Goan Coconut Spice Cake
Coconuts are widely used in Indian cuisine, especially in South Indian and the coastal states where they grow in great abundance. Technically, coconuts are not real botanical nuts but are actually fruit. Once thought to be high in cholesterol & saturated fats, the scientific community has recently retracted this absurd notion and is now in total agreement that the health benefits of coconut are quite numerous. A diet rich in coconuts is helpful in the fight against high cholesterol, heart disease & certain types of cancer. Coconuts are always a good source of antioxidants, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and B-complex vitamins. Coconuts are also thought to be very good for digestion & aid in natural weight loss by increasing one’s metabolism.
I have made my own whipped cream for this recipe but feel free to use your favorite ready-to-use frosting or even Cool Whip if you wish.
GOAN COCONUTTY SPICE CAKE
2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose flour, maida)
1 tsp baking powder
3 medium eggs, separated
1½ to 2 cups sugar, to taste
¼ tsp ground cardamom powder
¼ tsp ground allspice powder
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ can coconut milk (7-8 ounces)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce size)
For the Whipped Cream Topping
2 cups heavy whipping cream, keep cold
2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp coconut extract (or even almond extract)
1 cup coconut flakes, lightly toasted
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then lightly butter and flour a 9x13” baking pan, set aside until needed.
Next, sift together the cake flour along with the baking powder and set aside until needed.
Then using simple hand-held beaters or a kitchen stand mixer, beat the egg whites until you have soft peaks. Next, slowly start to add in the sugar while beating continuously until you have stiff peaks. Now very gently, fold in the egg yolks until just combined and then slowly add in the cake flour/ baking powder mixture along with the spices (ground cardamom powder, ground allspice powder & freshly grated nutmeg). Lastly, add the orange juice along with the vanilla & coconut or almond extracts. Mix the batter until smooth and then pour carefully into the prepared baking pans.
Bake for 35-40 minutes on the center rack until the cake is lightly brown & a toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean. While the cake is still hot, use a fork to poke holes (about ½” apart) all over the top of the cake.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk with the sweetened condensed milk. Then very carefully, pour this mixture over the cake until it has been completely absorbed by the cake.
To Make the Whipped Cream Topping:
Beat together the heavy whipping cream with the confectioner’s sugar & coconut or almond extract for about 5 minutes or so. Do not overbeat. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the cake. Then liberally sprinkle the top with the toasted coconut flakes. Chill the coconut cake in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours before serving.
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