This coconut cake is a guaranteed showstopper at any holiday meal. The beautiful flakes of coconut are reminiscent of snow. But one taste of the sunny pineapple will transport you to the tropics.—Monica Kennedy, Johnson City, Tennessee
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 5 cups flaked coconut, divided
- Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain pineapple, reserving 1 cup juice; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in butter, extracts and 1/2 cup reserved juice. Add dry ingredients; beat until well blended.
- Beat egg whites with clean beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
- Transfer to two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake 18-22 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, beat cream cheese, pineapple and remaining confectioners' sugar until blended; stir in 2 cups coconut. Fold in whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; drizzle with 2 tablespoons reserved juice. Spread with 2 cups mousse. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer and drizzle with remaining juice. Spread remaining mousse over top and sides of cake. Press remaining coconut onto top and sides. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Pineapple Coconut Cake in Country Woman December/January 2012, p40
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