I prefer Coco López brand cream of coconut for this recipe. Cream of coconut tends to separate. Prior to using, place it in a bowl and whisk it until smooth.
If you don't have three 9-inch round cake pans, bake two of the cakes, and, once they've been turned over to cool directly on the cooling rack, wash the one of the pans in cold water and bake the third layer.
Glazing the cake can be a little messy: place the cake on a large piece of parchment paper, then transfer it to a cake plate or platter. I actually prefer to see some of the chocolate drips and drizzles, so I either glaze directly on the plate or trim the parchment paper just to the edges of the drips.
- 2 3/4 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 (15-ounce) can cream of coconut
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/4 cups packed sweetened flaked coconut
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour (or spray with baking spray) three 9-inch round cake pans.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl; set aside. With mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat sugar and 1 cup butter on medium-high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup cream of coconut and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
Reduce speed to low and add reserved flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk. Mix just until combined, scraping sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add 2 cups coconut and beat just until combined.
Fit mixer with whisk attachment and place egg whites in clean, dry mixing bowl. Beat whites on medium-low speed until whites begin to froth, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat whites until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold beaten whites into batter with rubber spatula.
Divide batter equally between prepared cake pans, smoothing out top with rubber spatula. Place two cake pans side-by-side on top rack and third cake pan on bottom rack. Bake until cake tester inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes, alternating cake positions halfway through baking. Transfer cakes to cooling racks and cool 10 minutes in pans. Turn cakes directly onto racks and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, fit mixer with whisk attachment and whip cream cheese, remaining cream of coconut (about 1⁄4 cup), and remaining 2 tablespoons butter on medium-high speed until light, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add confectioners’ sugar. Mix on low until incorporated, then increase speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold macadamia nuts into frosting with rubber spatula.
Arrange one cake layer, top-side down on cake plate or parchment paper (see notes). With offset spatula, spread with half of cream cheese frosting. Top with second cake layer, top-side down. Spread with remaining cream cheese frosting, then top with third cake layer, top-side down. Press cake down gently with your hand.
Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
Spread 1 cup glaze over top and sides of cake with offset spatula. Freeze until glaze is almost set, about 5 minutes. Pour remaining glaze over cake working quickly to smooth sides and top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Refrigerate cake until glaze is firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve.
3 9-inch round cake pans, large offset spatula, electric mixer