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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Delicious cake for Easter


Easter’s only a few days away, and you probably already have your special meal planned. I’ll be making a traditional glazed ham dinner on Saturday night, and we will enjoy the leftovers after church on Sunday.
If you haven’t decided on a dessert yet, I have a delicious cake recipe you can try. Reba Lucas shared with me her recipe for coconut-pineapple cake. She said it’s her family’s favorite Easter dinner dessert and was one of her grandmother’s favorite recipes.
I’ve always liked the combination of coconut and pineapple and tried the recipe the same day Reba sent it.
The cake is simple enough to make, starting with a doctored cake mix that uses softened butter instead of oil. Sour cream is also added (or milk) along with a teaspoon of vanilla.
For the frosting, Reba uses Betty Crocker’s home style fluffy white frosting mix. I’ve used this frosting before, and it is very good. I agree with Reba that it tastes like 7-minute frosting (which I’ve never made but watched my mama make many times.) I know this mix is very hard to find in Wilson, so I didn’t even try. Instead, I made the cake with two different frostings to suggest.
I did make the cake twice. The first time, I used a canned vanilla frosting and mixed in about a 1⁄2 cup of coconut. It was a very good frosting and was sort of firm once the cake had chilled. I really liked it that way. If you make it this way, I suggesting using at least one and a half cans of frosting, maybe two. One wasn’t enough if you want frosting between the layers.
The second time I made the cake, I used whipped topping with coconut mixed in. I make that same frosting for another coconut cake and know how good it is.
I made the cake twice because I needed a pretty slice to photograph. The first time I made the cake, I added too much pineapple juice to my layers, and the top one fell apart. I also should have added the juice after I placed it on top, not before. Lesson learned. 
The second time I made the cake, I let the layers sit on the cooling rack too long (several hours). Don’t make that mistake either. One layer stuck to the cooling rack and cracked when I pulled it off. But that’s OK. It still tasted good!
I don’t always have a lot of luck with layer cakes, as you can see. Next time I make this recipe, I might just prepare it in a baking dish!
This cake needs to be refrigerated several hours before slicing. And it stays moist and delicious for several days, so you can certainly make it in advance.
I think this cake would be very pretty with a nest of seasonal jelly beans in the middle!
The cake layers in this recipe are very good. The next time I want a chocolate cake, I will make these layers and frost with a favorite homemade frosting.

Coconut-Pineapple Cake

Layers:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter (softened at room temperature) 
1 8 oz. container sour cream or 1 cup of whole milk
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
Frosting:
1 box Betty Crocker fluffy white cake frosting*
1 bag sweetened coconut flakes
1 can crushed pineapple 

Preheat oven to 340-345 degrees.  
To make layers, add eggs, sour cream or milk, cake mix and butter and mix as directed on box. Add vanilla last. Pour batter into prepared pans (either for layers or a sheet cake). Bake layers or sheet cake for 20-25 minutes or until center is done. Cool completely before frosting.
Make frosting as directed on package. Add vanilla for flavor.
Poke holes in cake and pour juice over layers.* Spread crushed pineapple over bottom layer. Frost that layer and sprinkle on mounds of coconut. Repeat steps for second layer, adding coconut and frosting all over the cake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours prior to serving. It tastes better when prepared a day ahead.
Reba J. Lucas 

NOTE: Use a small amount of juice, maybe 1-2 teaspoons per layer. You might not need all of the pineapple. For the frosting, you can also use 1 1/2 cans of prepared vanilla frosting with about 1/2 cup of coconut mixed in or a container of Cool-Whip with coconut mixed in.

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