Individual Coconut Cakes

[Photograph: Quentin Bacon]

These snow-white little cakes are as delicious as any coconut sweet I've ever tasted.

If you'd prefer to make a large cake, bake the batter in a buttered and paper-lined 8-inch diameter 2-inch deep pan. It will take about 5 minutes longer to bake; test for doneness with the point of a paring knife in the center of the cake. Unmold, cool and serve in wedges.

Recipe from Bake!

Individual Coconut Cakes

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About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 24 individual cakes or one 8-inch round cake
Active time:about 20 minutes
Total time:35 minutes
Special equipment:Two 12-cavity mini muffin pans, buttered and floured
This recipe appears in: Nick Malgieri's Individual Coconut Cakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 4 ounces) unsweetened dried coconut
  • 4 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut or unsweetened ground or shredded coconut for topping the cakes before baking

Procedures

  1. 1

    Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375 F.

  2. 2

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour and coconut; set aside.

  3. 3

    In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until smooth, then whisk in the lemon zest and butter. Whisk in about half the dry ingredients, then use a rubber spatula to fold in the remainder.

  4. 4

    Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling them about two thirds full. Sprinkle the top of each cake with a pinch of shredded coconut.

  5. 5

    Bake the cakes until they are well risen and deep golden and they are firm when pressed with a fingertip, about 15 minutes. Invert them to a rack, then immediately turn them right side up and let them cool completely.

  6. 6

    Serving: Serve these after dessert with coffee, or as part of an assortment of desserts.
    Storage: Keep the cakes loosely covered with plastic wrap on the day they are made. Arrange them in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover in one layer and refrigerate them for longer storage. Bring to room temperature before serving.

  7. 7

    Variations: Substitute ground blanched almonds or a combination of ground hazelnuts and ground almonds for the coconut.
    Before baking, sprinkle the top of each little cake with a pinch of shredded sweetened coconut (substitute chopped almonds or hazelnuts for the variation above).

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