Cooking with ‘Friends’: Paula Deen’s Coconut Christmas Cake


2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 c. granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 c. self-rising flour, sifted
1 c. canned, unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
4 tbsp. milk
½ c. flaked, sweetened coconut

7 Minute Frosting (recipe below)
Flaked, sweetened coconut for sprinkling

For cake: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour three 9” cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs,1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.

For filling: While cake is baking, prepare filling.  Stir together sugar, sour cream, milk and coconut in a bowl until well blended.  Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pan as you prepare to stack and fill.  Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate.  Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1 inch apart until entire cake has been poked.  Spread one third of filling mixture on cake layer.  Top with second layer, repeat process.  Top with last layer and repeat process again.  (As I stack layers together, I stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.)  You can place the cake in the refrigerator for 3 days to allow it to absorb the filling mixture.

For frosting: Prepare 7-Minute Frosting.  Frost top and sides of cake.  Sprinkle top and sides of cake with additional coconut

⅓ c. water
⅛ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cream of tartar or 1 tbsp. white corn syrup
1½ c. sugar
2  egg whites
1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water and egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute with a handheld electric mixer.  Using the double boiler method, place the bowl over the top of rapidly boiling water, making sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top bowl. If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the boiler and gently stir in vanilla with a spatula.