Triple Layer Coconut Custard Cake

Source: The Cookbook Chronicles

Triple Layer Coconut Custard Cake
(inspired by Epicurious’ version of the Peninsula Grill Coconut Cake)

For the cake:
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup full fat sour cream
1/2 cup veg oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or Secret Stash coconut masala salt)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the vegetable oil and the butter, until creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Beat in the egg yolks, and vanilla.

On low speed, beat in about 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Then, beat in 1/2 of the coconut milk and sour cream mixture. Repeat, ending with the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

In a clean mixing bowl with clean beaters, whip the reserved egg whites until medium-stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.

Line and grease three 9″ light colored cake pans. Divide the batter evenly amongst the pans, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are light golden and spring back when lightly pressed. Cool, and remove from cake pans.

For the Coconut Custard:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 scraped vanilla bean)
2 1/2 cups toasted sweetened flaked coconut
10 tbsp unsalted butter
3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
3 1/2 tbsp water
1/3 cup full fat sour cream

Combine the whipping cream, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, toasted sweetened flaked coconut and butter in a saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until the butter is melted.

In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch and water together until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the slurry into the cream mixture, and continue stirring over medium-high heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue cooking for another ten minutes. Take the custard off the heat, and stir in the sour cream.

Pour the custard into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let cool in the fridge for at least two hours, or in the freezer for 45 minutes. (Give the custard a stir midway through cooling time.)

For the frosting:
2 8oz packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
zest of 1 lemon or lime

2 cups toasted coconut for sides of cake (optional)

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar, and continue beating on low speed. Add the lemon or lime juice, and zest. Beat until combined.

To assemble the cake:

Place one cake on a platter. Top with half the coconut custard, then add another cake layer on top. Top the 2nd cake layer with the remaining custard, and then top with the 3rd cake layer. Frost the entire cake with the cream cheese frosting. and sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired.

(Tip: I like to allow the cake to sit for a few hours at room temperature so the moisture from the custard sinks into the cake to make the layers even more moist, but the cake is ready to serve at any point.)