What’s Cooking….. Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake has always been one of those baked goods I felt like you had to be a good baker to make.  I have been doing more and more baking recently and felt like I wanted a challenge.

This weekend, I took the challenge and made my first ever Coconut Cake.

For several days I thumbed through recipe books looking for a recipe I felt like I could follow.   I decided on Paula Deen‘s recipe on www.foodnetwork.com

I wasn’t afraid of the cake, it is relatively simple, a 1-2-3-4 cake that substitutes coconut milk for regular milk.

My worry came with the icing, I had never used a double-boiler , but thankfully all went well and the cake was a success.

For some reason it didn’t rise as much as I thought it would, but all in all I am happy with my first attempt.


Jamie’s Coconut Cake
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Prep Time:30 min

Inactive Prep Time: — Cook Time:25 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 1 (3-layer) cake


Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake but substitute 1 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk for regular milk, recipe follows

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

1 recipe 7-minute Frosting
Flaked, sweetened coconut, for sprinkling
Follow directions for Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake, substituting coconut milk for regular milk. While cake is baking, prepare filling. Stir together sugar, sour cream, milk, and coconut in a bowl until well blended. Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1-inch apart until entire cake has been poked. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again. (As I stack layers together I stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting).

Prepare 7-Minute Frosting. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top and sides of cakes with additional coconut.

Yield: 1 (3-layer) cake

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ease of preparation: Easy

Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely and spread cake layers with your favorite frosting to make a 3-layer cake.

Yield: 3 layer cakes

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ease of preparation: Easy

7-Minute Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high-speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

What’s Cooking – Pumpkin Bread

Yesterday at work I had a craving for pumpkin bread which is odd because I am not a big fan of pumpkin…. bread, YES, pumpkin, no.

Told work wife about my craving and she was all “oh yes, you should make some and bring it into the office.”

I found a recipe and realized I already had most of the ingredients, so I ran by Publix on the way home to pick up the three I didn’t have…. (which turned into an $80 shopping spree of other stuff I needed too.)

The pumpkin bread was about as easy to make as you can imagine and taste……  SO autumnal good!

Thanks to www.FoodNetwork.com and Alton Brown for the awesome treat!


Pumpkin Bread



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.


In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into a non- stick 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. If your pan is not non- stick coat it with butter and flour.


Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At this point a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. For muffins temperature should also be 325 degrees F., but bake for 30 minutes.


What’s Cooking…. Banana Nut Bread

Sometimes I buy too many bananas just for the purpose of letting them over-ripen,  so I can make Banana Nut Bread.  I have been looking for a reason to bake something and ta-da, over ripe bananas!

Banana Nut Bread is SIMPLE, SIMPLE SIMPLE!

2 over ripe bananas

1/2 cup chopped pecans (ideally from Hudson Pecan Company; Ocilla, GA www.hudsonpecan.com )

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup self rising flour

Mix all ingredients together and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

banana bread