Brodell's recipe was an amalgamation of several coconut cake recipes she'd seen, some trial and error, more tweaking and the idea to add a Key lime filling.
Brodell helps Dimensions Dining & Catering in Hagerstown's South End by making special occasion cakes, mostly wedding cakes.
Double Coconut Cake with Key Lime Buttercream Filling
(Courtesy of Elisabeth Brodell)
For the Key lime buttercream filling:
5 egg yolks from large eggs
1 cup sugar
16 very green Key limes, zested and juiced
Green food coloring (optional)
1 stick butter, cut into pats and chilled
3 cups prepared buttercream icing
Combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium-size stainless steel saucepan and whisk until smooth.
Measure Key lime juice and, if needed, add additional juice or water to reach 1/3 cup liquid.
Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Heat gently on low and whisk constantly until thickened and coats back of spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 to 2 drops of green food coloring if desired.
Remove promptly from heat and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, allowing each piece to melt and become incorporated before adding the next.
Once all butter is incorporated, remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate until firm. (Can stay refrigerated up to 2 weeks.)
In a mixer bowl, combine the curd with 3 cups of the prepared buttercream at room temperature. Mix at low speed to combine, about 1 minute. Remove to airtight container and refrigerate if not being used right away. Allow to return to room temperature before using.
For the cake:
5 cups cake flour
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
16 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
10 egg whites
2 cups finely shredded or chipped coconut (Chipped coconut is sold at Martin's Farm Market, 13613 Pennsylvania Ave., north of Hagerstown behind Keystone Sporting Goods)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans that are at least 2 inches deep.
Sift dry ingredients together into mixer bowl.
Add all wet ingredients except egg whites. Mix on low speed just until combined. Scrape mixer bowl well. Turn mixer on high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Turn down mixer speed to low and add the egg whites. Return to high speed and beat another 2 minutes. Do not overbeat.
Fill pans 2/3 full. (There might be extra batter. This can be used to make cupcakes if desired.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 15 minutes.
Then turn out onto wire rack, cover with a tea towel and let sit until cool.
Using a serrated knife or cake level, level the tops of the cakes and then slice each layer in half horizontally.
Spread the Key lime filling on top of each of the first three cake layers so there are four layers of cake with three layers of Key lime filling. In the process, gently stack each layer above the next, ending with the bottom side of the last cake layer facing up.
Ice entire cake with the remaining buttercream. Press chipped or shredded coconut onto sides and top of cake. Refrigerate for at least one hour to set the cake and filling.