Take my mother-in-law, please. I kid! I am very lucky to have a terrific, fun and lovely mother-in-law; she has been back visiting from a stint in the Deep Dirty South. She recently recounted some of her adventures in the heart of Dixie over many cups of strong coffee and coconut drippy cake.
What is coconut drippy cake, you ask? Well, it’s not nearly as gross as it sounds. In fact, it’s wonderful stuff. It’s not drippy or syrupy, as I had imagined. It’s light and sweet and lovely. I tried to come up with a new name for it, but as it turns out “completely saturated cake,” “mushy cake,” and “sweet mellow goop” are all far worse than the original. Coconut drippy cake, it is.
It’s a thing, a typical dessert down in the woods of Georgia, along with frequent black bear sightings, aquamarine pedicures and big Aqua Net hair. I had to go and tweak the traditional recipe a bit, because I wanted to make my cake from scratch, as well as replace the traditional Cool Whip topping with my own whipped cream to coat the top as frosting. We have also diverted from the original recipe and replaced the too-sweet coconut cream with unsweetened Thai coconut milk, because there are so many other sweetened parts to this cake.
Don’t want to scratch-bake a cake? Feel free to buy a boxed mix and just jazz it up from there. (I’m a big fan of jazzing stuff up.) But this is how we do a Southern classic up North in Maine. Thanks for the great recipe, Pen!
- 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 can condensed milk
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Generous handful shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a deep rectangular cake pan.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then tap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes.
Use a fork to puncture all over the surface of the cake. Combine condensed milk and coconut milk and pour over cake. Let the cake cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, gently whip up cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread over cake in a wonderful heap then cover with a generous sprinkling of shredded coconut.
Adapted from a recipe by Smitten Kitchen.