Hawaiian Island Cake

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Traditional White Cake with pineapple-coconut filling and cream cheese icing

Behind the scenes

In the picture above, you see what looks like a chocolate cake layer sandwiched between two vanilla sheets. Alas, such isn’t the case. All layers are actually (supposed to be) of the Old-Fashioned White Cake recipe found in the Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. I knew that I wanted to make a cake with strong coconut and pineapple accents, so I took the liberty of substituting a couple of things.

Here’s what happened to the middle layer you see above. First, I doubled Magnolia’s recipe since I was making a 1/2 sheet cake. That was the first mistake. I should have tripled the recipe. Second, I thought I’d ramp up the sweetness and substituted one (of the two) cup milk with a cup of sweetened condensed milk. Third, when checking for doneness  after 30 minutes, I set the timer for 10 more minutes – then fell asleep on the couch – ouch! Well, I woke up well before any burning occurred, but well after the cake had lost its height and started to become a dense, chewy, wavy cookie. It was hours later before I took the courage to use this layer in the final cake. I like dense, chewy cookies, so I got hold of my trusty cake leveler and reduced the overall thickness of this should-have-been cake and took the risk of making it a center layer (see below).

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Here’s how the other two layers (top and bottom) came about. I had to start over. I had contracted to bake this cake for someone, so  there was no getting around it. I stuck with the Traditional White Cake recipe but 1) tripled the recipe and 2) substituted regular milk with organic coconut water. I could tell upon pouring the batter into the 1/2 sheet pan that it was going to be perfect – as long as I didn’t fall asleep and overcook it. Indeed, it turned out beautifully, the most evenly cooked, delicate surfaced white cake I’ve ever baked. I let this cake cool slowly for several hours while I got some sleep. I knew I was going to split it and wanted it to be as sturdy as possible.

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You can see the light color of the two halves of the split cake compared to the earlier cake that became a cookie.

With three sheets of cake ready to go, the assembly went as follows:

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Bottom white layer + filling + middle cookie-cake layer + filling + top white layer-in-waiting.
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Top white cake layer in place + icing + shredded coconut + candied pineapple nuggets.

TRADITIONAL WHITE-CAKE RECIPE FROM The Complete Magnolia Cookbook.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
    • if using all-purpose flour, add 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt per 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk (I substituted this with coconut water because I was looking to concentrate coconut flavors)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites

Directions:

  • Grease and flour your pan
  • Whip egg white to soft peaks, cover and reserve in fridge
  • Cream the butter and sugar
  • Alternatively add flour and liquids; don’t overmix
  • Gently fold in soft-peak egg whites
  • Place in oven at 350 deg F / 180 deg C
  • Bake for 22-25 min – then test for doneness
  • Let cool.

Half-sheet modifications

  • Triple the recipe – will be able to split once safely.
  • Reduce oven temp to 325 (or even 300)
  • I started checking the cake at 30 min. Mine took 40 min.

ICING – Magnolia Bakery Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 lb cream cheese, softened
  • 3 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Half-sheet modifications

  • Double the recipe above
  • Reserve 1/3 to use in the filling

FILLING – for the half-sheet cake

  • 2 x 12 oz cans of chunked or sliced pineapple in light syrup or in natural juice
  • 16 oz sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/3 of the cream cheese icing
  • Place the pineapple and coconut in a food processor and pulse until combined and there are no large pieces of pineapple. In a large bowl, stir together with icing.

TOPPING – for the half-sheet

  • 8 0z sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 8 oz candied pineapple coarsely chopped

That’s all I can think of.  Have a sweet day!

 

3 thoughts on “Hawaiian Island Cake

  1. Looks great….and I might actually prefer that chewey middle layer! Have a good trip….and you can obviously see the ones of us who are left behind and hungry! Kathy

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  2. Time….you tease us through the screens of delicious descriptions and then don’t have samples for us to try??? That’s cruel! So, enjoy this beautiful EASTER cake…it’s still lovely! Have a blessed break.

    Dian H.Ritter | High School Visual Arts American School of Doha http://www.asd.edu.qa | Desk: (+974) 4499 2503

    *The American School of Doha is committed to the intellectual and personal development of our students, inspiring and empowering them to become positive, active global citizens.*

    This message (including any attachments) is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is non-public, proprietary, privileged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure outside ASD under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, notify us immediately and delete this message.

    On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 2:10 PM, Le Four de Chez Bonneau wrote:

    > chezbonneau posted: ” Behind the scenes In the picture above, you see what > looks like a chocolate cake layer sandwiched between two vanilla sheets. > Alas, such isn’t the case. All layers are actually (supposed to be) of the > Old-Fashioned White Cake recipe found in the Complete” >

    Like

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