Saturday, June 20, 2009

If you like pina coladas & getting caught in the rain.

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.

Pina Colada Cake from Sky High Cakes

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.

Pineapple Filling

  • 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.

For a printer friendly version, click here.

Visit the other Cake Slice Bakers to see how they did!


Denise said...

What a beautiful looking cake, very impressive.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

I agree with Denise its a gorgeous looking cake. That's a bumme that it didn't do anything for you. Think you'll try again with a few tweaks or just take a pass? Also did you make the whole cake or cut it in half & use smaller pans?

Very funny with the kitty cake face.
Btw, did you crack a coconut and shredd it yourself?

Wanda..... said...

OMGosh...could you come bake for are a talented artist!!!

Katie said...

Your cake is stunning! I love the toasted coconut decoration - I couldn't find flaked coconut so used some fruit instead but yours looks fantastic!

symphonious sweets said...

Your kitty cake looks fantastic! I did not like the frosting either byt cream cheese could be an improvement. I just noticed your strawberry cake! better go take a look at that one!

Delectable Dining said...

This is so beautiful! It's almost too pretty to cut into! :)

Lissaloo said...

This cake looks amazing, I bet it tastes wonderful! :)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

wow--gorgeous! i agree that cream cheese icing would be fab on this one!

Foodiewife said...

This cake is what I'd see in an upscale bakery. Perfection! The way you described the cake, I was feeling envy that I couldn't taste it. Sorry it didn't meet your expectations, but no doubt you will adapt this recipe to be even better.
How I wish I had your gift with baking and decorating...

Lulu the Baker said...

I love you shaved cococut garnish. Beautiful! I hope you don't mind, I was too lazy to type out the recipe this month, so I linked to your blog on my post! I agree that the cake just wasn't quite doing it for me, and I thought cream cheese frosting would have been awesome instead of the coconut buttercream!

Kerstin said...

What a gorgeous cake! Sorry it tasted a tad disappointing, all your suggestions sound perfect though!

Maria said...

Wow, your cake is beautiful!! I love how tall it is!

Mary Ann said...

Absolutely stunning! What gorgeous photos.

Caroline said...

Beautiful-looking cake and so tall. Those big toasty flakes of coconut look so good.

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge and a beautifully assembled cake. Unfortunately I didn't have time with this challenge but will try to put time in the later weeks to do so. I too agree that a cheese frosting sounded much better than a coconut buttercream. I may attemtpt it with the former instead!

Debbie said...

That is an absolutely beautiful cake. I would love to try a slice of it!

Cori said...

WOW, that is a fabulous looking cake with not abad theme song to boot :) Love your blog!!

Kim said...

That is one beautiful cake!! It sounds very tasty : )

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I do agree it was lacking in the flavor department... Definitely not one of my favorites so far!

Shari said...

This is a gorgeous presentation!! I appreciate your open and honest evaluation of it and I would look forward to reading a post based on the innovations you suggest (which sound right on)!

Treehouse Chef said...

This looks beautiful! Where do you get the time to make such fancy creations? Okay, I am serious now when I ask this--can a regular person bake this and have it look that pretty. If so, I may but this book but I have so many cookbooks that are above my head already.

Sophie said...

Your cakes are always so pretty, Monica, I'm in awe of the flawlessness. said...

Delicious..Just can't wait to have it...

ceilithe said...

From one Texas girl to another, your cakes look "awful purty" :)

Mermaid Sews said...

WOW- your cake looks soooo good. Mine did not look like this (post late but forthcoming). Can I tell you that I bought that song on I-tunes and listened to it over and over while making it.

♥Rosie♥ said...

Your cake looks divine. I kind of lost track of the time this month and didn't manage to get my cake baked :0(

Heather said...

I just made this cake on the 8th. I agree that it is good but lacking. I didn't make the buttercream instead I made my own frosting.

I love the cookbook and use it regularly.

Linda said...

So sad. I wanted to right click on the link to the book and not lose your blog. Instead you have that link with a pop up that says copyright protected. Not every link has to be like this does it? I don't like leaving a blog before I have had a chance to explore.

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