I love coconut. I know I’ve said that before in my previous blogs for Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies and Coconut Oatmeal Cookies. I’ve only baked with shredded coconut, so when this recipe for Coconut Cream cheese Sheet Cake called for coconut milk, I was ready to give it a try.
The can says “coconut milk, first pressing.” I just assumed it would pour out like sweetened condensed milk so I used the old fashioned triangular can opener. Wrong. It didn’t pour at all so I opened the top with can opener and I definitely wasn’t prepared for the heavy pudding like substance inside. Not knowing what else to do, I just spooned it out and used it that way. I was also surprised that it did not have a sweet taste. Of course, I had to google “first pressing” to see what that meant. According to what I read here on the ultimate guide to everything, i.e., the internet, “first pressing” means pieces of the meat that are grated, soaked in warm water and then strained to produce thick coconut milk.
The recipe I used came from the “Just A Pinch” :
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
6 oz. cream cheese softened
2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cake flour
1/4 coconut milk or cream
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with non stick cooking spray. Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar.
Beat in eggs one at a time, vanilla and then mix in flour. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
1/4 c butter softened
4 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 tsp vanilla or coconut extract
1 1/2 c confectioners sugar
1/2 c coconut for toasting
Beat together butter, cheese, vanilla and add sugar. Mix until well blended. Toast coconut either in the oven on in the skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, flipping continuously. Spread icing on cooled cake and top with toasted coconut.
I used the skillet method for toasting my coconut and found it to be much easier then having to pull the pan repeatedly out of the oven. I used coconut extract instead of vanilla and found it to give the icing a wonderful light flavor.
I wish I could say I found this cake as good as the icing, but I did not. The texture is very heavy and the taste is not very sweet. After tasting this cake, I found it very similar to Cream Cheese Pound Cake which I have made before and really enjoyed. Ironically scrolling through my Facebook page today, I found the article “13 Ways to Ruin a Pound Cake” from Southern Living. I have to admit, I am guilty of doing at least several of these and maybe that is why this cake did not turn out like I would have liked. If you like pound cake, and I do, it’s worth it to take the time to read this article.