It was this last trait that had my husband snickering and me saying “yes, I know, I am so predictable” the other day, as I realized that the can of coconut milk was meant to chill overnight if I wanted to make proper coconut whipped cream. And, just as predictably, I was far too impatient to wait another day to frost the delicious coconut cake I had made. So I decided to attempt a shortcut and put the whole can of coconut milk into the freezer to see if I could firm it up properly. It worked…but just barely. I ended up with such a firm substance that it was difficult to whip into a frothy cream and took a little extra coaxing to make into anything with which I could frost a cake. And I ended up with some funny frozen clumps that wouldn’t whip out, no matter what.
So this is going to be one of those “do as I say and not as I do” recipes. I wanted to play around with various coconut ingredients to really get a tender, airy, coconut confection of a cake. The cake itself was made with Kelapo coconut oil, some shredded coconut and a little coconut extract, and it turned out just beautifully. And I was looking forward to icing it with coconut milk whipped cream, to really play up that coconut flavour. But I predictably undermined myself by only thinking to prep a few hours in advance, and I almost scrapped the coconut whipped cream altogether. My short cut is not one I’d recommend as a good stand in for thinking ahead.
Thankfully, my predictable lack of planning is offset by an equally predictable resourcefulness on the fly. In a pinch, I can usually be counted on to think of a good solution to save the end result. In this case, I used my over-chilled, slightly clumpy coconut cream frosting for the layers between the cake and whipped up a batch of regular cream to frost the top and sides. If you are a better planner than I, you could make a double batch of properly chilled coconut whipped cream to frost the entire thing and be done with it. Either way, it’s going to taste amazing.
2 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Kelapo coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup granulated erythritol
3 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 cup almond milk
Coconut Whipped Cream Filling:
1 can coconut milk (not light), chilled overnight in the refrigerator
1/3 cup powdered erythritol
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Frosting:
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered erythritol
1/2 tsp vanilla or coconut extract (depending on how coconutty you want it)
1/3 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, lightly toasted for sprinkling.
For the cake, preheat oven to 325F and spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with Kelapo coconut oil spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, shredded coconut, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat coconut oil and granulated erythritol until well combined. Beat in egg whites and coconut extract.
Beat in half the almond flour mixture, then beat in almond milk and then remaining almond flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared loaf pan and bake 50 minutes, or until golden brown and just firm to the touch.
Remove and let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then loosen around edges with a sharp knife and turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
When cake is completely cool, cut horizontally into 3 even layers.
Place a metal bowl and beaters into the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove can of coconut milk from fridge and turn upside down. Open with a can opener and pour off the coconut water (reserve for another use). Scoop out the solidified coconut cream left in the can and place into the chilled metal bowl.
Beat until whipped and creamy, then add powdered erythritol and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Lay the bottom layer of cake on a serving plate and spread with half of the coconut cream. Add the middle layer and top with remaining coconut cream. Top with the final layer of cake.
In the metal bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sweetener and vanilla or coconut extract until stiff peaks form. Spread over top and sides of cake. (Alternatively, you can use another can of chilled coconut milk to make more coconut cream frosting).
Sprinkle top and sides of cake with toasted, shredded coconut. Chill at least two hours to firm up before serving.