books. I am afraid the giveaway is open for Greek citizens only, though. You can find more info about entering the sweepstake in the Greek post here.
- For a tall 20cm / 8in cake
- 420g /14.80oz all-purpose flour
- 490g / 17.30oz sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt (optional)
- 140g / 4.90oz coconut oil, solidified*
- 400g / 14.10oz coconut milk, at room temperature
- The seeds of a vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, medium sized, at room temperature
- 860g / 30.30oz canned pineapple slices, cut in small pieces**
- 4 cans of coconut milk (13.50oz / 400ml each), chilled overnight***
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 70g / 2.50oz powdered/icing sugar, sifted
- 70-100g / 2.50-3.50oz desiccated coconut
- Snowy house shaped cookies
- Fresh rosemary stems
- Powdered/icing sugar
- Sift flour in mixer bowl. Add sugar, baking powder and salt and mix using a spoon.
- Add solidified coconut oil and mix in low speed until mixture gets crumbly.
- Place coconut milk in a bowl. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add coconut milk in flour mixture while mixing in medium speed. Then add eggs one at a time. Mix in medium speed until fully incorporated.
- Remove bowl from mixer. Add chopped pineapple and mix using a spatula.
- Line three 20cm / 8in round pans with parchment paper.
- Divide cake batter between your pans.
- Bake in a pre-heated, conventional oven, at 180oc / 350oF for 40-50 minutes (depending the oven) or until an inserted toothpick/knife comes out clean****.
- Let cakes sit in the pans for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer cakes on a wire rack to cool*****.
- Place mixer bowl in the fridge to chill before using it to make the coconut whipped cream.
- Remove coconut milk cans from the fridge carefully (try not to shake them) and remove the lid. Scoop out the firm layer of coconut cream that has solidified at the top, leaving the liquid in the can.
- Place thickened coconut cream in chilled mixer bowl and mix in low speed until creamy (no longer than 30 seconds).
- Add vanilla extract and sifted powdered sugar. Beat in medium to high speed until stiff peaks. If not used immediately coconut whipped cream should be covered in plastic and placed in the fridge (where it will thicken even more).
- Put one sponge on a serving plate and spread some coconut whipped cream evenly on top. Set the second layer over it and cover with frosting. Set the third layer on top and spread the remaining coconut whipped cream frosting over the sides and the top of the cake.
- Scoop up desiccated coconut with your hand and gently press gently all over the sides and the top of the cake to cover it evenly.
- Place Christmas tree or snowy house shaped cookies on top as a holiday decoration.
- Dust powdered sugar over fresh rosemary stems and place them on cake instead of cookie trees.
- *Coconut oil solidifies under 24oC / 76oF. If the temperature in your kitchen is higher than that then you’ll have to place coconut oil in the fridge to solidify before using.
- **I used two cans of pineapple; a big one (net weight 510g / 18oz) and a smaller one (net weight 350g / 12.30oz).
- ***Avoid shaking coconut milk cans and place them in the fridge overnight to chill. That way the liquid part of the milk stays separated from the cream, which thickens when chilled. I got about 200g / 7oz of thickened Coconut Cream out of each can.
- ****Avoid opening oven door for the first 30 minutes of baking to avoid deflating your cakes.
- *****Allow sponges to cool completely before frosting the cake otherwise the Coconut Whipped Cream could melt and the whole cake could fall apart.
- You can prepare the sponges and the frosting the night before. Cover each cake with plastic, place frosting in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge to use the next day. That’s how I did it actually.
- Piping the frosting and then spreading it using a spatula helps me creating even layers. Watching the how-to photo video will help you with the whole frosting process. You don’t have to frost this cake to perfection though, desiccated coconut covers all flaws.
- Canned full fat coconut milk and coconut cream are both suitable for making the FROSTING as they have the right fat percentage to give you the thick cream layer on top. BUT I don’t suggest using coconut cream when making the sponges because it’s higher in fat, thus thicker, and that means that you won’t get the right cake batter consistency.
Happy holiday baking!
This post is also available in: Greek