What do Pat Benatar, George Foreman, and I, your humble columnist, have in common? We share the same birthday! I only know that because someone gave me a 768-page book titled simply, The Portable Book of Birthdays.
Good thing too, or I’d never known that Pat, George, and I have “socially savvy personalities, a keen ability to promote our ideas and to get what we want. We are intelligent, easily irritable, and need constant emotional stimulation,” too. Who knew?!
While the book doesn’t mention our favorite birthday cake, I feel confident in speaking for three of us when I say that without a doubt it is coconut cake. But not just any coconut cake. It has to be 3-Day Coconut Cake that is so delicious it will knock your socks off no matter the day you were born. But first a small explanation.
The recipe that follows, which I have had for many years, calls for “frozen coconut.” As many times as I have made this cake (I wonder if Pat and George make their own birthday cakes), I have yet to find such a thing—”frozen coconut.”
I’ve looked everywhere, asked store managers, and anyone else who might be handy. Nowhere to be found.
I do understand, however, that frozen coconut is readily available in some parts of the country—in the grocery frozen food case with the frozen fruit. Someone suggested recently that I try an Indian market and I will do that as soon as I, well, locate an Indian market.
In the past, I have tried fresh coconut with acceptable results, but it was a real pain to crack, smash, break, drain, pry, peel, and grate. So, I will continue to use Baker’s Sweetened Angel Flaked coconut that comes in a bag and can be found in the baking aisle of just about any food market.
3-Day Coconut Cake
- Two 9-inch cake pans
- Cake with cover to accommodate 4-layer cake,
Coconut mixture (make this the night before!)
- 1 cup white granulated sugar, OK to substitute Splenda
- 16 oz sour cream
- 12 oz coconut, like Bakers Sweetened Angel Flake Coconut,
- 1 16.25 oz white (or yellow) cake mix, like Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix
- 6 tablespoons cake flour, or all-purpose flour in a pinch see NOTES
- 3 whole eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup milk see NOTES
- 12 oz Cool Whip original whipped topping
The night before ...
- The night before you make this cake, place the sour cream, coconut, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated. Separate 1 cup of the mixture and place it in a separate bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate both portions.
The next day ...
- Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by greasing them well. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F for shiny metal pans, or 325 F for dark or nonstick pans.
- Mix cake mix, flour, eggs, oil, and, milk in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer set on medium speed (or beat vigorously by hand) for two minutes. Pour into the prepared 9-inch round cake pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Remove cakes from pans. Using a serrated knife, split both layers in half horizontally, to end up with 4 layers.
- Place layers on the plate of a cake stand or the plate part of a "cake saver" one at a time, spreading all but the reserved 1 cup of coconut mixture you made last night evenly between the layers.
- Mix Cool Whip together with the reserved 1 cup coconut mixture. Frost sides and top of cake with this mixture. Cover the cake wit the top of the "cake saver" or another method (but not plastic wrap or anything that touches the cake) place in the refrigerator.
- Do not remove, open, or eat for THREE DAYS. Do not even peek. The longer this cake sits in the refrigerator, the better it gets. However, it is not humanly possible to wait longer than three days. Store any remains in the refrigerator. Enjoy to the very last delicious crumb, hopefully within three additional days, for up to 6 days total.
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This Sweet Creations locking cake carrier is the “cake saver,” that I own and love. It is large enough to cover and seal this cake without touching the side or top.