Toasted Coconut Cake

It’s Amandeleine’s 1st anniversary!

No it’s not, I’m lying.

It was Amandeleine’s 1st anniversary over a month ago. On June 8th. But for some reason I thought the anniversary was sometime in July, and when I looked it up a few days ago, I learned I was wrong.


I really am sad I missed it, because I wanted to make a big deal out of it. It feels a little strange to do so now, but who cares. At the end of the day, I just want to thank you guys. I made this blog to log my recipes and dabble with food photography, and all you folks who comment, subscribe, like Amandeleine on facebook and keep coming back made this blog something extra special.

So in thanks I’m sharing something with you that I find extra special. A toasted coconut cake recipe from Bobby Flay. I generally make it only once or twice a year because it takes me four to five hours to make from start to finish. And we’re not talking an hour of work and three hours of baking/cooling time. I get to sit down very little while making this cake.

First you toast some coconut. Then you make a coconut simple syrup and a coconut custard. Then you make a cake. Then while it is baking, you get a quick 20 minute break if your custard isn’t cool yet.

Then while the cake is cooling, you make a coconut filling and a coconut buttercream out of your delicious homemade coconut custard. Then you slice your cooled cake into layers and brush it with simple syrup and fill it with custardy goodness.

Then you coat it in custardy goodness and toasted goodness. And then you eat it.

It always makes my feet hurt.

And yet I still make it at least once a year, usually around Trevor’s birthday as it’s one of his favourite things I have ever made. That’s why I keep making it. It is a ridiculous amount of work, but each slice, each coconutty bite is fantastic. This was the cake that converted me from coconut hater to coconut enjoyer.

So, not unlike this blog, you really have to commit to this cake and see it through, but if you do, it’ll be something pretty dang awesome.

Thanks all, I love you. :)

Toasted Coconut Cake

Recipe from Bobby Flay

Toasted Coconut

  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Coconut Simple Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Coconut Custard

  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons coconut rum (recommended: Malibu)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coconut Filling:

  • 3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe above), cold
  • 3/4 cup very cold heavy cream

Coconut Buttercream

  • 3 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe above) (cold)
  • Pinch fine sea salt


  • 2 tablespoons softened butter, for pans
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, slightly cold


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Toasted Coconut: Spread the coconut evenly onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring once, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the coconut sit in the oven until very dry and crunchy, about 15 minutes longer.
  3. Simple Syrup: Bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Custard: Combine the milks and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  5. Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the rum and vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
  6. Filling: Combine the custard and cream in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.
  7. Buttercream: Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut custard and salt and beat until combined and smooth.
  8. Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9 by 2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  9. Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
  10. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pan and smooth the tops using a rubber spatula.
  11. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 22 to 24 minutes.  Cool in the pan on baking rack for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the side of the pan and invert cakes onto the baking rack, removing parchment paper, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.
  12. Assembly: Using a long serrated knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Reserve 1 of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake. Place another layer on a cardboard round cut side up and brush with some of the coconut simple syrup. Spoon 1/3 of the coconut filling onto the cake and using a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cake. Repeat with 2 more layers. Brush the cut side of the reserved cake layer with the remaining syrup. Place the layer cut side down on top of the cake.
  13. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the buttercream. Pat the coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle the remaining coconut on the top of the cake.

5 thoughts on “Toasted Coconut Cake

  1. Happy (belated) Anniversary, Amandeleine! :)
    I always look forward to and enjoy reading your blog a whole lot! Love your interesting and often touching stories, your excellent food photography and last but not least, the fruits of your labor (baked goodies).
    Thank you for enriching our lives in so many ways! :)

  2. Hi Amanda!

    I got your blog through Justin about a year ago and have been subscribed to it ever since. We’ve met a couple of times but not sure if you remember. I just didn’t want to be a lurker ‘no more. But congrats on your blog and I hope to try and make some of your recipes turn out as good as yours here!

  3. Lenda – Thanks mom ;)

    Jo – I do remember you! And thanks so much for sticking with it and coming back each post, I really appreciate it! Let me know if you make anything and how it turns out!

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