Coconut Cake Snowballs

July 29th, 2012  |  Cakes & Cupcakes, Favorites, Fruit, Sweets  |  0 Comments

My son has been in a sailing camp for the last 5 weeks.  He's not only learned quite a bit about boats and water safety, but more importantly he's come home with a sense of humor and he's learned to dance {something he's outright refused to have any part of for the last 5 1/2 years of his life that has been tough on a mama who loves to get her boogy on}.

A big part of this camp {and yet another reason I have LOVED it} is the weekly bake sale they have to earn money for the program.  It's like a dream come true for me...I can bake my buns off, get totally creative without worrying about who in my family may or may not eat whatever I'm making and I don't have to consume massive quantities of calories because something delectable is sitting on my countertop that I absolutely cannot say no to.   It's the best of all worlds....and so far I've made Momofuku's Crack Pie twice, a three tier German chocolate cake, a dark chocolate cherry cake, a stone fruit tart and now these precious little coconut cake snowballs.

When I started off working on this recipe, it wasn't for snowballs at all....I really didn't know what I was going to do other than some sort of coconut cake something.  I recently picked up this little mini-bundt cake pan and thought I'd give it a try with the coconut cakes, but apparently I filled the pans too full with cake so that the bottoms closed up over the top, resembling more of a cupcake than a bundt cake.  I stressed for about one minute before deciding that instead of making a glaze for bundts, I'd switch to a fluffier type frosting [thank you Martha] and try using the indentation on the underside as a means to not only hold the cake while I slathered on the frosting, but to coat it in coconut as well.  I could not have been more pleased with the results....I mean, a little mini cake that resembles a snowball to enjoy in the heat of summer?  It was absolutely perfect!!

If you don't have a mini bundt pan, don't worry--I think you can still use a regular cupcake pan and these will turn out just fine...perhaps a little messier on the frosting and coconut, but just fine.    You could also cook this coconut cake in ice cream cones and they would be even easier to frost and coat in the coconut.  Served with a marachino cherry on top--darling!!

Or, just a plain 2 or 3 layered cake would be magnificent as well.

Notwithstanding the aesthetics of this lovely little creation, it was the most moist and delicious coconut cake I think I've ever tasted.  It was super light, with the perfect hint of coconut in the cake and the gentle creaminess of the seven minute frosting was absolutely divine!



For the cake:
1 box vanilla cake mix
1 cup canned coconut milk {not light!}
1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring
2 large eggs plus two egg whites
1 cup unsalted butter, melted {2 sticks}

For the frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut


For the cakes:

Preheat oven to True Convection setting at 350 degrees {bake at 350 if your oven does not have the convection setting}.  Spray bundt or cupcake tins with baking spray, or lightly grease and butter them.

Open the can of coconut milk and stir well.  In a large bowl, beat together coconut milk, coconut flavoring, eggs and melted butter.  Once well combined, add in the cake mix and beat for about 2 minutes.

Fill tins about 3/4 way full with batter.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.   Allow cakes to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a cooling rack.  Once cakes are completely cooled, they are ready to be frosted.

For the frosting:

In the metal {heatproof} bowl of your stand mixer, add egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla, mixing well.  In a medium sized saucepan, bring about 2-3 cups of water to a boil.  Set the metal bowl over the boiling water and stir until the mixture registers 160 degrees Farenheit, about 2-3 minutes.   Once the mixture reaches the desired temperature, immediately place back onto the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until frosting is light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla until just incorporated.

To assemble the snowballs:

Place shredded coconut into a medium sized bowl and set up an assembly line starting with the cakes, then the frosting, then the bowl of coconut.  Begin by frosting each cake generously with the seven minute frosting {I stuck my finger into little hole on the underside to be sure and get the frosting evenly all the way around}, then turn the cake over into the bowl of coconut, rolling it around or gently placing the coconut around all the sides.  Carefully turn the cakes right side up and place on your cake plate or serving platter.  Voila!  Beautiful and delicious coconut cake snowballs.

This recipe could {and should} be used to make a simple double or triple layer coconut cake if all the little mini cake hullaballoo sounds like too much effort.  This really is the only coconut cake recipe you'll ever need!





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