I made this cake for my daughter to take to work and since it was such a hit, I thought I’d share it here. It’s a delightful blend of pecan and coconut flavors, with a hint of caramel for sweetness.
Yields one 6-inch cake
Caramel Coconut-Pecan Cake Ingredients
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup Caramel Syrup (recipe to follow)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Caramel Syrup Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water, plus 1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
Salted Caramel Frosting Ingredients
2 sticks (1 cup) room temperature butter
1 brick (8-ounces) room temperature cream cheese
1/2 cup salted caramel (homemade or store bought, if you cannot find salted caramel, add about a teaspoon of sea salt)
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup unsweetened shaved coconut, toasted
- Prepare the caramel syrup and set aside to cool to room temperature before moving on to next step.
- Set oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350℉. Butter two 6-by-2-inch round cake pans and set aside.
- Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
- In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- On medium-low speed, slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition Add vanilla until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With mixer running on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with coconut milk (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and beating in each addition until barely combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer.
- Fold in pecans by hand with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; spread batter to edges of pans with rubber spatula and smooth surfaces.
- Place cake pans on 1/2 sheet pan and bake about 20 minutes, then rotate pans. Continue baking until a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about another 20-25 minutes.
- Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto wire rack.
- Cool cakes completely, about 1 hour before frosting
Caramel Syrup Instructions
- Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a stainless steel saucepan, stirring until the mixture feels like wet sand.
- Set pan over medium heat and cook until amber color, about 20 minutes. Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush if necessary to prevent crystallization.
- Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in one cup of water. The caramel will sputter.
- Stir until the sputtering subsides, then add the salt and stir to combine.
- Pour into a heat proof bowl and let cool completely.
Note: you will make more caramel syrup than is needed for the recipe, but it is difficult to make a smaller batch.
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. (The whisk attachment on a KitchenAid stand mixer does the job quite effectively!)
- Pour in the salted caramel and beat until well combined.
- Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the powdered sugar, about ½ cup at a time, until it is wholly incorporated.
- Increase the mixer speed and beat for a few minutes more until really light and fluffy.
- Trim each cake horizontally to level off the surface, if needed.
- Place a dollop of frosting in the center of your cake plate, then surround with strips of waxed paper to keep plate edges clean while decorating.
- Anchor bottom layer of cake to frosting dollop, then top with about 3/4 cup icing, spreading evenly to edges.
- Top with 2nd layer (upside down for flat surface) and spread remaining icing evenly over the top and sides of cake.
- Sprinkle toasted pecans evenly on the side of cake, pressing lightly to adhere.
- Sprinkle unsweetened coconut on top, then gently remove waxed paper strips from beneath the cake