It’s been exactly 6 years since I published my first blog post. I still remember how daunting it felt to hit the Publish key. We celebrated the occasion with cake, a simple raspberry vanilla cake with buttercream frosting and fresh flowers. Today we’re doing the same with one of my most loved cake recipes, a Red velvet coconut cake.
Four hundred posts later and I’m still here, sharing the food that inspires, delights and excites me. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunities blogging has afforded me, the lessons I’ve learnt and the challenges I’ve overcome. To everyone who has joined me on this journey, thank you. For your continued support, kindness and encouragement. It’s been a joy. I’m constantly reminded, even more so now, that food is one the most beautiful and powerful connectors, something to be celebrated and cherished. It is a gift.
Long before I started blogging, I ran a small events company catering for intimate parties and corporate functions. I also baked cakes for weddings, birthdays and special celebrations. At the time, red velvet wielded the golden sceptre, sweeping aside all possible contenders, including the trusty carrot, vanilla and chocolate gateaux. This is the red velvet cake recipe I used. It makes a rather large cake, so if you’d prefer a smaller option or perhaps cupcakes, the recipe is easily divisible. For the frosting filling between the layers, I’ve added desiccated coconut. Try use a medium cut coconut here rather than fine grade. The taste and texture is more distinguishable and rather lovely contrast against the plushness of the cake.
Sadly I cannot offer you a glimpse inside this lusciously red velvet affair. As luck would have it, the flowery installation at the back collapsed on the cake seconds after I cut the first slice. All things went south and sour, so unfortunately you’ll have to imagine the plush red against the snowy frosting. It’s stark and wildly gorgeous. Happy Spring Day!
Red Velvet Coconut Cake
For the Cake
- 180g butter, at room temperature
- 60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 280g (1 1/4 cup) castor sugar
- 325ml (1 1/3 cup) buttermilk
- 20ml (4 teaspoons) apple cider vinegar
- 10ml (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 3 eggs (xl)
- 45ml (3 tablespoons) red food colouring
- 450g (3 cups) cake wheat flour
- 10ml (2 teaspoons) bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 45ml (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
Frosting and finishing
- 250 g salted butter, at room temperature (slightly softened)
- 275g (1 1/2 cups) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- pinch of fine salt
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
- 10ml (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 550g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 cup desiccated coconut (medium cut), plus extra for coating
- 8 -10 Fererroro Raffaello Coconut and almond truffles
- Preheat the oven to 180º C. Line 3 x 20cm round baking tins with parchment paper.
- Place the butter, oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until pale and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, eggs and food colouring.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cocoa powder together. For an extra light texture, sift twice.
- Add the buttermilk mixture and sifted flour in two alternate stages, ending with the flour. Mix on a low speed until all the flour is incorporated, without over-mixing. Divide the batter between the baking tins and tap lightly to remove air pockets. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Test with a skewer for doneness before removing from the oven.
- Rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes before carefully turning out. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- For the frosting, whisk the softened butter well until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese, salt, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk on a high speed until fluffy and light. Add the icing sugar and continue to whisk on high for about 3-4 minutes until pale and aerated.
- Remove 3/4 cup of frosting and combine with 1 cup coconut.
- Place the first cake layer on a cake stand. Spread half the coconut icing onto the first layer. Place the second cake layer on top and cover with the remaining coconut icing. Place the third layer on top. Cover the sides and top with a thin layer of frosting for the crumb coat. Chill until the icing is firm, about 90 minutes.
- Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting and press the extra coconut onto the sides. Pipe rosettes on top and finish with Fererroro Raffaello Coconut and almond truffles.
The Raspberry cake that launched the blog. And a couple of favourites that you’ve made most often: