Don’t worry, yes, it’s still edible, albeit the unorthodox pre-plating presentation. So why the smashing? Why not. It’s an artistic choice. Some people slice and plate. I prefer smash and scoop.
It works because the taste is pretty fantastic. And I didn’t have any objections to the messy plating. Although it’s hard to go wrong with a cake built on alternating layers of coconut sponge cake and mango curd. Now that we’ve established the cake components are solid, here’s where the cake does go wrong: the assembly.
See how the layers aren’t leveled and no matter how I turned the cake stand the divots are still easily spotted. Along with that I screwed up the layering. The cake was suppose to have alternating layers of coconut buttercream and curd, but as you can see its all curd. With all the screws up, I decided to show the “well effort-ed”, but not good-enough fully assembled cake whose boss with a little smashing. I know, I have issues (what a career-killing statement, but I never promised anything sensible or normal would come out of this space). In my defense—why be normal when I can be happy?
Coconut Mango Cake
Makes one 4-layer 8in. cake or 8-layer 6in. cake
COCONUT SPONGE CAKE
- 3 large egg whites (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons cake flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
MANGO CURD (adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 1 15-ounce ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks
COCONUT BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- 5 large egg whites,
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 sticks of butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Butter jelly roll pan, line bottom with parchment paper, smooth out any wrinkles and butter paper. Dust pan with cake flour, tap out excess.
TO MAKE COCONUT SPONGE CAKE
- Place egg whites in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a wire whisk and beat on low until eggs are foamy. Add in cream of tartar and sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks forms.
- Place coconut, almond flour, cake flour and confectioner sugar in a food processor bowl and process until well blended and coconut is finely ground; set aside.
- Place whole eggs, vanilla and salt in stand mixer bowl and beat on high until eggs triple in volume and forms a ribbon when whisk attachment is lifted. Turn off mixer and using a sturdy spatula fold in flour mixer until just combined.
- Slowly and gently fold flour mixture into egg white mixture until just combined. Pour batter into jelly roll pan, using an offset spatula to gently and evenly spread batter to edges of pan.
- Bake at 425 degrees F or until top is lightly golden. Remove from oven and transfer cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges of cake and cut out rounds with parchment paper attached. Once cut, gently peel away paper and place back on paper during assembly.
TO MAKE MANGO CURD
Click here for instructions.
TO MAKE COCONUT BUTTERCREAM
- Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water (bain marie style). Bring mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.
- Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture becomes foamy, then increase speed to high and beat until it cools and doubles in volume.
- Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add salt and coconut cream mix to combine.
- Set aside 1 cake layer for top of cake.
- Place a dab of frosting on a cake board. Place a cake layer down on dollop. Pipe frosting around perimeter of cake (this will create a wall to hold the mango curd in place). Fill center with curd, using an offset spatula evenly spread curd to edge of piped wall. Place a second layer on top and place a dollop of frosting on top, then evenly spread to edge of cake.
- Repeat step 2 with remaining layers. Place final cake layer (set aside layer) on top and evenly spread frosting across it. Spread a crumb coat around entire side of cake and leave as is or finish cake with desired decorating effect.
A few notes:
- For ease of making even cake layers, I baked the cake in a jelly roll pan and used scissor to cut the layers out afterwards.
- Don't be like me and forget to alternate the layers with buttercream and curd.
- Make sure you use coconut cream and not coconut milk, water or butter. Coconut cream is generally shelved in the liquor section of most grocery stores. The brand I like best is Coco Lopez.
- The mango curd recipe is from Bon Appetit’s recipe. Tweaks: After reading the reviews, I omitted the limes and dropped the sugar to keep the curd as mango-y as possible.
- You may have more buttercream than you need. Store excess buttercream in the freezer for up to a month and defrost at room temperature to use.