You make Pina Colada Cake...and just in time for Father's Day!
This is my third installation for The Cake Slice Bakers. We're working our way through the fabulous cake book- Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne. I don't know how to convince you that you NEED to get his book. It boasts page after page of tall gorgeous celebration cakes--swoon!
This cake has a brown sugar cake filled with a pineapple, jam-like filling speckled with vanilla beans, drizzled with rum (I used Malibu coconut rum!) and topped with a magnificently creamy coconut meringue buttercream. I fancied up my overly white cake with toasted unsweetened coconut shavings.
My overall impression was that this cake was lacking something. The cake was good but I wish it had coconut or pineapple in it not just around it. I think it could have been much more moist that way. Also the filling was good but I thought it was a little sweet and didn't have that punch of lime that I was expecting. Maybe zest would remedy that. The cake with the filling tasted very similar to a pineapple upside-down cake. And the coconut meringue buttercream, while it sounds enticing... just didn't do it for me. This would have been fab with a pineapple cream cheese frosting. I realize that would have turned it into a pineapple cake, but I'm okay with that.
Brown Sugar Cake
- 3¾ cups cake flour
- 1¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2¼ cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¾ cups buttermilk
- 5 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 9 tbsp rum – light, amber or dark (for drizzling over cooled cakes)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line the base of three 9inch cake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk gently to combine. Add the brown sugar, butter and 1½ cups of the buttermilk to the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low blend to incorporate. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Whisk the eggs with the remaining ¼ cup buttermilk and the vanilla and add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and beating only long enough to incorporate between additions. Divide the batter between the 3 pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper and allow to cool completely.
- 1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple in juice (no added sugar)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 inch piece of vanilla bean split in half
Combine the pineapple, sugar and lime juice in a pan. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan too. Warm over a medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, 2 to 3 minutes.
Raise the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the juices have almost completely evaporated and its turned jam-like in consistency. Let the filling cool completely before using. (Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated)
Coconut Meringue Buttercream
- 3 eggs whites
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2½ sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1½ tsp coconut extract
Put the eggs whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment so they are ready to go.
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring until the syrup reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Beat the egg whites briefly at medium speed. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, being careful to avoid the beaters. Continue to whip until the meringue has cooled to body temperature.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the butter, several tablespoons at a time and continue to beat until a smooth fluffy frosting forms. Add the coconut milk in several additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well after each addition. Add the coconut extract and mix until smooth.
Place one layer flat side up on a cake stand. Sprinkle a generous 3 tbsp rum over the cake. Spread half of the pineapple filling over the layer, leaving a small gap around the edge. Add the second layer, sprinkle with more rum and cover with the remaining pineapple filling. Top with the third layer and sprinkle with the remaining rum.
Frost the top and sides of the cake with the coconut buttercream. Decorate with some thin shreds of coconut and slices of pineapple if desired.
Makes one 9-inch triple layer cake.
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Visit the other Cake Slice Bakers to see how they did!