Feb. 16 Update: It took me a couple of tries to get this right; check out the Pina Colada Coconut Cake recipe.
In college, I met my bestest friend, Lucia. She’s one of just a couple of friends who I know would most likely be sitting beside me inside the jail cell (metaphorically speaking) should I ever get into all kinds of trouble.
Lucia is also the person who got me hooked on a whole wide array of music. She had the most meticulously organized collection of CDs that spanned darned near every genre. And if my own collection grew significantly while we lived together in D.C., it’s all her doing for introducing me to the joy of randomly wandering through music stores. (okay, well, it wasn’t all her fault, i also had — fine, have — a bit shopping habit and cds were an easy fix at the time)
And, if I were to choose just one song that was “our” song and the one that we’ll dance to at my bachelorette party, it’d be Garth Brooks’ Two Pina Coladas. One of my favorite pictures of us is of us dancing on our couch singing Two Pina Coladas at the top of lungs during a Girls’ Night In Celebration on New Year’s Eve. And when the song gets stuck in my head on repeat, it’s not Garth I hear singing, it’s me and Lucia that I hear.
My love of that song and all the amazing memories it brings back, made picking it as my inspiration for this month’s #LetsLunch bunch very easy. So, for this month’s music-inspired recipes, I present my first attempt at making a Coconut Cake. In it’s next iteration, it will be a Pina Colada Coconut Cake though. Unfortunately, my baking has been curtailed by a cold that is knocking me for a bit of the loop by the end of the day.
(Feb. 16 Note: I made the Pina Colada Coconut Cake! Here’s the recipe!)
But first, more about the Coconut Cake Trials….
On Monday night, I made the Classic Coconut Cake recipe from Nancie McDermott’s Southern Cakes because it was the one recipe that had some direction to include coconut of some sort in the cake itself, not just in the frosting. In this case, I chose to fudge with the directions a bit and to use a 1/2 cup coconut milk and a 1/2 cup coconut juice instead of following the directions to use 1 cup of either milk or coconut juice. The result was a dense, rich cake that I liked for itself and not just because it was going to be a carrier for frosting, which is typically the only reason why cake matters to me.
I also departed from Nancie’s suggested frosting in favor a cream cheese frosting made with a bit of coconut milk and coconut juice instead of the milk or orange juice I typically use. After frosting the cake, I then liberally covered it in sweetened coconut flakes.
I liked the cake. It was just enough coconut flavor to be enjoyable, but not cloying or overpowering. Even better yet, my coworkers liked it, too. Even a couple of them who said they don’t like coconut cake. Honestly, I was feeling a bit giddy from all of the compliments.
However, to truly live up to its music inspiration, this cake is going to have to turn it up a few more decibels.
My plan is to stick with the cake recipe as is. It works and I like it.
The frosting is where I’m going to make adjustments by flavoring the cream cheese frosting with coconut milk and/or rum. And between the layers of frosting, I plan to mix in some fresh pineapple bits and some extra coconut flakes.
If all goes according to my plans, I’ll be making this cake tonight and sharing it with my family this weekend, and I’ll be sure to share the details with y’all!
In the meantime, I’m going to sing along to Two Pina Coladas too loudly for a round or three.
#LetsLunch is a monthly virtual potluck that every is invited to. To join in on the fun, search for the #LetsLunch hashtag on Twitter. I’ll also be sharing links to other posts as I can. So be sure to check back.
- Hot Curries & Cold Beer: A Song and Recipe of Remembrance for Rashda’s Dad
- Free Range Cookies: Gluten-Free Thin Mints Inspired by the Bee Gees
- Cowgirl Chef: “Teach Me Tiger” Cakes
- Monday Morning Cooking Club: Hukilau and Coconut and Macadamias
- ShowFood Chef: Jazzy Blues and Chicken and Dumplings
- Beyond the Plate: Django Reinhardt & Pear Frangipane Tart
- GeoFooding: Singing the Blues over Just One Meatball
- Spicebox Travels: Buena Vista Social Club, Frijoles, Platanos and Mojitos
- Burnt-Out Baker: Rockin’ Chili Burgers
- The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook: Purple Rice Pudding with Rose Water Dates
- Patrick G. Lee: Exeter College Organ Music and the Munchies