Browsing Tag


Easy Coconut Cake

October 4, 2010

On Friday night I was sitting on my couch, waiting impatiently for J to arrive so the weekend could officially start. And when I heard a knock at the door, I sprung off the couch to answer the door. I wish I would have thought to take a photo of the sight in front of me: J, holding a homemade coconut cake with two candles numbering ’23’ glowing brightly. Seriously one of the best birthday cakes I can remember receiving.

Although my birthday isn’t until Tuesday, celebrating solo during the week isn’t nearly as fun as celebrating the entire weekend long with someone you love. That someone baked a heck of a birthday cake, satisfying the craving I’ve been harboring for coconut cake over the past two months.

This morning when I told J this cake and the recipe was going on Espresso and Cream, he balked at the idea. Sure, we spent the weekend marveling at the pure deliciousness of each bite, but I’ll be the first to admit this dessert hardly fits the mold of what I traditionally post. It starts with a boxed cake mix and is full of all types of bad-for-you ingredients, like half and half, sugar and Cool Whip. Yes, you read that right. Cool Whip. Just go with it for my sake, because it’s my birthday (almost!) and everyone has the right to eat deliciously low-brow birthday cake on their special day. 

P.S. – My dad sent me something special to celebrate the occasion, too. Check it out here.

Easy Coconut Cake
(Printable Recipe)

*1 box yellow cake mix
*2 cups half and half
*16 oz. fresh coconut
*1 cup sugar
*1 large carton Cool Whip

*Bake prepared cake mix in a 13×9-inch pan according to package directions. About 10 minutes before cake is done, mix half the coconut, the half and half and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
*Remove baked cake from the oven and let it cool about 10 minutes. Punch holes in top of the cake with a fork and pour mixture over it. Let cake stand at room temperature for an additional 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 hours.
*To ice cake, mix the whipped topping with the remaining coconut. Cover cake with frosting and return to refrigerator.

Happy Baking!


Coconut Lace Cookies

August 9, 2010

Another Monday, another weekend come and gone, and while I’ve never really been the type of person who loathes Mondays, I do loathe the end of the weekend for the sole fact that it means J. and I have to part yet again. As I write this on Sunday night he’s back in the car on his way home to Illinois. I, on the other hand, am cuddled up on my bed watching Netflix on my computer and taking comfort in the fact that I’ve sent a dozen of these cookies along with him for the week ahead, if they last that long.

Saturday afternoon between a morning run and a trip to the mall I decided cookies were in order. Instead of running out to the store to buy supplies, I decided to let my pantry lead. This, my friends, is where my pantry led. Coconut, oatmeal, peanut butter, white chocolate chips. Maybe I should let my pantry lead more often. These cookies are one serious bite of yum.

Oh, and on the coconut note, if anyone has a killer recipe for coconut cream pie or coconut cake, passing them my way would really make my week and earn you my eternal gratitude. Either e-mail me at or post below. After eating these coconut cookies, I’ve realized I need a little more coconut in my life.

Update: J. just texted me. He said they are pretty darn delicious. And that all of you should consider making them. Okay, so maybe I added in the last part. But my favorite taste tester gave them a thumbs up if that means anything at all.

Coconut Lace Cookies
(Printable Recipe)

*1 cup butter, softened
*1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
*1 cup sugar
*1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 tsp. baking powder
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1 tsp. baking soda
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 cup regular oats
*1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
*1/2 cup white chocolate chips

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 
*Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in peanut butter, followed by sugar and brown sugar and beat until well combined and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Beat in vanilla.
*In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add into butter mixture in two additions, beating until just combined. Beat in the oats, coconut, and white chocolate chips.
*Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until edges are golden and centers are still slightly soft. Remove and cool for 10 minutes on baking sheets. Cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with additional coconut, if desired.

Happy Baking!


Coconut Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

February 24, 2010

I’m not saying Martha Stewart should hand over her perfectly polished crown to me for good, but these cupcakes might make her reconsider lending it to me for the day, or maybe the week. Heck, these cupcakes are so darn good they may warrant the whole month. It’s a bit of a shame cupcakes have become so trendy and popular that they’ve become a cliché. Because no matter how many cupcakes I taste or see, they never cease to stop me in my tracks. Something about them makes me feel like I’m 5 years old and I absolutely have to have one
I’m not sure there is such a thing as a bad cupcake. Like pizza, there are just amazing cupcakes, less amazing, and good. Unless you make Martha Stewart’s Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Then there is such a thing as a bad cupcake. Learn from my mistake and just make these instead. 
Being the responsible blogger that I am, I decided to try a cupcake myself to be sure they fell in the ‘amazing’ category before I shared them with you all. Now I can safely say that these cupcakes don’t just turn out, they have the most amazing texture and flavor. Biting into one is how I would imagine it feels to bite into a cloud, with pillowly, sweet cream cheese frosting and a cakey base that is sturdy enough to support the frosting without being overly dense. I could go on and wax poetic a few more paragraphs, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. 
This (above) is coconut cream. Below the cream is the coconut milk. 

*1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
*1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
*2 cups granulated sugar
*4 large eggs
*1/2 cup coconut milk
*1/2 cup milk 
*2 tsp. coconut extract 
*1 cup shaved coconut 

*3/4 cup raspberry preserves 

*4 oz. cream cheese 
*1/2 stick butter, softened
*1/4 cup coconut cream from top of coconut milk (see photo above) 
*4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*2 tsp. coconut extract 
Additional coconut for garnishing (optional)

*Preheat oven to 350*F. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners. 
*In a bowl, combine flours; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in coconut milk, followed by half of the flour mixture. Repeat with milk and remaining flour mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in coconut extract and shaved coconut. 
*Spoon batter into cupcake lines, 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks. 
*Once cooled, with a paring knife, make a well in the center of each cupcake. Spoon a teaspoon of the raspberry preserves into each well. Cover with part of the removed cupcake.
*For the frosting, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and coconut cream. Add the powdered sugar in three additions. Beat in coconut extract. 
*Top each cupcake with frosting and garnish with shredded coconut. 
Happy Baking!