Here is the recipe for a cake that I made this past weekend, that got rave reviews! For those of you craving key lime pies, this time of year, this is great and much healthier! And for those of you who aren't exactly fans of the gelatinous texture (or the use of gelatin for that matter) this is much better. Totally crave worthy and easy to make.
YIELD: Serves 16
ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 40 minutes (including cooling time)
For the Coconut-Lime Cake:
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (buy in bulk bins at Whole Foods)
Nonstick canola oil spray or coconut oil spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 6 key limes or 3 regular limes)
For the Coconut-Lime Curd:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 key limes or 2 limes)
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Make the Coconut-Lime Cake:
Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Spread coconut in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden brown and aromatic, 3–5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Don't burn!
Meanwhile, coat a 13x9" pan with nonstick spray. Dust with flour, tapping out any excess.
Whisk toasted coconut, baking powder, salt, and 1 3/4 cups flour in a medium bowl. Mix coconut oil, vanilla, and 2/3 cup coconut milk in another medium bowl.
Cream sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until pale and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with coconut milk mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula.
Bake cake until top is set and golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25–30 minutes.
Mix lime zest, juice, and remaining 2/3 cup coconut milk in a small bowl (it's okay if mixture separates slightly; it will be absorbed by cake). Using a skewer, poke holes every 2" into warm cake. Slowly pour key lime zest mixture over cake. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool completely.
Make the Coconut-Lime Curd:
Pour water into a medium pot to a depth of 2". Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place butter in a large bowl.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof medium bowl. Whisk in key lime zest and juice. Set bowl on saucepan, making sure bottom does not touch water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and an instant-read thermometer registers 175°F, 3–4 minutes.
Strain egg yolk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over butter, then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on key lime curd and chill at least 30 minutes.
Make the Whipped Cream Topping:
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in chilled lime curd and key lime zest. Spread cream on cooled cake with a spatula, then chill 30 minutes to set cream.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread coconut flakes in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing halfway through, until crispy and golden, 5–7 minutes. Let cool.
When ready to serve, sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over cake.
Lime curd can be made 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container and chill, or freeze up to 4 months. Delicious with a multitude of deserts.