Toasted Coconut Cake

I love this recipe because it is so versatile. It can be baked in a Bundt pan or as individual cupcakes. It can be enjoyed with seasonal jam and be the highlight of a brunch table, or as a delicious dessert anytime with fresh berries. It can even be baked in layers and stacked up to be an impressive birthday cake. Let your imagination run wild.
March 10, 2016


Preheat oven to 350°.

Bring butter, eggs and buttermilk to room temperature. Grease a 7-inch Bundt pan and dust with flour, shaking out any excess (or use baker’s spray).

In a small mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cornstarch and set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, oil and sugar until very pale and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla extract; scrape down sides as needed. Mix in flour mixture.

With mixer on low speed, slowly add in buttermilk. Continue to mix until everything is almost combined, allowing some streaks of dry ingredients to remain visible. Remove from mixer and stir in toasted coconut and ginger by hand. Spoon into prepared Bundt pan and level out batter with a rubber spatula. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.

While cake is cooling, prepare rum glaze. Bring ingredients to a boil in a small saucepot. Cook for 1 minute, or until sugar dissolves. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour rum glaze over cake.

Serve with a dollop of your favorite jam, or fresh berries.

Wine Pairing: Centonze Frappato 2014—Vittoria, Sicily, Italy. A beautiful organically farmed red from Southeast Sicily, this Frappato is light bodied, but packed with flavor—it’s like drinking a big bowl of peak-of-summer berries. Fresh, light and blissfully delicious, the flavors will pair great with Melissa’s Coconut Cake and will make the rum glaze sing. When pairing with the cake, I especially recommend serving the Frappato cold. —Eric Taylor, Bottles Fine Wine, Cocktails & Craft Beer, Providence

Recipe courtesy of Melissa Denmark, executive pastry chef of Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery in Providence and Edible Rhody's 2016 Local Hero: Food Artisan!


Coconut Cake
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted until golden
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
Rum Glaze
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons spiced rum
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • Rhubarb, strawberry or your favorite seasonal jam, or fresh berries (optional)
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