Thursday, October 8, 2009

BEST. CAKE. EVER.

Tap. Tap. Is this thing on? Anybody out there?

Well, I am back from my unplanned and very annoying hiatus. You will be happy to know that Mack is back in school and fully recovered. (Although I did hear today that one of the schools in our district has 18 percent of the student body out due to the swine flu. Makes me wonder how all the rest of us escaped unscathed?)

ANYhoo, I have decided to share with you one of my absolute favorite treats. I helped throw a baby shower this week and thought it was the perfect opportunity to get my cake on.

The sweetness of the cake, however, was momentarily ruined when the husband glanced at the recipe on the counter and commented out loud on the number of calories in the cake.

I know, right?

That was quickly remedied by me:

I found this recipe about a year ago, and it actually belongs to the fabulous Paula Deen, but I borrowed it, tweaked it a little bit, and can safely assume it is the reason I cannot button my jeans today.

First you need three cake pans. I use the classy, no-washing-needed version seen here. Generously grease and flour these babies and set them aside.

Then you take 1 cup butter, which is supposed to be at room temperature - a step I somehow always forget to do ahead of time. The microwave does a great job, and if you accidentally forget to pull the butter out in time, it works just fine if it's a little melted, too.

Cream the melted room temperature butter and 2 cups of sugar for six to eight minutes. Then add four eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition.

There is a little person in our house that has a sixth sense for when the kitchen aid is on. She is like one of Pavlov's little dogs - she hears that humming and she comes a running. Once in a while I'm nice and let her crack the eggs.

Add one teaspoon of vanilla and mix just until combined. Then you're going to take one cup of coconut milk:

And 3 cups flour. Add them alternately to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.


Lots of times when I'm baking, things look like this, which is always hard for my OCD brain to ignore:

When you're done, the batter will be very, very thick. Almost cookie dough like. But don't worry, you've definitely done it right if it looks like this. If it's thin and cake-batter like? I don't know how to help you. You might want to consider professional help and get your baked goods on the outside.

Next, pour the batter into your three greased pans (ignoring, of course, the disgusting Crunch Berries cereal on the counter. In my defense, it was only a little after seven a.m. when I made this and breakfast was not fully put away yet. See the clock on the wall for proof.)

Once the batter is spread around each pan, lift them up off the counter and slam them back down to pop any air bubbles. Yes, people, this is going to be a dense cake. Lovely, dense, and incredibly moist.

Slam the cake pans, at least four or five times each, until all the air bubbles are released. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done.

Cool five minutes or so in the pan, and dump the cakes onto a cooling rack to cool while you prepare the frosting. When I'm not feeling lazy, I like to use the Wilton buttercream frosting recipe. But I have to confess, I have just made this with frosting in a can, and it by no means impacts the deliciousness.

Next, spread some frosting over your first layer like this:

Top that layer with the middle child, I mean, middle layer, and slather that bad boy with some frosting of his own.


Repeat again for the third layer. Do not be alarmed by the imperfect appearance or unevenness of the layers. All will be made right by the coconut. You must trust the little Stie. Has she ever steered you wrong before?

When you have finished frosting all layers and the edges, it will look like this:

Sprinkle coconut over the top, covering any and all mistakes.

Pat coconut up the sides of the cake next, and be prepared for a coconut explosion in your kitchen. That stuff gets EVERYWHERE during this phase of the process. It would be annoying if the end result weren't so darn delicious.

Pipe a little frosting around the bottom of the cake and voila! An absolutely gorgeous specimen, if I do say so myself.

So pretty that I think we need a close-up. Why hello there, lover. What's that? You want Christie to eat a big, thick slice of you? All right. If you insist.

For the baby shower, I also made some of these. Chase came in and asked me why I was making diaper cookies. What say you, internets? Diapers or onesies? I'm sticking with onesies.

The buffet of gluttony, just waiting to be devoured:

And the gorgeous mom-to-be in a pre-shower photo shoot by yours truly:

It's almost wrong how cute she is pregnant, isn't it? I can't wait until the baby is born so I can get myself some newborn lovin'. Yum.

That's what I've been up to this week. Stay tuned for the long-awaited Traveling Shoes winner, a little visit from my brother Dan, and gorgeous photos of gorgeous people.

I think it's shaping up to be a good week after all.

37 comments:

Becky said...

Is she having that baby sometime soon??? Or....did you have her a really really early shower??? Or...what the?!?!? She is tiny.

I am not a cake lover, but when you said coconut milk, I was really wanting some. It looks really really good, and so did the display as a whole. Nice presentation!

Tristan said...

YUM YUM YUM!! Minus the flaked coconut. Love the flavor of coconut, just not the texture. Paula Deen is a GENIUS! The women knows what makes baked good so wonderful...BUTTER! :)

And the cookies are clearly onesies and are so cute!

Anonymous said...

turned out beautiful!
I love the idea of pictures of the expectant mother on the dessert table. Your pixs are beautiful, but since I looked like a travel trailer when I was pregnant, I am happy no one thought of that way back when. Your photos were beautiful!!!!

please pass the cake

melissa ( : said...

What a DARLING baby shower!! So cute!

Annemarie said...

One of Pavlov's dogs lives at this house, too and does the exact same thing when she hears the mixer.

I need some cake.

♥Shally said...

If I lived by you, I would way 2000 pounds. Seriously.

That cake looks soooo good! I love coconut.

If I ever have to throw a shower I am totally calling you to get recipe tips and decorating ideas! That buffet was awesome!

And Woo hoo! No more swine flu! :)

Musings of a Housewife said...

YUM.

But I can't help but notice your counters. They look remarkably similar to one of the granite patterns I considered. Mine is being installed TOMORROW! WOOT!

