it's a cloud cake for any occasion.
And then there's the frosting...
The secret to the vanilla buttercream is cream cheese -- just a little.
I (finally!) found a way to add that flavor I've been missing in all those buttercream/confectioners' sugar frosting recipes I've tried.
It's still definitely buttercream, but that bit of cream cheese gives it a little kick.
I added a cup of fresh blueberries and a bit of lemon zest -- two flavors that pair perfectly with the coconut over the top.
I exercised restraint here -- only a 1/4 cup of coconut in all. And that's all it needed.
The blueberry, lemon and coconut, the butter cake layers, the fluffy frosting -- they're an awesome match.
It's rare when I truly enjoy every aspect of a cake, but this one has won me over.
For the cake -
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cups sugar + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (heaping)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup milk (I had 1 percent on hand, but whole or 2 percent would work well, too)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (see note)
- 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter or spray two 9" cake pans well, line bottoms of pans with parchment paper, and butter or spray paper.
In small bowl, toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside.
In large bowl, combine remaining flour, baking powder, 2/3 cups sugar and salt. Whisk together well.
Add melted butter, beaten eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon zest to flour mixture. Whisk until just combined. A few streaks of flour is fine -- DO NOT overmix. Gently fold in blueberries.
Pour cake batter evenly between both cake pans. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over the tops of the batter.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (mine was ready in 23), or until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool in pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert cakes on to cooling racks, re-invert so the tops face up and cool completely on racks.
When ready to serve, place one cake layer on a cake server and frost with about 1/3 of the frosting. Be sure not to spread the frosting too close to the edge of the cake, as it will naturally spread out when you place the second cake layer on top.
Sprinkle half of the coconut over the top of the frosting.
Place second cake layer over frosting and pile the remaining frosting on top (there will be a lot! I had a couple of tablespoons extra that I didn't put on the cake). Carefully spread it out near the edges, allowing it to spill over the edges naturally.
Sprinkle the remaining coconut evenly over the top of the frosted cake.
Chill cake, covered, until ready to serve. Allow cake to sit at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
For buttercream frosting -
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.
- 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temp.
- 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
In large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together until light and creamy, about 5 minutes with a handmixer.
Sift in about half of the confectioners' sugar and beat until well-combined. Slowly beat in about half of the milk. Sift in remaining sugar and beat. Add almost all of the remaining milk -- enough to get that desired fluffy frosting consistency.
Add vanilla and almond extracts and beat until frosting is fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
If frosting becomes too soft, refrigerate for about 10 to 15 minutes to firm it up a bit.
Note: I used fresh blueberries. If using frozen, do not thaw. When thawed, the berries tend to water-down the batter and turn it blue.