Originally created 03/16/05

Coconut almond cake is a rich treat

Shredded coconut and almond paste give this cake a rich texture and taste, and a little easy decoration can add a light, festive look. Frost with whipped cream, scatter tiny pastel candy flowers over it for a spring-blossom effect, or dust with powdered sugar for a special finish any time of the year. For Easter, perhaps circle the cake plate with miniature colored-marzipan eggs.

"Things with coconut just remind me of Easter," recipe developer Pam Simmons says, "and I am not sure why, except it's the only time of the year our family, or my husband's family, serves anything with coconut, like ambrosia and coconut custard pie. Or perhaps it's the time of the year one can buy coconut-filled Easter eggs, which are my favorite."

This year, she says, her family's Easter desserts will include her new coconut almond cake.

Note: You will need an electric mixer and a 9-inch springform pan.

Coconut Almond Cake

(20 minutes to assemble, 45 to 48 minutes to bake, 65 to 68 minutes total time)

7-ounce package almond paste, grated

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter (1 stick), room-temperature

6 large eggs

½ teaspoon coconut extract

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut flakes

½ cup coconut milk

For Sweetened Whipped Cream Frosting:

1¼ cups heavy (whipping) cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

Optional garnish: tiny candy flowers, shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour pan.

Beat grated almond paste and sugar on low speed until combined into small crumbs. Add butter and beat on high until well mixed. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add coconut extract and beat on high for 3 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add coconut flakes and mix until combined. Add coconut milk and flour mixture to almond-paste mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 45 to 48 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center pulls out clean.

Cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes and unmold ring. Cool cake completely. Frost with sweetened whipped cream frosting, or favorite frosting. For an extra pretty presentation divide cake in half, and frost middle, top and sides of cake. Decorate with tiny, pastel-colored candy flowers, or garnish with extra shredded coconut, as desired.

Sweetened Whipped Cream Frosting:

Beat cream until frothy. Add sugar and beat until cream will hold firm peaks.

Makes one 9-inch cake.

(Recipe for AP from Andre Prost Inc., Odense Almond Paste)

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