8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pans
13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, well shaken and at room temperature
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
Make the cake
Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the
oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
Butter three 9x2-inch round cake pans and line
each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder,
and salt. In a 1-cup liquid measure, mix the
coconut milk with the vanilla.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle
attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-
high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time,
beating well after each addition.
Add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix
on low speed until incorporated. Add half of the
coconut milk and mix until incorporated. Continue
adding the flour mixture and coconut milk,
alternating the two and ending with the flour. Add
the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Pour
the batter into a large bowl.
In a clean mixer bowl and using the whisk
attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed
until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a
spatula, gently stir a large spoonful of the
whites into the batter to loosen it, and then fold
the remaining egg whites gently into the batter.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared
cake pans. Level the batter with a spatula. Set
two pans on the top rack and the third on the
lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so
that no pan is directly over another. Bake,
swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 15
minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center
of each cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes
total. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the
cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and
Make the filling
In a medium bowl, whisk 1-1/2 cups of the cream
and the egg yolks.
Combine the sugar and flour in a medium saucepan.
Add the cream mixture and cook, whisking, over
medium heat until smooth, 2 minutes. Bring to a
simmer and cook, whisking, until thickened to a
pudding consistency, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from
the heat. Stir in the coconut, butter, vanilla,
and salt and let cool to room temperature.
With an electric hand mixer, whip the remaining
1/2 cup cream to soft peaks. With a spatula,
gently fold the whipped cream into the filling.
Assemble the cake
Put a cake layer on a flat serving platter or a
cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to
keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with half
of the filling, spreading it evenly with an offset
spatula almost to the cake’s edge. Repeat with a
second cake layer and the remaining filling. Top
with the last cake layer.
I usually frost the cake with a vanilla
buttercream and top with toasted coconut
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