That Sweet G (my daughter Grace) turns 15 today. FIFTEEN! She asked for a new laptop for her birthday, and her daddy said, “This sure was an expensive birthday!” I grinned at him and said, “Just wait until next year.”
Per our family birthday tradition, Sweet G got to choose her low carb birthday cake. Admittedly, she was influenced by the recipe testing I had been doing in late April for my next book, Keto Gatherings. For that book, I was determined to recreate my grandmother’s classic Coconut Cream Cake that she made once a year at Christmas. That cake was moist and dense and was everything Christmas, including the sacrifice of time and money she spent to make it.
When I thought I had my low carb recipe close to my Grandmother’s high carb version, I asked my mom to make it. She and her sister decided to give it a try since they each qualified as experts from their years of experience helping my grandmother. Well…let’s just say their expertise didn’t transfer to the low carb realm. After a lot of laughter, they ended up with something inedible and a lot of good-natured accusations as to which one did what wrong in the process! While they created a fun family story, they did not create something edible.
Thankfully, my sister-in-law, Sam stepped in and helped my mom try it the recipe once more. They called me to ask if they really had to wait overnight to slice it, which gave me the first clue that their test run had gone much better. By that evening they called to say that my carbivore brother had eaten two slices. I begged them to save a piece for me. The next day my mother brought us about one-fourth of the cake. I waited until G got home to try it.
When I took the first bite, I nearly cried. My eyes closed, I was transported to my Grandmother’s kitchen just as it was when it was overwhelmed by Christmas baking and cooking. It was G who pulled me back in time as she said, “Mom, is it wrong that I’m really glad that Dad doesn’t like coconut?! I really don’t want to share this!” We savored that cake, each being considerate of the other and only having a few bites over several days. As I offered her the last crumbs, she said, “This. Mom, THIS cake is what I want for my birthday.”
And this is the cake she got. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!
Grandmother’s Christmas Coconut Cream Cake
Makes 16 servings
2/3 cup coconut flour
½ cup of oat fiber
¼ cup whey protein isolate
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sweetener
8 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 cup heavy cream
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons coconut extract
5 or 6 drops of liquid sweetener
2 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 pint sour cream
1 cup powdered sweetener
2 teaspoons coconut extract
10 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the butter and granulated sweetener. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and egg whites until frothy. Add the whipped eggs to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in heavy cream, coconut extract, and vanilla extract by hand. Add dry ingredients and mix in by hand, being careful to not over stir. Add liquid sweetener to taste. Divide the batter among two well-greased 9-inch round cake pans. For best results, line each cake pan with parchment paper so that the baked cake can be easily removed. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes. Test for doneness by touch or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the layers cool for about 15 minutes before removing them from the cake pans. If you have used parchment paper as a liner, the task is much easier. Let them cool to room temperature before making cake layers. Make the icing by using a hand mixer to whip the heavy cream. When the heavy cream holds peaks, whip in the sour cream, sweetener, and extract. Add 8 ounces of the unsweetened coconut to the icing and mix by hand. To assemble the cake, slice each cake round in half horizontally. Place one layer on a cake plate and smooth about ½ cup of icing on top. Add another layer of cake followed by a layer of icing until the four layers of cake are assembled. Cover the top and sides of the cake layers with the remaining icing. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Will keep 4 to 5 days in refrigerator.