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August 12, 2010 / gracelesswonder

The Coconut Cake Catastrophe

On Saturday we had our first social function at the new house. I almost gave up and hid under the bed with the cats.

Really. You have no idea how close I was.

I should’ve know this was a bad idea when we still had to paint the dining room, hall, and bathroom and it was Wednesday night. Not to mention setting up the furniture, cleaning, and cooking. We finally enlisted the help of a cousin, and managed to get the painting done late Friday night. Which left Saturday for all the cleaning and cooking.

To say I was frazzled would be an understatement. I should’ve known A Failure of Epic Proportions was in the works.  And oh boy, was it!

I decided to make this coconut layer cake I had at a friends party a few months ago. It was so moist and coconutty – I’ve had it on my mind ever since!  It reminded me of a Tres Leches cake. I never did get the recipe, but she said it was easy, and she mixed some stuff together and poured it over the top and that’s why it was so moist.

With that little bit of info and the power of the internet at my fingertips, I launched into a recipe finding mission on this cake. Lo and behold, I stumbled on something that sounded like it would fit the bill on 

Regular white cake mix, baked in 2 9″ cake rounds. While still warm, poke holes all over the cake layers and pour this mixture of sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut all over, letting it seep in and infuse the layers with yumminess. Frost with cool whip and sprinke w/ coconut.

Sounds easy, right? Yeah – I thought so too. I ignored the little niggle in my brain that said “Wow. This is awful moist. Is this going to come out of the pan?”

Damn niggling brain. It totally jinxed me.

So I let the cake cool, the mixture seep, and prepared to invert my glorious concoction onto the cake pedestal. Because something this awesome is worthy of a pedestel.

As I pull the pan away…. glop.



The cake came out of the pan in chunks. Moist, coconut flavored, chunks.

Stoically, I bit my lip… trying to mold this mess into some sort of cake-ish shape.

The frosting will cover it… The frosting will cover it…. I chanted over and over.

I silently sent up a prayer to the Cake Gods that the second layer would miraculously come out in one piece….

glop….. glop………………….gloooop.

And I cried. A lot.

My husband hid under the bed with the cats.

No amount of cool whip and coconut would cover that. There was no passing this off as a “Shabby Chic” Coconut Cake.

I hear my husband call out – “Just don’t throw it away!” (He’s been traumatized before, but that’s another story)

So, after chugging a beer and drying my eyes. I scraped my Coconut Mess into a trifle bowl, sprinkled some more coconut on top and wiped the rim.

Looked like hell – but I have to say, that was some AWESOME tasting Coconut….. Stuff.  There was barely a scoop of leftovers!

All in all the party went well. The food may have been a little late getting out, but I think good times and full bellies were had by all, so I’ll count it as a success.

I will, however, be going rounds with that cake again!



One Comment

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  1. Crepes of Wrath / Aug 30 2010 2:47 pm

    Way to salvage your cake! I’ve definitely been there – crying in the kitchen over a less than perfect baking experience. I’m glad that it still tasted good and you put your own spin on the cake without even knowing it! 🙂

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