Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Super Simple Coconut Cake

I'm part of a dessert photo-sharing group, one of whose members recently posted a recipe for a four ingredient cake, using one cup of each. It's referred to as 1,1,1,1 cake. A little research yielded the source as http://www.4ingredients.com.au/. I was very skeptical that this cake would be any good, but I needed a little something after a dental appointment and the ease of this recipe inspired me to try it. I was delighted with the results. The cake is perfect alongside a cup of tea--very moist and flavorful. It may not be the most sophisticated cake in the world, but given that you can make it in half the time it takes the oven to preheat, I'm sold. In addition, I thought this would be a great recipe for my 6 3/4 year old to try making all by herself. We've made it together twice now, each time with me talking and helping less. By the end of the summer, I feel confident that she will only need help pouring the milk from the heavy glass bottles we get and getting it into and out of the oven (being on the petite side, it's too far a reach for her to get the baking tray in and out). The cake needs no icing, but was splendid with some mashed, very ripe, unsweetened strawberries on top. I foresee this as a regular in our repertoire.

At the recommendation of the fellow baker who posted the recipe, we used only 1/2 cup of sugar rather than 1 cup. We used whole wheat pastry flour and, since we never have self-raising flour on hand, added baking powder and salt. We also whizzed up the shredded coconut in our coffee grinder (that's never used for coffee) the second time we tried it. This made the texture less chewy and if you've got the time and equipment it's a worthwhile trick. Finally, we added the zest and juice of one lemon. I love the combination of the lemon and coconut. Someday when I have an orange on hand, I will use the zest of one whole orange--I would think that the juice of a whole orange would be too much but you might be able to use half the juice and then just top with milk to make 1 cup. Orange cake is one of my favorites and I think this would make a satisfying one.

1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 c.  whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 TBSP (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. sugar (I use evaporated cane juice)
1 c. milk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 180 degrees C)
  2. Line a loaf tin with parchment (I'm going to try just greasing sometime to see if appear is really necessary, especially as I have a silicone bread pan)
  3. If desired, grind up shredded coconut a bit so it's a flour-like consistency
  4. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well mixed
  5. Pour into loaf tin and bake 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  6. Cool on a wire rack and serve at any temperature, topping with berries if desired. Keeps quite well since it's so moist

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