Coconut Cake from Kiawah

August 22, 2016  •  Desserts, Restaurants

kiawah-18-coconut-cakeWhen I was in Kiawah with friends earlier this year, we enjoyed this delicious coconut cake at the Cassique golf club restaurant. We all loved it, our friends managed to get the recipe for me, and I made it for them this weekend. Well if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, I’m really not a baker. Part of the challenge comes from trying to translate a restaurant recipe, in volume and weight, to a home recipe, with measurements. I double checked everything, but I still think the combination of their equipment, and their pastry chef, made theirs turn out so much better. But, I served this for dessert for a dinner party on Saturday, and everyone ate at least one piece, and one guest actually said it was the best cake she’s ever had. Not sure if that was the wine talking, but I guess I’ll go ahead and share my version here based on that review!coconut-cake-cassiqueI wish I had found that restaurant photo before making this cake, as I now see that they made small individual layered cakes, instead of one big one – which would explain why I had trouble handling the cake. The recipe calls for cooking the cake portion on a rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan) and I cut it into 3 large pieces to layer with the filling – those were very delicate to handle, and I would recommend you cut the cake into smaller pieces to layer, or make 2 cakes instead of one, or even cut circles from the cake and make smaller, individual cakes like the restaurant. My other challenge was that the restaurant recipe calls for baking the cake for only 10-12 minutes – mine was still batter at that point, so I continued to bake it until a toothpick came out clean, which was about 20-25 minutes. Still, it’s a very sticky, moist cake, so don’t think you’ve done something wrong when you discover that texture. And with that, I give you the Coconut Cake from Cassique in Kiawah – now say that ten times fast, ok?

Coconut Cake from Cassique
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
  • Filling:
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11 ounces coconut, toasted
  • Cake:
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 18 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 2 T) butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut paste (optional)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Italian meringue butter cream frosting:
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup egg white
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 28 tablespoons (3½ sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. For the Filling: Combine egg yolks, cream, sugar, seeds from the vanilla been, butter, and vanilla extract in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture boils and thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the toasted coconut and then pour the filling into a container, cover surface with plastic wrap, and cool in the refrigerator.
  2. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet pan (jelly roll pan) with parchment paper and liberally spray pan edges. Cream together the sugar, butter, and coconut paste. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl between additions. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter all at once. Add the cream and vanilla and mix until just combined. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan a couple of times for even cooking.
  3. For the frosting: Combine the water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. While the sugar is heating, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer just until foamy then gradually adds ½ cup of sugar. Keep the mixer turned on but adjust the speed as needed so that egg whites do not get past soft peaks. With the mixer running, very slowly pour the hot sugar down the side of the mixer bowl into the egg whites. Do not pour too quickly or the egg whites will cook. After all sugar syrup has been added continue whipping egg whites until the bottom of the bowl is lukewarm to the touch. Add the vanilla and gradually add soft butter in pieces. Continue whipping until the buttercream is well-aerated and smooth, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. To assemble the cake: Layer cake and filling and frost. Refrigerate until ready to serve, but bring to room temperature before slicing.



One Comment  •  Comments Feed

  1. Pam Shaughnessy says:

    Looks delish!!

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