Friday, November 27, 2009

Coconut Birthday Cake

Thanksgiving Day gave me even more to be thankful for. The catered food turned out well; the things I made worked ok, and my family brought wonderful dishes and their lovely selves over. I ate like it was my last meal. I took photos of two sisters-in-law's dishes and you'll see them as guest bloggers here soon. I don't know if it was the new house or what but it all ran so smoothly and joyously. I am lucky to have family that I enjoy spending time with, behave well and all get along, too. What more could you want from a party?

I am up at 3 a.m. blogging thanks to the asthma steroids, but I'm also eating the apple bread my sister-in-law Terri brought and drinking the Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Tea my sister-in-law Laura gave me. Yum! You'll see that bread recipe soon on here.

I pulled this photo from one of my favorite vintage cookbook titles: the Southern Heritage/Southern Living Cakes volume. It is listed right after "Thanksgiving Mincemeat Cake" and since my birthday is the day after Thanksgiving this year and I love Coconut - here it is:

1/3 cup shortening (Yep, I hate working with shortening too, but with the Southern Heritage recipes I've found shortening adds a lot to the flavor and texture.)

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 cups cake flour

3 1/3 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt (I may cut some there, though.)

1 1/3 cups milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 egg whites

Lemon Filling (I'd do chocolate frosting for layers.)

Fluffy Frosting (Get a can of white for this one; you can even find Coconut now...)

Freshly grated coconut (Give me a break. I don't live in Hawaii. Get a bag. Dye it pink for extra fun.)

Cream shortening and butter; gradually add sugar, beating mixture well.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans; bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove layers from pans, and let cool completely. Spread filling between layers; frost top and sides and sprinkle with coconut. Yield: One 3-layer cake. (Do you know where your pans are?)

I'm now 38 years old. I'm still calling that the mid-thirties! As usual, I have a few goals for next year which include the usual husband/family ones, financial, health and spiritual ones, but I also want to knit 50 hats for charity, try 5 new things, hit more writing goals, more work for my agent, talks and more. This last year certainly taught me to be open to new situations, so it will be fun to see what comes next.

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