Italian Christmas coconut cake

    1 hour 20 min

    An Italian-style coconut cake with pecans is topped with a cream cheese and coconut icing for a gorgeous alternative to traditional Christmas cake.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 120g desiccated coconut
    • 240ml buttermilk, at room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 350g self-raising flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 350g caster sugar
    • 400g butter, softened
    • 5 eggs
    • 100g pecans, chopped
    • Icing
    • 275g icing sugar
    • 120g butter, softened
    • 120ml creamed coconut
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 500g cream cheese
    • 125g pecans, chopped

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease two 23cm round cake tins and line with baking paper.
    2. Spread desiccated coconut thinly over a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high until lightly browned, stirring every 30 seconds, 2 to 3 minutes total. (Note: The coconut can also be toasted in a dry pan or in the oven).
    3. Place coconut in a blender and grind into a fine powder.
    4. Combine coconut powder, buttermilk and vanilla extract in a bowl. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.
    5. Beat sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture alternately with coconut-buttermilk mixture, mixing between additions. Mix in pecans. Divide cake mixture between the tins.
    6. Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the centre of cakes comes out clean, 28 to 32 minutes. Cool cakes in tins for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from tins and cool on wire racks, at least 20 minutes.
    7. Meanwhile, beat icing sugar and butter until fluffy. Mix in creamed coconut, vanilla extract and salt. Add cream cheese; beat until well combined. Place 1 cooled cake on a serving platter and spread icing all over. Place the other cake on top; coat with remaining icing.
    8. Press remaining pecans around and on top of the cake to garnish.

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