The best part of life started when I realized it doesn't have to be someone's birthday in order to bake a cake. Coconut cake is one of those cakes I didn't learn to love until later on in life, now I'm obsessed. I'm also obsessed with dulce de leche and that combination resulted in this recipe for coconut dulce de leche cake.
Here in Miami you can easily find tarta de coco con dulce de leche at local hispanic bakeries which translates to coconut pie with dulce de leche. I decided to make a cake version of this pie with toasted coconut, coconut frosting, coconut cake and a rich dulce de leche filling.
To make the dulce de leche, you can use this recipe.
Toasted coconut vs raw coconut
If you're not a fan of toasted coconut? You can opt for untoasted coconut instead. I personally love the crunch and texture the toasted coconut adds to this coconut dulce de leche cake. I also love the color it gives the cake. Instead of toasting the coconut, simply use the 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut listed in the buttercream section of the cake to cover the cake on all sides.
Don't want Dulce De Leche?
If you're not interested in a dulce de leche filling,
you're missing out you can simply omit the dulce de leche and use the buttercream filling for a more traditional coconut cake.
Coconut Dulce De Leche Cake
- 2 and ½ cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 and ⅔ cups granulated sugar
- 5 large egg whites at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups of dulce de leche
- Coconut Cream Cheese Buttercream:
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 8 ounce package full-fat cream cheese softened to room temperature*
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F Grease three 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Using a mixer beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed. Beat in the egg whites one at a time until combined, then add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Beat until combined. Mixture will look curdled as a result of the varying textures and solid butter combining. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and coconut milk. Beat on low speed until combined, then add the shredded coconut. Whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no butter lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.
- Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for around 21-23 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
- In a large bowl using a mixer beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, more coconut milk if frosting is too thick, or an extra pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
- While you're making your frosting, toast your coconut. In a baking sheet lay out 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut. Try to spread it out into an even layer so it toasts evenly. Bake for 5 minutes then mix and stir the coconut around so it toasts evenly. Bake for another five minutes and stir again. Continue this process until the coconut reaches a caramel color.
- Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand, cake turntable, or serving plate. Pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the cake so none of your dulce de leche filling oozes out of the sides. Evenly fill the inside of the frosting ring with about 1 cup of dulce de leche. Top with 2nd cake layer and evenly pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the cake then fill with 1 cup of dulce de leche. Top with the third cake layer.
- Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Using an icing spatula, apply the frosting and smooth the sides. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of the cake and apply it to the sides as well.
- Refrigerate cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake hold its shape when cutting.