Monday, November 14, 2011

.key lime coconut cake.

we have dogs. dogs like to run. our dogs like to run a lot. they've made a path in our living room that serves as their indoor playground. unfortunately, it is a much smaller track than what their stretched legs desire.

my eye guy decided we need a fence for our furry babies and i'll save him the embarrassment of telling you what he wanted for our fence. he'd argue that it doesn't embarrass him. so, let me rephrase that...i'll save myself the embarrassment of telling you what he wanted us to do for our fence.

using a little wifey charm, i sweetly suggested he run his idea by his father who owns a fence business back in florida. i was hoping his dad would give a much more appealing suggestion, but he didn't. what he did do though was offer to drive up to tennessee himself and build us a fence! can you imagine how excited we were at this prospect for a yard that would enable us to hang out with our dogs without leashes and ties? we were thrilled.

in typical me fashion, one of my first thoughts was- what should i bake for him? i asked my mother-in-law what his favorites were and she told me coconut cake and key lime pie. i've been nervous about making a key lime pie, but know i'll brave that at some point. so, i was leaning towards a coconut cake.

as i began browsing various recipes, i stumbled across one of my favorite blogger's recipe for key lime coconut cake. say what!? both of my father's-in-law favorites in one cake? yes, please.

so, i set out to make this intriguing dessert as a fraction of the thank you i owed him for this generous offer. when the cake was done and ready to serve, i was nervous about how it would taste. i have a real problem with recipes that i can't taste test before i serve. it is hard to sneak a bite of a full cake. so, i was stuck waiting for that first bite along with everyone else.

when i bit in, i was a little disappointed. i felt it was dry and definitely not something i could swell in pride over. later that night, we had an official full piece and i decided to heat mine in the microwave for about 20 seconds. oh am i glad i did! the burst of warmth opened up the moisture in the cake and it truly was delicious. that week, we all heated before we ate and the cake went quickly.

what really goes quickly though is my two lively dogs when dashing back and forth all over our newly fenced in backyard. they love it and so does their mama. one of my new favorite things to do is to just sit up on our little hill and watch the two fur covered jet engines race all around me. sometimes they stop for a little mommy loving time. correction, that is my favorite part.

key lime coconut cake
adapted from smitten kitchen
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour*
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh Key lime juice, divided
1 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter an 8- by 8-inch square or 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.
Toast coconut in a small baking pan in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool. Leave oven on.
Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and zest with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir together flour and 1/2 cup coconut (reserve remainder for topping). Stir together milk and 2 tablespoons lime juice. At low speed, mix flour and milk mixtures into egg mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour.
Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to warm, then turn out of pan and discard parchment.
Whisk together confectioners sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and rum (if using) and pour over cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.


  1. I love a good tropical cake and this one does have a killer flavor combo! Lucky you to have landed on your in laws favorite things combined into one. Also nothing makes for a better afternoon than seeing your dogs run and play in the back yard. I am sure their tails were wagging the whole time. Have a great day.

  2. you are so right about the doggies! the tails are actually STILL wagging. they love it!


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