Dec 16, 2010

Pina Colada Cake

This Pina Colada cake comes from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes. I've been eying this book for awhile after reading all these posts about the book from the Cake Slice Bakers. I finally gave in and bought it. Ever since then, I've been trying to decide which cake to make first. In the end, I decided to make this Pina Colada cake for my friend's birthday.

Since you can't see the inside of the cake, let me describe it to you. It's a brown sugar butter cake layered with pineapple jam and a coconut buttercream on the outside. Prior to the birthday get together, I didn't get to taste the cake as a whole..but I did get to taste each part. The brown sugar butter cake is a very nice cake. It's buttery, not too sweet (I cut down the sugar). The jam is nice, slightly tart, but overall sweet. My favorite part is the coconut buttercream, it's made with coconut milk!! I find I love anything that contains coconut milk! Yum.

When I finally taste the cake as a whole, I didn't quite like it. Everyone else liked it, but I'm never certain if people are just being polite. Mr. G says it's not quite right and I felt the same. I kept trying to figure out why..each part was so good on its own?!! Finally, I think I figured out what was wrong with it. There's too much cake (three layers) and not enough filling, making the overall cake dry.

If I decide to make this again, I will put the coconut buttercream in between each layer along with the pineapple jam. This might add some more smoothness to the filling instead of just the jam. Plus the buttercream is so good, why not?! Here's the recipe with my adjustments.

Pina Colada Cake
adapted from Sky High Irresistible Triple Layer Cake

Brown Sugar Cake
3 3/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar (see note)
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line the base of three 9inch cake pans.

2. 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 1 1/2 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.

3. Whisk the eggs with the remaining 1/4 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.

  • *I cut down the sugar by 1/2 cup. The original recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups of brown sugar.

Pineapple Filling
1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple in juice (no added sugar)
1/2 cup sugar (see note)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 one-inch piece of vanilla bean split in half

1. 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.

2. Raise the het to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the juices have almost completely evaporated and its turned jam-like in consistency (This took us about 10 minutes). Let the filling cool completely before using. (Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated)

  • *I cut down the sugar to 1/2 cup. The original recipe calls for 1 cup.

Coconut Buttercream
3 eggs whites
3/4 cup sugar (see note)
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (We reduced this to 2 sticks)
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp coconut extract

1. Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment so they are all ready to go.

2. Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches the soft boil stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

3. Beat the egg whites briefly at medium speed using the whisk attachment in a stand mixer. 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.

4. Switch to the paddle attachment. 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.

5. 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.

  • *I cut down the sugar to 3/4 cups. The original recipe calls for 1 cup.

To assemble
9 tbsp rum – light, amber or dark
Coconut flakes and thin slices of pineapple

1. 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. (see note)

2. 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.

3. Decorate with some thin shreds of coconut and slices of pineapple if wished. (see note)

  • *I would suggest adding some of the coconut buttercream in between the layers with the pineapple filling.
  • *If you want to toast the shredded coconuts, you can heat it in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also heat it on the stove top, medium heat. I've also tried heating them up in a microwave. You have to be very careful, they burn really quickly in a microwave. Microwave in 20 to 30 seconds increments and keep tossing it.


Christine said...

Wow! Kayee, that cake is beautiful! You definitely have a gift :)

kk said...

Thank you, sweetie!


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