There it is, the first layer cake on my blog! And oh my goodness, WHAT a layer cake. Unbelievable fluffy and moist with a slight coconut flavor through and through. It all started with this Southern Coconut Cake recipe from Completely Delicious (a great blog by the way, check it out). I had an eye on it for a while and was just waiting for the right occasion (“right occasion” you wonder, who needs the “right occasion” for cake?) but when I decided to turn the recipe into a Raffaello cake, I just couldn’t wait any longer.
So I went ahead and made a small changed to the cake recipe such as adding almonds, and covered the cake in white chocolate ganache. I know – there is no chocolate inside Raffaello. But I had to use something that would create the effect that I wanted so I had to go with white chocolate. And by mixing some condensed milk into the ganache, it came really close the Raffaello milk cream filling!
When I make layer cakes, I usually bake the cake the night before so it can cool completely overnight. It also makes everything more relaxed since you can mess with the baking one day and then focus on the decorating and frosting the next day. For more detailed info, check out this tutorial on How to frost a layer cake.
If you have problems with your cake not rising as mine did: The coarser the almonds the more dense the cake will be and the less it rises. I used store bought almond flour and sifted it so I would get a very fine powder. That can make a big difference! You can ground the almonds yourself but make sure to get them really fine and sift them.
(In case you wonder why my cake has just 5 layers in the pictures: I accidentally dropped and broke the 6th layer… There you go. I’m just being honest ;))
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 5 large egg whites
- ½ cup / 120 ml whole milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut flavoring
- 2.5 cups / 300 g cake flour
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 2 cups / 450 g sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup / 2 sticks / 230 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup / 120 ml unsweetened coconut milk
- FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
- 1 pack / 8oz / 250 g cream cheese
- 0.5 cup / 1 stick / 120 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
- 6 egg whites
- 50 g sugar
- 150 ml water
- 0.5 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoons coconut flavoring
- FOR THE GANACHE:
- 6 oz / 170 g white chocolate
- 5 tablespoons condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and grease two 6-inch cake pans (they have to be at least 3 inches high since the cakes will rise quite a bit, I would recommend a 6 x 3 inch cheesecake pan).
- Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk slightly. Add the ½ cup milk, coconut milk and coconut flavoring and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, almonds, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.
- Add the egg white mixture altering with the flour mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing just long enough to incorporate between additions.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for about 60 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
- CREAM CHEESE FILLING: whisk the butter on high speed until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and sugar and keep mixing until well combined, mix in the coconut flakes. Set aside.
- BUTTERCREAM: whisk the egg whites with your stand mixer on medium-high speed. Add the cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. While the egg whites are whisking, start the sugar syrup by bringing the water and 50g sugar to a boil. Once the syrup reaches 230°F / 110°C on a candy thermometer and the egg whites are stiff, pour the syrup into the egg whites while running the mixer on low speed.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and whisk until glossy, for about 10-15 minutes.
- The meringue should now be cool to the touch. Cut the butter into cubes and add them one by one with the mixer on medium speed.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar, then turn the mixer on high speed. The buttercream will start to curdle but don't worry, just keep mixing and it will all come together.
- After 2-3 minutes the buttercream should be creamy and fluffy. Set aside.
- GANACHE: melt the chocolate over a double boiler and stir in the condensed milk. Set aside.
- ASSEMBLE: Cut both cakes in 3 even layers and put the first layer on your cake stand, fixating it with a dab of buttercream underneath.
- Spread ⅕ of the coconut cream cheese filling on top and cover with the second layer of cake. Repeat this with the remaining 5 layers.
- Once your cake is assembled, you need to crumb coat it before you cover it in frosting. This is necessary to lock in all the little cake crumbs and keep them from working their way to the surface of your frosting. It pretty much just means applying a thin layer of buttercream on the entire cake. Let the cake cool for at east 30 minutes in your fridge.
- Frost the cake with the buttercream and decorate it with shredded coconut and ganache.