How to make the most flavorful and delicious coconut cake without ruining with sugar is easy to do. Desserts are supposed to be enjoyable. This Coconut Cake is one of the best copycat cake ever. Adding spices and using less sugar was the best idea ever. The original recipe is good as well but too sweet to my liking.
A cake should have the right amount of spices and sugar. When a cake needs to be decorated with icing, I would recommend to reduce the amount of sugar in the batter. By reducing the amount of sugar in the batter, the taste is well balanced and you won’t feel as if you are eating pure sugar.
Did you know that Confectioner Sugar and Powdered Sugar are the same? They are! One tablespoon of confectioner sugar contains about 8 grams of sugar. One cup as the original recipe calls for it, is a lot more than the 8 grams.
In my recipe I substituted regular sugar for organic sugar because of taste and texture. I find that when using regular sugar the texture of the cake batter is a bit different, a bit mushy or a bit pasty. Whereas organic or raw sugar adds more texture, more definition to the finished coconut cake. The texture is a bit grainer with organic or raw sugar than with regular white processed sugar.
Another observation is sugar quantity. I have changed my eating habit quite a bit. For many years I have been reducing my sugar in several of the dessert recipes. I reduce the amount of sugar mostly because it is better for my health. I have been experimenting a lot with different types of sugars and prefer baking certain cakes with raw or organic sugar because of texture.
“Some organic, raw sugar advocates claim that organic raw sugar has more nutritional value than regular white sugar because the natural molasses has not been processed out of it. According to Monica Reinagel, chef and board-certified nutritionist, there is no meaningful difference between the nutritional value of white sugar versus organic raw or natural sugar. In fact, both types of sugar are chemically recognized as sucrose, contain the same caloric count, and are processed by the body in the same way.” http://www.livestrong.com
Baking certain cakes or desserts with organic sugar is by choice and with this coconut cake it is one of the best decision I’ve made. But let’s take a look at what we are dealing with. If we calculate the amount of sugar in this coconut cake you will noticed that the original recipe has 2 cups of sugar, 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut, 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, and 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut. So if we calculate the sure, 2 cups of sugar, sugar in the shredded coconut and confectioner sugar.
All of that is equal to sugar, sugar and more sugar. So what do you do when a recipe has a lot of sugar? You start thinking about ways to remove as much sugar you can, without messing up with the taste.
Reducing the amount of sugar in the coconut is a great choice in my opinion. The sugar taste does not overwhelmed the other ingredients in the coconut cake. Besides using another type of sugar, you could reduce the amount of sugar. Many iced cake are usually overpowered with that taste of sugar. Reducing the amount of sugar in this cake is one of the best idea you can make and better for your health as well.
Another great idea is the use of spices. Ginger and nutmeg perfected the taste of the batter. Adding flaked coconut in the filling and the icing is also great because the taste of the sugar is not overwhelming.
Flaked coconut does not contain the same amount of sugar as store-bought shredded coconut. Adding fresh shredded coconut was not a choice because of moisture. Freshly grated coconut would have changed the texture unless you reduce the amount from 4 ounces to 2 ounces.
Using freshly grated coconut is a challenge because whole coconut usually stays in a supermarket for a long time so their meat won’t always be more flavorful than processed coconut. Using whole coconut which would yield about 3 to 4 cups is not advantageous if you are not planning on using the remaining shredded coconut. I would advise to use the store-bought type unless your coconut was just picked from the coconut tree.
For flavor enhancement, I replaced the almond extract with coconut rum. It was a good idea considering that vanilla extract and almond extract is a good combination in the cake icing. I would lastly recommend to use a good coconut rum – not the cheap kind. If the cake is for grown-ups, you can also add a little bit of coconut rum in the cake icing to bring out coconut flavor more.
Adding flaked coconut in the cake icing is still the best idea ever. When savoring the finished cake, you get a bit of crunchiness which is an awesome surprise and less sugary.
The original recipe is from Ina Garten. My update version contains let sugar and more flavor for this Caribbean girl. LOL Just remember that spices such as nutmeg and powdered ginger do wonders for cake.