I wanted to make something a little different for a birthday cake for a friend of mine. I usually go nuts with chocolate and peanut butter for him but this year I wanted to try something completely new.
I figured the combination of creamy lemon pie filling and crunchy toasted coconut would be pretty tasty.
It did not disappoint.
The textures and flavors are definitely a fantastic combo.
If you are looking for something different that looks beautiful but doesn't require a terrific amount of work then you need to try this one.
But...don't take my word for it. Quick, go make it right now. :)
Vanilla Cake with Lemon Custard and Toasted Coconut
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
2 large lemons, juiced and zested
2 Tbsp butter
4 egg yolks
Coconut Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
1 - 2 cups coconut, toasted
Prepare cake - Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2, 8 X 8 pans with cooking spray.
Heat milk and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
Beat together; eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt.
Slowly beat in hot milk. Mix until well combined.
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 for approx 20 - 30 minutes. Toothpick inserted near center should come out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.
Prepare lemon custard - In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice & zest. (There should be at least 1/3 cup lemon juice) Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Gradually whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture. (Do this slowly so the eggs don't curdle!) Whisk egg yolks back into remaining hot mixture.
Place back over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue to cook and stir until thick. Remove from heat. Let cool until mixture starts to set. (It can be a little warmer than room temp but not hot!)
Prepare coconut whipping cream - Beat whipping cream with 3 tbsp sugar and the coconut extract until stiff peaks form. Place in fridge until ready to use.
Assemble cake - Cut a ring around the top of the cake - about 1 inch in from the edge, and about 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep. Remove the "lid" that you have cut out. Scoop out the cake to leave an approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch cavity.
Place one of the cakes on a serving platter.
Fill the cavity in the cake with the lemon custard, just to the top of the cavity - not too full.
Top with second cake. Fill cavity in the second cake with more of the lemon custard. (You will have some leftover. You can just eat that!)
Place the "lid" back on top of the lemon custard. (You can eat the "lid" from the bottom cake - you won't need it!)
Generously frost the sides and top of cake with the whipped coconut cream.
Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of the cake and gently press it onto the sides of the cake, being careful not to flatten the cream too much.
Chill until ready to serve. At least 2 hours or, covered, overnight.
The birthday boy's wife sent us this pic after they dove into it!
If you want a shortcut to make it a bit easier - you can buy store bought pie filling (such as Shirriff Lemon Pie Fillingor the like) and simply add the zest of one lemon to the pie filling so it is extra lemony.
For tons more fun and tasty links, be sure to check out -- Jam Hands and Feeding Big and Love Bakes Good Cakes and Table For Seven. and Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons and Carole's Chatter.