“A Coconut Cake for Margaret”
Years ago, while thumbing through an old box of family photos, I ran across some photos of my mother, Margaret, when she was a small girl. One particular photo stuck in my head. It is of my mother on her 5th birthday holding a doll, standing by a toy stove set out in a field with a white, iced cake sitting on top. It was her birthday photograph…she is slightly bent to the side with a finger just grazing the icing.
Mother died a few years ago, but this photo is indelibly stamped in my mind. It shows a very young girl, an only child who lived in a farm-house in rural West Tennessee, the child of older parents, parents who never expected to have a beautiful little girl in their midst. From this photo and others in the box it is obvious my mother was well-loved and doted on and for this I am happy. She had lovely aunts who came to stay with the family, Aunt Layla and Aunt Fannie, a dog named “Pal”, her own pony. It makes me feel good to look at these images and know that at this particular time in her life she was adored.
Thinking of her on her birthday I made this little cake. She loved white cakes with white icing especially if it had coconut added. This is my Happy Birthday Cake for Margaret.
I had a box of King Arthur Cake Flour left over from a photo shoot. I used the cake recipe printed on the back cutting the recipe by half with a few substitutions & additions. Not a fancy cake recipe, just a simply delicious one layer white cake that is moist and light.
Ingredients for Cake:
1.5 cups King Arthur Cake Flour
1/2 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cups Caster Sugar (or any sugar will do)
6 TBSP butter softened
1 whole egg + 2 egg whites
1/2 cup whole fat plain Greek-style yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp almond extract
1. Mix dry ingredients together using a stand mixer on low-speed. Add softened butter & mix for 1 minute.
2. Add whole egg & egg whites, beating after each addition until well blended. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl when necessary.
3. In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt with the extracts. Add this mixture, in thirds, to the mixing bowl beating well after each addition until batter is airy and fluffy.
4. Scrape batter into a greased & floured or parchment paper lined 9″ cake pan.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until done in the center of the cake. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
Ingredients for Frosting:
12 TBSP butter softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 ozs softened cream cheese
a few tablespoons whole milk or cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flaked coconut – sweetened or unsweetened
1. Using a stand mixer cream together the butter & cream cheese. Slowly add powdered sugar by half cups. Scrape down sides when necessary. Add vanilla extract & drizzle in milk or cream until you have a fluffy frosting. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in half the flaked coconut.
2. Place cake layer on a decorative cake stand or plate. Generously frost the cake and sprinkle the top with the second half of the coconut.
This is a sweet little cake for a birthday…just add a few candles.
Serve cut into slices. This cake doesn’t need anything else.
Happy Birthday Margaret.
A Little “Margaret” Gallery