And those cookies -- TOO CUTE FOR WORDS.

Dalene said...

I want to be your neighbor, not just your sister.

Boston Family said...

It was a great night! And such amazing treats. They really were as good as they looked. Thanks for all the baking Stie! It was amazing. Still recovering from my sugar coma. It was just all to good not to have a taste...um of everything.

Paige said...

I love all the pictures. I bet I could even make this. Except for the piping. Not going to happen. also I could not make the onesie cookies so I won't try. Clearly onesies. I am making this for Celia's birthday, in addition to the chocolate one. It's on Weds.

Jessica said...

Did I not explain to you that I am on a no-sugar diet (that is working, btw...why is sugar so darn fattening?) and this cake is putting me over the edge??

queenieweenie said...

I'm with Jessica...enough with the temptation!!!

brooke said...

Darling mom-to-be and amazing cake and cookies--I can bake and have it taste good but my stuff is alwasy embarrassingly ugly.

Jen said...

The cookies look so cute and the cake - wow! 7000 calories split so many ways does come to zero with my math. Love the limes and flowers combo too. Is this Martha's site? :)

Emily said...

I'm so glad McKay is better, I've been trying to find your phone number to call and check but alas, it has gone the way of most old emails and the white pages kept coming back with nothing. Sorry. But again, glad McKay is okay. And that cake, mmmmmm that cake. Me and coconut, we haven't had a date together we didn't like. Almost make me want to have a baby myself if I can get one of those.

christina-defining moments said...

That looks so good! I have that same pink water bottle!

Jeanelle said...

Love the recipe & the pics...this might have to be my mom's birthday cake in November. Oh and I expected to find a give away for a sexy le creuset dutch oven at the end of this...that's how great your pics are! You are the next Pioneer Woman!!!

Cindy said...

I really don't think it's fair to show us those yummy treats and we can't have any! I want some of those cookies!!!

Rochelleht said...

Pretty much speechless over here.

Meg said...

I love coconut and this looks DIVINE!!!

I am glad your son is better!

I am sick today and missing my girl weekend away. (frowny face)

I would love to pick your brain sometime if you would let me. I have photoshop questions regarding color space that I would love to talk to someone about.... would you be willing to let me ask a few? gregnmeg (at) gmail.com

Lisa-Marie said...

Good to hear from you. I was starting to worry that the tummy ache you thought was from too much cookie dough was really the swine flu. PHEW!

I'm glad that McKay is feeling better.

Your cake is gorgeous. And the cookies, amazing. Now we need a tutorial how to frost cookies like that. You really are endless in your talents!

Maria said...

Sorry, I couldn't stay! Everything looked cute and delicious! Hope you had fun!

Travelin'Oma said...

This is the main reason we love to visit you. The children are cute, the conversation is stimulating, but the cake is the thing. I will never become such a health nut that I won't eat it. And I'm going to be digressing from my healthy eating for a chocolate Thanksgiving experience, too.

calibosmom said...

I'm confused...I have NEVER seen anything with that many calories. That's insane so it must of course be the best thing on the planet to eat. WOW! Why is it you don't have your own bakery? Those cookies are fantastic and clearly they are onsies!

Terra said...

Now I want cake for breakfast!!!

Lauren in GA said...

I so loved the, "Tap. Tap. Is this thing on?" in your opening. You are a joy to read.

I also enjoyed your strike out on the calories. Much, much better that way.

I love that you and your little person bond over baking. That is great.

Those cookies are clearly onesies and they are truly beautiful.

Aubrey said...

You throw a good spread--it looks so tasty. And those pictures are too cute--really. It should be wrong to still look that thin while pregnant. I tell you, my thighs looked like THEY were covered in coconut. Oh, TMI.

shilo said...

Well, my friend, you really outdid yourself. Thanks again for hosting my baby shower. That food was AMAZING. Truly, the best cake ever. I was surprised to scroll down and see that my prego pics made your blog. Quite the ego boost. Only a few more weeks until you can hold little Dylan all you want! :)

Woman Interrupted said...

Paula deen, huh? Of course, the signature stick of butter in there.

Why are y'all having a baby shower when she's like 3 1/2 mo along?

brooke said...

I didn't even notice the lime centerpieces the first time I visited your post becasue I was so busy salivating over all the treats.

I love the blue flowers with the lime for a boy shower. I'm so glad they turned out for you. No need to give me credit--I stole the idea from another blog. What a great idea to use blue with the green limes--I'm totally going to do that for my next boy shower.

gab said...

Cute cute shower, Stie! That is the ONE dessert in the world I would not ever eat. Coconut...ick. But it looks pretty as a picture!!

Kimberly said...

Good to hear your little man is feeling better. Those onesie cookies are adorable...watch out...Gerber may sue you for the recipe...ha ha!

Julie From Inmates said...

Man, that cake looks delicious and I don't even like coconut. =)

I am still crossing my fingers that those shoes pay me a visit here in the Mountain State!!!

marisa said...

that cake is simply gorgeous. and i don't even like coconut!

Blazing Goddess said...

I curse thee. I gained five pounds just from the pictures. But it was worth it. My friend says food has no calories if it's consumed in the comapny of friends. I'm sticking with that theory. And so are my thighs.

Juggling Motherhood said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm not really a cake making person, so thanks for explaining things so simply!

I also love all your photos by the way!

marta said...

stie.. i think i may be making your cake today. am scared of the piping, but i think i can hack it.

two questions: do you bake all the cakes at once? do you have to switch them around for 'even baking' or anything crazy like that? also, have you ever frozen the layers before frosting them? wonder when i should bake it if it's for a sunday party.

thanks for bringin' it stie. xo.