Coconut Lime Cake
Saturday, March 06, 2021
I love a good themed bake.
Like wine pairing, there’s something so sophisticated-feeling about choosing a dessert that compliments your dinner. A slice of decadent tiramisu after ragù alla bolognese, tres leches cake for taco night or to follow enchiladas, and who can resist a delicate crème brûlée after a rustic ratatouille?
That said, sometimes you just want cake, sophistication or no. Today is one of those days.
Fully embracing the dichotomy of sharing this tropical treat as I head out for a snowy outdoor adventure, I can promise you one thing: whether you’re eating this on the beach under a golden sun, or snuggled deep under your blankets as the rain beats against your window, you won’t regret making this delicious Coconut Lime Cake!
Coconut Lime Cake (from Yossy Arefi’s weeknight hero, Snacking Cakes)
For the Coconut Lime Cake:
- 1 lime (zest only; save the juice for a margarita or, my personal favorite, a Kentucky Mule)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) full-fat coconut milk, well-stirred (coconut milk separates naturally at room temp; make sure you whisk it really well or even pour it in the blender for a quick swirl to make sure it’s smooth and emulsified before measuring)
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 + 1/4 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (32 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the Coconut Lime Glaze:
- 1 lime (zest only again; second drink, anyone?)
- 1 cup (100 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2–3 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk, well-stirred, or more as needed
- 1/2 cup (50 g) unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted (to toast coconut, I just toss the desired amount in a pan on the stove over medium heat, hovering and stirring occasionally, until the flakes are a light golden brown and absolutely delicious. I like the control of the stovetop method, and it only takes a few minutes, but you can also use the microwave or oven, if you prefer.)
- Pinch of salt
- Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 F.
- Butter or coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray, then line the pan with a strip of parchment paper that hangs over two of the edges (for pain-free cake extraction later).
- Make the cake! Add your granulated sugar into a large bowl. Zest lime directly into the sugar, then use your finger tips to rub lime zest into the sugar until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand; this brings out the oils from the zest, enhancing that bright, zingy flavor of the lime.
- Add the eggs, and whisk until pale and foamy, about 1 minute.
- Add the coconut milk, coconut oil, and salt. Whisk until smooth and emulsified.
- Add the flour, coconut, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk until well-combined and smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap the pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles, and smooth the top of the batter with your spatula.
- Bake the cake until puffed and golden, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30–40 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for about 15 minutes, then use the parchment paper wings to carefully lift the cake out of the pan and set it on the rack to cool completely.
- Make the glaze! Once the cake is cool and ready to be glazed, zest about 1 teaspoon lime zest into a bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Add a bit more coconut milk as necessary to make a thick, pourable glaze.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and gently help it spread a bit with a spoon or spatula. Top the glaze with toasted coconut and additional lime zest. Let the glaze set for about 20 minutes before slicing the cake.
- Store the cake covered, at room temperature, for up to three days, likely longer in the fridge. The glaze will soften over time.