(You can tell by the enthusiasm in that statement just how happy I am that it is Monday.)
We just got back from an epic road trip of a weekend where we drove from San Diego, to Las Vegas, to the Hoover Dam, and then back to San Diego in the span of 48 hours. So much fun was had (although minimal debauchery as we were with the in-laws), and now I’m ready to sleep for the next several days, but alas, I am obligated to attend a job from 8-5.
(But for real, still loving my job, this is all just a bunch of privileged whine, for which I deeply apologize).
But since I am legitimately exhausted, I figured today was a great day to post a recipe of something that I am currently fantasizing about stuffing into my face, but sadly am contenting myself with an apple for breakfast. This Coconut Rum Cake has a place in everyone’s kitchen, stomach, face, etc…
A little bit of backstory- this cake was inspired by those boozy rum cakes you can get in the Caribbean aka when you make a stop at the Bahamas on your Caribbean cruise. I think originally this idea came to me in a moment of weakness when San Diego dropped to a frigid 55 degrees and I found myself dreaming of a tropical vacation, but eventually made its way into the centerpiece of my friend Russel’s birthday celebration. I actually made two desserts… one of which was an epic fail (a salted caramel chocolate tart that was so firm it could not be pierced with a fork…), so it won’t be posted here, but the Coconut Rum Cake was moist, tender, and boozy, and was devoured with relish. This cake is basically a celebration of all things coconut- the cake batter has coconut flakes and coconut rum, the soaking syrup is made from coconut rum and sugar, and then it is all topped with a glaze of powdered sugar mixed with more rum. I then topped the whole thing with fresh coconut shavings. Ever made coconut shavings? Me neither. Cracking a coconut is a bear of a job for a weakling such as myself, but I managed to make do with a screw driver and a meat mallet. I definitely need to perfect my technique before I give you all advice, but feel free to check out this blog for different options on how to crack open a coconut if you are feeling ambitious. Once the coconut is open you can use a vegetable peeler to make homemade fresh coconut shavings which are a beautiful and subtle coconut-y addition to this cake.
Note- If you want the look without the effort, Trader Joes and Whole Foods are selling dried thick coconut shavings (commonly referred to as “coconut chips”). Also feel free to check them out at amazon. So now I dream of a day of minimal stress, a lunch break where I can stuff my face with coconut cake, and immediately retiring to bed at 5:30pm.
Coconut Rum Cake
_For the Cake_
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup softened butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup Coconut Rum I used Malibu
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
_For the Rum Soak_
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons Coconut Rum
_For the Glaze_
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons Coconut Rum
_To Garnish (optional)_
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes or freshly shaved coconut
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
- In a small bowl combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt. Whisk well to combine.
- In a medium bowl combine butter and sugar. Beat well on medium speed until fluffy.
- Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add rum and mix.
- Add milk and mix.
- Add oil and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Gradually pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients until thoroughly mixed, but be careful not to overmix. Batter will be thin.
- Fold in coconut flakes.
- Pour batter into 9-inch round and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- While cake is baking, prepare the rum soaking liquid. Combine butter, sugar, water, and coconut rum in a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved into the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Let cake cool briefly and then carefully invert the cake onto a cooling rack or plate.
- While cake is still warm, use a pastry brush to apply the rum soaking liquid to the cake. Brush liquid on slowly to let it absorb. Use the entire quantity.
- Next, prepare the glaze by whisking together powdered sugar and remaining coconut rum.
- When cake is completely cool, drizzle the entire cake with the rum glaze.
- Garnish with additional coconut flakes or freshly shaved coconut, as desired.