Friday, May 1, 2015

Cream of Coconut Cake

I'm not sure whether a coconut dessert has a place at the table for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. (And Cinco de Mayo, coming up on May 5, seems to be the current theme among food bloggers these days.)

But this Cream of Coconut Cake had good reviews at a church potluck dinner last weekend. And, since my husband is a coconut fan, it also got good reviews for leftovers consumed at home. 

When people ask for a recipe, I always feel a little guilty when it starts with a cake mix. But this one is doctored up with some extras, like pudding and coconut. And who can really argue with easy?

It's essentially a poke cake:  When it comes out of the oven, you use a fork and jab it like a maniac on one of those detective TV shows. Then, for even more subtle coconut flavor, pour cream of coconut over the cake. Cream of coconut can be found where you'd find ingredients for mixed drinks. It doesn't have any alcohol. It just has the tropical flavor. A word to the wise: This isn't coconut milk, so keep looking if that's what you find. It's a syrupy concoction that oozes over the cake and gives it delicious moistness. The bottle I found was 21 ounces, but this isn't an exact science. Don't make yourself crazy looking for that exact amount. If it's an ounce more or less, it's still going to work just fine.

Once the cake has completely cooled, top it with Cool Whip. Or make your own sweetened whipped cream from scratch if you're feeling all virtuous. (I wasn't.) Sprinkle with toasted coconut to make it pretty and add a little more flavor and texture.

So, whether for Cinco de Mayo or for a church potluck or to satisfy your coconut craving, this recipe will be the "cream" of the crop.
Cream of Coconut Cake
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. French vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 1/3 cups water
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 21-oz. bottle of cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
1 tub Cool Whip
1 cup coconut, toasted

In a mixer, combine eggs, oil and water and blend until well mixed. Add cake mix and pudding mix. Blend until smooth. Add flaked coconut. Pour into 9- by 13-inch pan which has been sprayed with baking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven. Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the cream of coconut over the cake. Put in the refrigerator to cool. When the cake is fully cool, spread Cool Whip over the cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut to garnish.

Keep refrigerated until serving and refrigerate all leftovers. 

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