I rarely have trouble with a recipe but the original frosting for this cake was a nightmare! Usually I can hold my own with egg whites, but they just posed as one barrier after another in this recipe. I also usually can salvage a not-so-perfect mixture, but there was no saving this curdled sloppy mess so I opted to use my own cream cheese frosting recipe and it paired wonderfully with the spongy coconut cake. If you aren’t a fan of cream cheese frosting, you can also use a sweetened whipped cream or buttercream frosting. I just strongly reccomend staying away from the original.
Coconut Roulade (adapted from Food Network)
(Difficulty: Medium; Serves 8-10)
For the Cake:
- Unsalted butter, for the pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites, all at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 1 tablespoon rum
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet or jelly roll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Whisk 1 cup each flour and granulated sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the 4 egg yolks, vegetable oil, coconut milk and coconut extract. Add in the flour mixture in 2 batches.
Beat the 6 egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture with a rubber spatula, then gently fold in the rest. The egg whites in this cake make the batter very airy, resulting in a light spongy cake when baked.
Spread the batter evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the cake is golden and springs back when pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife; transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the cake cool slightly. Dust a clean kitchen towel with confectioners’ sugar. Place the towel on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the t0wel. It will make rolling the cake much smoother. Brush the cake with the the Tbsp. of rum. The original recipe called for white rum but I only had spiced in the house and it works just the same.
For the Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp. rum
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Whip cream cheese and butter using a stand or handheld mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add sugar, while mixing on low. Add vanilla and rum and continue to whip on medium-high speed until fluffy.
Spread the frosting evenly on the sponge cake, sprinkle on 1 cup of coconut, and using the kitchen towel gently roll the cake around itself into a log. Sprinkle with remaining shredded coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.