RoboJesusSpaceBaby Cake (or, The. Best. Coconut. Cake. Evar.)

There’s a longstanding joke about my alma mater that goes a little something like this: A Sarah Lawrence girl will do anything–except math. And it’s funny because it’s true (for the most part); with the exception of the ladies enrolled in the school’s mighty genetics department, we were not a bunch known for our mathematical prowess.  I want you to keep this fact in mind as you read this post.

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About this time last year, my lovely friend A and I got together for a baking date, which resulted in the creation of the famous and wonderful RoboJesusSpaceBabyCake. (Which, for the uninitiated, was a coconut cake so named because of the AWESOME box we made for it.). It was tremendous! And delicious! And amazing! Everything you’d ever want in a coconut cake!

And so of course I promptly lost the recipe.

[insert sounds of wailing, gnashing of teeth]

Fast forward to last week, wherein I found myself craving a slice of RoboJesusSpaceBabyCake. Craving it SO FIERCELY, in fact, that I spent at least two hours combing the internet, from whence the original recipe came, trying to locate it. After much hunting, I found it! And there was much rejoicing!

…until I decided to take it from a double layer cake to a triple layer cake. By increasing the recipe by 1/3. Instead of, you know. Just increasing it by half. Which would have the logical way to approach this.

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This is what happens when you let me start baking at midnight. Math. Lots and lots of unnecessary math. And after spending some time scrabbling fraction-based equations in my cooking notes, I can tell you this with authority: 1/3 is a RIDICULOUS multiplier to use in the kitchen. Most measuring spoons are not made to dole out 7/12ths of a teaspoon.

Fortunately, the cake was just as awesome as I’d remembered: dense, rich, delicious, not too sweet (well, until you slathered it with cream cheese frosting), and an excellent excuse to throw an impromptu party for some of my best and brightest. And any equation that adds up that nicely is okay by me.

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And now, without further ado:

ROBO JESUS SPACEBABY COCONUT CAKE!

(from Epicurious, font of all things good)

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez–you can usually find this in the beverage/mixers aisle, near the bitters)*
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Pinch of salt

8 oz shredded, sweetened coconut

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Butter and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. In a larger bowl (preferably attached to an electric mixer), beat the sugar, butter, and cream of coconut until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla.
  4. Gently beat in the dry ingredients and then add the buttermilk until just blended.
  5. Meanwhile! whip your egg whites into a frenzy! Or just beat them until they make stiff–but not dry–peaks. Gently fold the eggs into the rest of the batter.
  6. Bake until tester poked in the center comes out clean–about 45 minutes. Cool in pans on rack about ten minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely.
  7. When cool, slather with Cream cheese frosting and then gently press the shredded coconut into the frosting–it should look rather like a snowball (I also put some shredded coconut between the layers).
  8. Invite your friends! Make it a family affair!
In baked, baking, cake, dessert

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