Friday, December 30, 2016

Homemade Coconut Sheet Cake with Divinity Icing

Tender, homemade coconut cake made easy in a sheet cake, finished with a 7-minute, divinity icing, shredded coconut and here, with a sugared cranberry and mint leaf garnish. 

Homemade Coconut Sheet Cake with Divinity Icing

I love a coconut layer cake during the holidays. It's a beautiful presentation on a holiday dessert table, covered in a perfect divinity icing and dusted all over with fluffy, white coconut. I just looks like heaven on a cake stand!

Unfortunately, while I think I'm a fairly decent cook overall, I am definitely not a baker, and though I can pull off a pretty good pan of brownies, cookies even, or a snack cake, well... layer cakes aren't my forte.

My Mama did a beautiful job of decorating layer cakes, for which she was completely self-taught, and not only did birthday and shower cakes, but a massive multi-tiered birthday cake for my 18th birthday, as well as my own and many family member's wedding cakes, and they were all professional looking and just beautiful. I did not inherit that talent!

Most of you also know I'm not a huge sweets eater to begin with, so consequently I don't get in a lot of baking practice. Probably a good thing, because while I don't typically crave sweets, I will certainly eat them when they are around!

Since it's New Year's already, and for ease of serving this time, I wrote this recipe as a sheet cake and went with an 18 x 13 inch baker's half sheet pan, aka jelly roll pan, much like we do with our well-loved Texas Sheet Cake.

Although you can prep the cake for tuning out onto a sheet cake board, or just a large piece of cardboard covered with foil or holiday paper, then ice and decorate it, I suggest finishing it and cutting pieces right out of the tray, to put in jumbo cupcake liners, set up on a pretty platter for presentation. It actually makes more sense for parties anyway, or when you're serving holiday dinners up buffet style, which many of us do these days.

Here's how to make my coconut sheet cake, and, as always, scroll past the post and step by step pictures, further down the page for the full recipe text, with ingredient list and measurements, as well as a printable document for your convenience.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch or 18 x 13 inch, baker's half sheet (jelly roll) pan. Melt the butter and set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat together the eggs, buttermilk and water. Add to the flour mixture, along with the melted butter and the extract.

Beat gently until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared pan and smooth out. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes; up to 40 minutes for a 9 x 13 inch pan, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, with just a few crumbs. Let cake cool completely.


For the icing, combine sugar, water, salt, vinegar in a medium sized, heavy bottomed, stainless steel saucepan and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is clear. Reduce heat to medium and cook, without stirring to 238-240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Important Note - Make sure you have an accurate thermometer, because divinity candy happens at 260 degrees F and well... that won't work well for an icing. To test, bring a pot of water to a full rolling boil and insert candy thermometer, suspended in pot where it is not touching the bottom. Let boil for a full 10 minutes. Temperature should read 212 degrees F for boiling water (at sea level). If it doesn't, you'll need to adjust the reading with your icing.

Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.


When you separate the eggs, remember to crack them into a bowl, one at a time, just in case one happens to break on you. You cannot let any yolk get into the whites. Reserve the yolks for another use. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. With the mixer on a lower speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg whites.


Increase to high and beat constantly until the icing begins to thicken and take shape. Look how beautiful that is!


Beat in the vanilla on low and hand fold the pecans in. Cake must be fully cooled before icing it.


Spread the icing all over the cake.


Top with the coconut and garnish if desired. I've included instructions for making sugared cranberries, which is a beautiful presentation when combined with tiny fresh mint leaves. Put a couple on each slice!


For more of my favorite cake recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!



If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!



Yum

Recipe: Homemade Coconut Sheet Cake with Divinity Icing

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: 12-24 servings

Ingredients

For the Cake:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
For the Icing:
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted, optional
  • 1/4 pound frozen or fresh coconut
For Garnish: (Optional)
  • Mint leaves or other edible greenery
  • Sugared cranberries (see note below)
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch or 18 x 13 inch baker's half sheet (jelly roll) pan. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat together the eggs, buttermilk, water. Add to the flour mixture, along with the melted butter and the extract. Beat gently until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared pan and smooth out.

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes; up to 40 for a 9 x 13 inch pan, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, with just a few crumbs. Let cake cool completely before adding the icing.

For the icing, combine sugar, water, salt, vinegar in a medium sized, heavy bottomed, stainless steel saucepan and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is clear. Reduce heat to medium and cook, without stirring to 238-240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.

With the mixer on a lower speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg whites. Increase to high and beat constantly until the icing begins to thicken and take shape. Beat in the vanilla on low and hand fold the pecans in. Spread the icing all over the cake and top with the coconut. Cut into small squares and place onto jumbo cupcake papers arranged on a platter.

Cook's Notes: Make sure you have an accurate thermometer, because divinity candy happens at 260 degrees and that won't work well for an icing. I have not tested out this batter for layers yet.

If you intend to turn this cake out on a sheet cake board, spray the pan and add a layer of parchment paper in the bottom of the baking pan. Lightly butter it. Bake as above and let cake rest in the pan on top of a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Top with your board and carefully flip - it's nice to have a helping hand when you do this. Carefully peel away the parchment paper and allow cake to fully cool before frosting.

Sugared Cranberries: Rinse and drain one (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries; set aside in a bowl with a lid. Make a simple syrup with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, boiling just until water runs clear. Place cranberries in a bowl, pour sugar water over and refrigerate overnight. Drain and transfer to a rack over a baking pan. Let sit for one hour, then roll in superfine or granulated sugar. Use to decorate sliced cake pieces.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.

Check These Recipes Out Too Y’all!

Coconut Macaroons
Coconut Orange Marmalade Bread
Coconut Key Lime Pie

Thank you for supporting my work! Please note that Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, do not copy and paste post or recipe text to repost or republish to any social media (such as other Facebook pages, etc.), blogs, websites, forums, or any print medium, without explicit prior permission. Unauthorized use of content from ©Deep South Dish is a violation of both the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright law. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.
121217/121219
.

Bookmark and Share

5 comments:

  1. Mary, I'm not a coconut lover but my family is crazy over the flavor. I'm going to make this for them soon and will let you know how it turned out. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you and your family a prosperous and healthy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mary, like you my mother could decorate cakes beautifully. She had one Wilton class in the 50's. She took what she learned in that beginner class and went to decorating heights. She made all of our birthday cakes, but also would do wedding, graduation, and special occasion cakes for people often to help supplement the house income. I can do very small scale decorating from what I gleaned watching her for years.
    This cake looks marvelous and I can't wait to try it out. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My mother and aunt always made the best Coconut cakes with divinity icing. I am not the best cake baker but just may try making this one. It really looks yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks wonderful! You and I have the baking thing in common teehee. I can make a good cake but Lawd, it will not be a pretty one. I think yours is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anything with Coconut in it and I have to give it a go! Thanks Mary, I'll let you know how I get on.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from readers and I read every single comment and try to respond to them right here on the site, so stop back by!

From time to time, anonymous restrictions and/or comment moderation may be activated due to comment spam. I also reserve the right to edit, delete or otherwise exercise total editorial discretion over any comments left on this blog. If your comment serves only to be snarky, mean-spirited or argumentative, it will be deleted. Please mind your manners.

 
Related Posts with Thumbnails