I am your dedicated provider of loaf cake recipes. I’ve just had a look at my home archives, and I realise that I keep true to my love of rustic loaf cakes, instead of fussier decorated cakes (which lots of other bloggers do very well). this has to do first with my asian upbringing – and I’m sure I’ve told you this already – where cakes are usually plain and undecorated sponges (here I am conveniently neglecting the presence of those cream monstrosities so often present in chinatowns around the world that my family have never ordered).
my father has a love for coconut baked goods and it is actually surprisingly difficult to find a recipe for a plain coconut cake without spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, which are also not very (asian-) traditional.
this cake baked up very fragrantly, imbuing the house with the pleasantly nutty smellof coconut and vanilla. I did sort of forget it was in the oven so it came out a little darker than I had wanted, but I very quickly brushed on some coconut milk to counteract any potential dryness, and I think this worked very well.
I know that we usually brush syrups onto cakes in order to get them moist but I read this tip on smitten kitchen that you can use either some juice or even water – which inspired my use of coconut milk here. you don’t want much because you don’t want to soak this bread but just know that from now on you don’t have to make a syrup!
I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that the cake is crumbly than most loaf cakes, even though it is buttery and moist. the dried coconut shreds break up the structure of the loaf so you have be sure that when slicing up the cake, you might not get terribly neat slices, and you probably want a plate for eating. my guess is that chilling the cake might work, or even soaking the dried coconut in the milk will help so let me know if you try this! the cake didn’t last long enough in my house to fridge it.
european butter will give you the most buttery-est smell in the kitchen, melding well with the nutty coconut.
coconut loaf cake (adapted from The Goddess Kitchen)
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g castor sugar
2 eggs (I used medium)
225g all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
60g desiccated coconut
3 tbsp coconut milk, plus more to brush over
0.5 tsp vanilla essence
- preheat the oven to 180C. butter and flour your baking pan.
- cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add the eggs separately, mixing well after each.
- mix in the vanilla essence.
- sieve in the flour, salt and baking powder; fold gently into the egg mixture with the coconut.
- add the milk and fold in gently.
- pour into the pan and use a spatula to spread it to the corners. bake until golden brown and cooked, until a tester comes out clean.
- brush on about 1-2 tbsp of cold coconut milk on the surface of the cake. initially it will absorb very quickly, and you should stop brushing on when the absorption slows down such that the milk remains on the surface. don’t worry, it’ll eventually get absorbed while it’s cooling!
- cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely on the rack.