Totally a special occasion dessert, but everyone loves it. Even people who dislike coconut love this cake. I'm a casual person, so my friends know that this is a huge amount of work and only ask when they really really feel like it is a worthy occasion. But it is great.
Overall this cake has great coconut flavor. The icing is a bit labor intensive but the texture is fluffy and wonderful. The first attempt to make the icing I followed the directions to NOT stir the sugar and water mixture. This leaves you with a dense and sticky mixture. On the second attempt I stirred the mixture and kept it boiling until it reached 250 as recommended. Basic scientific logic would dictate that you need to stir. The cake batter is a bit labor intensive with having to fold the egg white mixture into the batter. Kind of not worth the effort for a result that wasn't light and fluffy. This was a heavy cake. Since this was a recipe from "Cooking Light" I was expecting a bit more. But overall the coconut flavor of the cake and icing was great!
I agree with the other reviewd that this cake is just not worth all of the effort and time that you put into it! It is dense and dry and flavorless. I didn't have a candy thermometer and failed miserably on my first attempt making the icing as it crystallized when I poured it into the egg whites! After throwing that batch out, I repeated it all over again. I'd highly recommend that you have a candy thermometer if you decid to make this lousy cake. I served it to my kids last night along with another cake (Hershey's dark chocolate, the directions are right on the box), and they much preferred the latter. I'm a little too embarrassed to take it over to a family gathering this afternoon, everyone will think that I messed up. I may just throw it away!
Overall, the cake is good, but lacks coconut flavor. This was way too labor intensive for the actual result. The coconut did not have enough coconut water inside, but I did have some additional coconut water from a can on hand. You can find Goya brand in the Hispanic foods section of the grocery store, but you can find coconut water in the health food section too. Also, there are several brands in the juice section at Whole Foods. Shaving the coconut was a pain, dangerous too. So I ended up using my grater, which worked out wonderfully. The meringue frosting is a bit too sugary for my taste, I think I would have preferred a buttercream. The cake texture is nice, not too floury, not too dense. Most likely, I will not make this again. Not really worth the effort.
I previously gave this only 4 stars, and I need to correct this. After the third time serving it, I found that absolutely everyone loves it and gives it RAVE reviews. Only the baker knows the amount of work that went into it, and everyone who eats it seems to proportionally enjoy it. Highly recommend spending the time on it.
This is a beautiful cake ~ great for a party or special company.
Coconut (a poem) Instructions said to find three eyes. With nail and hammer made my tries to tap the water âneath the shell and blind the eyes that couldnât tell. The next step to my enterprise, remove the ugly masked disguise. Took all my strength to bang his head and crack the skull; no tears were shed. And then the toughest part of all, to shave the inner concave wall. The hours passed, but I would win and steal the fruit I found within. ____ Then I toasted the cocounut and pasted it to the frosting. My husband and I didn't like it so I picked all the coconut off the cake. The frosting, though, was delicious. I now use that part of the recipe on my homemade angel food cake. No fat and great taste. I don't believe I'd make this again, even though only seeking the coconut water wouldn't be too labor intensive to try again.
Made this cake for Mother's Day, but after reading some of the reviews decided to simplify things by using 1 C coconut milk instead of coconut water. I also toasted flaked coconut and sprinkled it on top as opposed to using the fresh. This cake was FABULOUS!! (more fattening than the original version, I'm sure, but what the heck) The cake was delicious as was the meringue. My whole family loved it. I will definitely make it again for a special occasion.
This recipe was far too labor intensive for a cake that tasted worse than a box cake. The coconut water didn't do a thing for the flavor and trying to shave the coconut left me with bleeding hands. Don't bother making this cake. The amount of food and money you will waste is appalling.
I thought the cake was good but would agree it didn't take much like coconut and kind of had a floury taste. The star was the icing. Next time, I will try coconut milk instead of water. I took several shortcuts that made this cake less labor intensive. First, I bought a carton of egg whites instead of separating the eggs. I don't have much use for the yolks by themselves and hate the thought of throwing them away. That saved tons of time. Secondly, I used store bought coconut water and flakes (toasted them myself). That also saved time.
I didn't think it was too labor intensive until I had to shave the coconut. Using the real coconut wasn't worth it. The shaved coconut was too bland as was the cake. The icing was good the day of but by the next day it was getting gritty. there are much better Cooking Light Coconut cake recipes like Coconut Cake with Buttercream Frosting
I have found Cooking Light cake recipes to be very reliable....However,this one is a TON of work...we're talking hours.....and it tastes hmmmmm ok.....For that much work, it had better knock my socks off.....My dad appreciated the effort...Mom hates cocnut and never makes anything with it and he loves it....BUT, I will try Ina Garten's coconut cake recipe next time and use coconut that is already shredded.....I know...Ina's won't be low fat, but probably will use her cake recipe and the meringue topping from this recipe + the store bought shredded coconut in hopes of more flavor and less time....For those of you substiting coconut milk for the coconut water, it's my understanding coconut milk has a TON of fat/calories.....may negate the effort to cook light?
Won't make this cake again. It is not good. Too dry and the cake has no flavor. The coconut water does nothing for all the work it takes to get it. The gift of this cake is the meringue frosting. Now that's good! But the cake, NOT.
I too found it labor intensive. I could not find a coconut or coconut water and was in a major metropolitan area. I used coconut milk and water which improved the taste of the cake. I thought the browned packaged coconut was good but not as dramatic as the fresh. We thought it tasted better the second day.
This cake was good, although I would definitely make some changes before I make it again. First of all, the coconut water does not add any flavor to the cakes themselves. Therefore, the only coconut taste comes from the shards on top. While I appreciated the delicate flavor, I was looking for a little more oomph, especially with the fresh coconut. Next time I will save the extra coconut water, and brush it over each layer before I add the frosting. I will also add more shredded coconut, sprinkling it in between each layer after the frosting. Finally, I highly recommend you make this cake a day in advance, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. This allowed the flavors to meld, and the texture of the cakes became denser, almost like a pound cake. Overall, lots of work, but a fun project. With a few changes, this could make its way into my recipe box!
It tasted like a lightly denser and sweeter version of angel food cake. I used half a cup of coconut milk and half a cup of water in place of coconut water. Also, replaced fresh coconut shavings with store bought ones. The fresh coconut I bought was spoiled. It is worth the time. Will make again for a special occasion.
Delicious for sure! However, it was a lot of work, not hard, but a lot of work. Cracking the coconut, getting the water, shaving the coconut, getting the egg whites together...it was a long process, but it was a nice outcome. Definitely wouldn't do this without a stand mixer.
I absolutely love this cake, it looks very complicated, but it is not. I served this cake to some friends and got big compliments. my finished cake looked exactly like the picture on your magazine. To guarantee a good result and fast preparation I strongly suggest the use of a stand mixer.
Would be great but there is a TON of work! Beware: I washed my mixing bowl out three times! It tastes good but was just such a pain that it didn't seem worth it.