This pretty cake has four layers of rich coconut cake, which are filled with tart lime curd and covered with cooked meringue frosting. Decorate this cake with more fresh or toasted coconut, or with fresh fruit. This cake is best if you make the cake layers and fill them with the lime curd one day before serving, which allows the flavors and textures to blend together well.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 8-10.
- For the cake layers:
- 1 white cake mix
- 3/4 cup cream of coconut
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 3 teaspoons coconut flavoring
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- For the lime curd:
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons lime zest
- 3/4 cup lime juice (preferably key lime)
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- pinch of salt
- 6 egg yolks (reserve whites for frosting)
- For the meringue frosting:
- 6 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- Prepare lime curd: In a pot, bring 1/2 cup butter, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, cornstarch and salt to a boil, whisking constantly.
- Whisk egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until light in color.
- Whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the pot of hot liquid while whisking thoroughly.
- Heat mixture at a low simmer, whisking constantly to prevent sticking and burning, for 3 to 4 minutes, until mixture thickens and holds the marks of the whisk. Remove from heat.
- Pour into a bowl. Stir in a couple of drops of green food coloring if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and chill.
- Make the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cake mix in a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a standing mixer). Add cream of coconut, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and coconut flavoring and mix well, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. Briefly chop the shredded coconut in a food processor, then fold into the cake batter.
- Line the bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans with waxed paper. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Place pans in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cakes spring back gently to the touch.
- Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack. Loosen sides of cakes from the pan with a knife, then flip cakes onto rack. Chill cakes until ready to fill.
- Using a large bread knife, carefully split each cake in half horizontally. Spread half the lime curd over the split side of one of the cake layers, then top with the other half of the split cake. Repeat with other cake layer. Wrap filled cake layers in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two, or overnight if possible.
- Make the meringue frosting: Place egg whites in the (very clean) bowl of an electric mixer, and attach the wire whisk.
- Place the sugar, 1/2 cup water, corn syrup, and pinch of salt in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.
- When the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches about 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 degrees Celsius), or after about 3 minutes, turn on the mixer and start beating the egg whites. When the temperature reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius), remove the syrup from the heat. The total cooking time should be about 4 minutes, and the sugar syrup should make thin threads if you drizzle it off of a fork, and will have thickened slightly.
- The egg whites should be forming stiff peaks. Slowly and carefully pour the syrup down the side of the mixer bowl, into the beaten egg whites. Continue to beat the meringue until it cools, about 5 minutes. Fold in 1 teaspoon vanilla or coconut flavoring if desired.
- Place one filled cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a thick layer of frosting over it and top with the other cake layer. Spread frosting liberally over sides and tops of cake, decoratively swirling it with a knife. Chill cake until ready to serve.