For the past few years I’ve been aiming to enter my coconut cake in the county fair. I kept missing the registration deadline because, well, I didn’t know when it was.
This year, my sweet friend emailed me the day it opened and so I registered online, paid my $1.00 (haha), and was signed up! I was so excited. I really hoped my vegan cake would take the blue ribbon! After all, the cake is always a hit at family functions where I’m the only vegan. Surely the rest of the world (or at least county) would find my cake equally delicious as my family…
I originally found a recipe for a basic white cake somewhere online but have adapted it over and over, and added my coconutty take, so that now I feel I can share it and safely say it is my own:
Blue Ribbon Coconut Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups dry sugar of your choice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups coconut milk (I used one 13 oz can of light coconut milk, poured it into a 2 cup measuring cup and topped it off with soymilk to equal 2 cups)
2/3 cup canola oil (or oil of your choice)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
sift dry ingredients together. stir in wet ingredients. pour into two oiled and floured non-stick 8 or 9 inch round pans.
bake at 350 degrees for 28-35 minutes (my oven seems to run hot so it takes the lesser amount of time). test for doneness with a toothpick.
after about 10 minutes you should be able to easily turn the cakes out of the pans.
For my fair entry I baked the cakes the day before and chilled them overnight so the frosting would stay nice and fluffy and firm. Normally I make a buttercream frosting using organic Earth Balance buttery spread, but since EB gets super soft super quick when outside of the fridge I decided to make a fluffy white frosting with shortening for the entry. I wasn’t sure how long the cake would be sitting out of the fridge.
Fluffy Coconut Frosting (adapated-ish from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book 12th Edition- but frosting recipes are pretty basic so make your fave!):
1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 pound box of confectioner’s sugar- sifted
3-4 tablespoons soy or coconut milk
sweetened, flaked coconut
Beat the shortening till fluffy. add the extracts and beat. add the sugar a little at a time. add the milk as needed till it reaches the right consistency.
Now I frost the layers and then add a generous amount of sweetened, flaked coconut all over the top and sides. It is best to chill the cake again for at least an hour before slicing.
For the fair entry I only had to take half of the cake plus one slice for display. That meant I had almost a half of a cake to enjoy over the weekend! Yay!
I submitted the cake on Saturday, the judging was the next day, but I didn’t find out about results until the following Wednesday when the fair opened and I went to see for myself. Well, I didn’t win. Boo! But I was so happy to even have entered- it was a really fun experience and I loved the old-timey feel of entering a cake in a county fair! My coconut cake will always be a Blue Ribbon winner for the animals! :)