Coconut Milk Cake with Berries [Dessert for the Fourth]

Sparklers! Picture by Hillary

Sparklers! Picture by Hillary

I hope everyone had a nice and relaxing Fourth of July, including the weekend after. For the Fourth, a couple friends asked the group if we wanted to BBQ in Prospect Park. Plenty of people said they were making salads and bringing some kind of meat to grill, so I went with what I know best, dessert. For the fireworks, I was heading over to Jersey City to my friends house, just like last year, and figured some cake would be necessary there too.  I needed something for a larger group and I wanted it to be summery. So as I was flipping through my binder of recipes and came across Martha Stewart’s Coconut Cake with Berries and Cream, I was sold.

Picnic in the park

Picnic in the park

This cake is basically a Tres Leches Cake  with a twist. You replace one of the milks with coconut milk. You also add some toasted coconut to the batter. It adds a nice light coconut flavor that is not over powering and delicious. One WARNING about this cake. It need a lot of time to sit and soak up all the milk. I went to buy the ingredients I was missing the night before and when I got home double checked how long it would take: 11.5 hours! What? I missed that… this was suppose to be easy. So I made the cake that night so it could sit and soak over night. Right before heading to the park, I whipped up the cream topping and added the fruit. It was still super easy. Just remember that if you ever want to make this guy, and you should, it takes setting time. I followed the recipe exactly, except I don’t have a glass baking dish and it didn’t seem to matter. The result was still a delicious coconuty, creamy, red, white, and blue creation!

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Coconut Milk Cake with Berries

Serves 12 to 18

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pans
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted and finely ground
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 can (13.75 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups (about 12 oz.) mixed fresh berries ( I used blueberries & Strawberries), for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together egg whites, baking soda, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium speed, until soft peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add egg yolks to egg-white mixture, and whisk until completely combined. Gradually add sugar, and whisk until combined. Fold in butter and coconut with a rubber spatula.
  4. Sift 1/4 cup flour onto mixture; fold to combine. Repeat with remaining flour, folding in 1/4 cup at a time.
  5. Pour batter into pan; bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, the coconut milk, and condensed milk. As soon as cake is removed from oven, pour cream mixture over cake. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerator at least 5 hours and up to 8 hours.
  7. Just before serving, whisk remaining cup heavy cream until soft peaks form, and spread over cake. Sprinkle berries on top or serve on the side.

Enjoy!

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