The Suspense Has Been Killing Me: Strawberry-Coconut Layer Cake

Although I read the Food Section of the Los Angeles Times each week without fail, I recently went through several weeks where I was borderline obsessive waiting for the section to come out each Thursday. This is because during the first week of August, I read a post on the LA Times Daily Dish Blog introducing one of the newspaper test kitchen's new interns, Joe Moon. The post described at length Moon's experience testing a possible Culinary SOS recipe for a strawberry coconut cake that looked fantastic. There was a note at the end of the blog post indicating that the strawberry coconut cake recipe would run in the Culinary SOS column "in the next few weeks." So after that, I was compulsively checking the Culinary SOS column each week to look for the cake recipe. The paper kept me in suspense for four agonizing weeks!

While I wanted to try the strawberry coconut cake recipe from L'Angelo Café right away, a number of things kept cropping up and getting in the way. I finally got the chance to make the cake this week.

The cake batter contains coconut milk, flaked coconut, and chopped strawberries. The resulting cake was moist and was predominantly vanilla flavored; the strawberry and coconut flavors were not as strong as I had expected, although the coconut added a great texture to every bite and the bits of chopped strawberry were quite pretty. (From the picture accompanying the article, it looks like the LA Times used sweetened flaked coconut in this recipe. I used unsweetened shredded coconut instead. The cake was still plenty sweet.) I didn't have any problems with the strawberry filling. The filling turned out extremely thick, and I was able to use all of it in the middle of the cake without any leakage.

The finished cake is quite attractive, although next time I will take the time to level the cake layers before assembly so that the finished cake has a neater appearance after it's sliced. Even though there wasn't that much coconut flavor in the cake itself, the fact that the cake is coated in toasted coconut unmistakeably makes this a coconut cake. The filling was also just lovely, and overall, I was extremely pleased with the way the cake came out.

This cake was totally worth the wait!

Recipe: L'Angelo Café's Strawberry-Coconut Layer Cake, from the September 2, 2010, Los Angeles Times Culinary SOS Column.


Suelle said…
This looks really good. Strawberry and coconut aren't two things that I would instinctively think of putting together but the combination looks very successful like this.