Coconut-Lime Layer Cake

Coconut-Lime Layer Cake


If summer was a dessert, it'd be this Coconut-Lime Layer Cake
  • CAKE
  • Cooking spray
  • 2¾ c. (330 g.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1¾ c. (350 g.) granulated sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated lime zest (from about 4 limes)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-oz.) can sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ c. buttermilk
  • 8 large egg yolks (reserve whites for another use)
  • 1 c. (200 g.) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ c. fresh lime juice (from about 9 limes)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 6 c. (690 g.) powdered sugar
  • 1½ c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 c. sweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ lime, cut into ¼"-thick rounds, each round cut into quarters
  1. CAKE
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 3 (8") baking pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms of pans with parchment, then grease with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer (or in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat granulated sugar, butter, lime zest, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in cream of coconut until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Add buttermilk and remaining dry ingredients and beat on low until just combined.
  4. Divide batter among prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes, rotating pans halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.
  5. Transfer cakes to wire racks and let cool in pans 10 minutes. (Leave oven on.) Invert cakes onto racks. Remove parchment and let cakes cool completely.
  6. CURD
  7. In a medium saucepan, whisk egg yolks and granulated sugar until well combined and lightened in color. Whisk in lime juice and salt. Add butter. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until butter melts and mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer lime curd to a medium bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.
  10. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer (or in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, coconut extract (if using), and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Wrap bowl in plastic and store at room temperature until ready use.
  12. Invert cakes so they are domed side up. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut off rounded tops to level cake layers. Transfer about ½ cup frosting to a pastry bag or zip-top bag. Cut about ¼" off bottom of pastry bag or one bottom corner of zip-top bag.
  13. Arrange one cake cut side up on a platter. Pipe a ¼"-wide circle of frosting just inside edge of cake layer (this frosting will create a dam, preventing the curd from squishing out). Spoon and spread half of lime curd inside frosting circle. Top with another cake layer cut side up. Repeat frosting and filling process. Top with third cake layer cut side down. Refrigerate cake until curd and frosting set, about 1 hour.
  14. Meanwhile, spread coconut flakes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely on baking sheet.
  15. Transfer ¾ cup frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼" star tip or spoon into a zip-top bag (if using a zip-top bag, push frosting into one corner of bag, then snip a bit off the corner). Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting in bowl, then press coconut into sides and top of cake.
  16. Pipe swirls of frosting on top of cake. Place a lime quarter in each swirl. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

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