Monday, June 7, 2010

Cake of the Week: Key Lime Cake

I think this may be the ultimate summer dessert. It’s light. It’s tangy. It’s pretty. And it’s delicious!

After my Florida vacation, I was in the mood for all things tropical, all things beachy, and all things lime-y! Because lime is such a bright and refreshing flavor, and combined with that crunchy toasted coconut on top…um, YUM!

Jess recommended this cake to me – she’s already made it twice, so I just had to test it out myself. There’s a whole cup of lime juice in the cake, so that was promising. And it got rave reviews on Cookie Maddness, the blogger who first posted the recipe.

So last night one of my roommates cooked dinner (fabulous! The only thing I love more than cooking is when someone else does the cooking for me!) and we celebrated summer on the roof. Mexican casserole, fruit salad, and key lime cake. All things good!

The only drawback is that (melodramatic gasp!), Photoman left me. I know, I know, we’ll just have to all cope with my amateur photography skills for now. But please do me a favor and take a moment to send your hire-Photoman-now thoughts to Sen. Olympia Snowe’s office. With some luck, Photman will be back in DC soon, taking gorgeous pictures and eating cake…as he should be!

So Mollie, tell us about this cake. How did you do it? My Mexican-stuffed housemates asked.

Well it’s a Key Lime Cake. I baked it in two layers, and cut one in half (so the finished cake is 3 layers). Then I frosted it with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting. Then I toasted coconut (which makes my apartment smell like Heaven). Now, getting the coconut all over the cake was tricky! I’ve seen so many snowball-looking cakes like this, but I’ve never really thought about it. Sprinkling coconut flakes over the top was easy, but how do you get coconut on the sides?  Maybe there’s a better way of doing this, but I kind of threw bits of coconut at the sides of the cake and hoped a few would stick. Aka, coconut all over my kitchen. But totally worth it.

So without further ado…here it is!

Key Lime Layer Cake (from Cookie Maddness)

2 ½ cups (11.25 oz//315 grams) all purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar (14 oz/392 grams)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup fresh or bottled key lime juice
(I used regular lime juice)

3/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lime zest

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz cream cheese softened (230 grams)

8 tablespoons butter (114 grams) — salted

3 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar (442 grams) 1 box

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 3 9-inch round baking pans with flour-added cooking spray. (I only have 2 pans, so I just made 2 cakes.)

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil and lime juice mix on medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. Add sour cream and zest; mix until smooth. Pour cake batter evenly into cake pans and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean (mine took 32 minutes).

Cool in pans for 5 minutes and then turn cakes out onto cooling racks. Cool for 1 hour.

Spread frosting over cakes, stack and ice the whole cake with frosting. Spread toasted coconut over top and down sides.

In a mixer cream together cream cheese and butter. Add sugar and vanilla, then beat in the lime juice – beating and scraping sides of bowl all the while.

Toasted Coconut: Spread on baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated 375 for about 5-10 minutes. Stir often. Let cool. I like to cook mine until some of the coconut is lightly browned.

To be enjoyed on your roof. Preferably after eating Mexican food on a warm summer evening.