Raspberry Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake

Raspberry Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake

Raspberry Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake

After watching several episodes of Zumbo's Just Desserts on Netflix, I was feeling inspired to create some baked creation of my own. Because of that, I ended up crafting my own creation: a raspberry coconut cookies and cream cake.

planning the cake
I started off planning with a simple cookies and cream cake with a buttercream, chocolate espresso cake, and crushed oreos. I paired the rich chocolate cake with a Swiss meringue buttercream, which I actually made for the first time and LOVED it. It most definitely takes more work than the classic American buttercream, but it tastes so much better because it doesn't taste as overpoweringly sweet and is super light and fluffy when you eat it.

However, I tend to always make my cakes too sweet, causing me to want to add a few other elements to balance out the flavors.

I was debating between adding a salted caramel sauce or a raspberry sauce, but I wasn't sure which one would pair better with the cookies and cream combo. I ended up choosing the raspberry sauce because it seemed like a more interesting pairing. The tartness of the raspberries really help to balance out the richness of the chocolate, which I think was an excellent addition, probably better than the salted caramel.

Raspberry Coconut Cookies and Cream Cake
Moreover, I added the coconut flakes to the crushed oreo to give the simple cookies and cream idea a more sophisticated twist. The coconut flakes also serve to do the same as the raspberry, offering a new flavor to balance out the richness.

I intended to make it a naked layer cake, trying out the Momofuku milk bar style acetate strips and cake ring, but I didn't have the proper equipment for it, so I ended up doing an espresso buttercream to cover the cake. However, I think that the taste would be a lot more balanced without the espresso buttercream on top, since there's a little too much frosting in my cake. When doing the layers, I highly suggest doing super thin layers of the buttercream in order to balance the ratio of frosting to cake. 

This cake is most definitely not an easy cake and has a lot of elements to it, but I think that it's very rewarding to see it all come together and makes for a more interesting mix of flavors than the typical cookies and cream cake. I've put a lot of thought into the flavors and the construction of the cake, so if you end up making this recipe (in which I wish you good luck in) let me know. If not, just enjoy these pictures of the cake and hopefully it makes your mouth water a bit.

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate cake

  • Devil's food cake cake mix (any brand will do)
  • 4 oz box of instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbs of instant coffee
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs

Raspberry sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Swiss meringue buttercream

  • 8 egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks), cut into tablespoons
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Crunch filling

  • crushed oreos
  • coconut flakes

Special equipment

  • Sheet pan
  • Cake ring (7 inches)
  • Acetate strips

INSTRUCTIONS

Chocolate cake

  1. Preheat the oven to the given temperature based on the boxed cake mix. Mine was 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease your sheet pan. (the one that I used was 17x12, not actually meant for cake, but I used it anyways and it worked out fine)
  3. Mix the instant coffee into the water until dissolved. 
  4. Add the all the ingredients: the cake mix: pudding mix, sour cream, coffee mixture, vegetable oil, and eggs, into a bowl.
  5. Using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer with a wire whip attachment, blend on low speed for about a minute.
  6. Stop and scrape down the edges of the bowl.
  7. On medium speed, mix for about 2-3 more minutes.
  8. Pour batter into pan and spread out smoothly.
  9. Bake until you can place a toothpick through the cake and have it come out clean. Mine only took about 12 minutes, since my pan was so thin.
  10. Allow cakes to cool for about 15-20 minutes
  11. Run a knife around the cake and remove from pan by flipping over.
  12. Cut two 7-inch cake rounds from the rectangular sheet of cake using the cake ring. and then use the remaining scraps of cake to cut out 2 half cake rounds to make a full one, leaving you with 3 layers.

Raspberry sauce

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the raspberries, sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has reaching a boiling point, remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  3. In a small cup, combine the cornstarch and two tablespoons of water. Mix until cornstarch is dissolved. This method prevents clumps in the raspberry sauce. 
  4. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan and return to heat for about 6 minutes, whisking the mixture until it has thickened. 
  5. Remove pan from heat.
  6. Add the butter and whisk until butter has completely melted. 
  7. Allow the mixture to cool and refrigerate until it's time to assemble the cake. 

Swiss meringue buttercream

  1. Place egg whites and sugar in the a stand mixer's metal bowl. Put the own over a pan of water, not touching the water, with the heat on low (like a double boiler technique). Continously whisk or stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is approximately 160ºF. The sugar should be dissolved with no graininess when some is rubbed between two fingers and slightly warm. 
  2. Remove bowl and place on stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whip frosting for about 10 minutes. Frosting should be thick and glossy with stiff peaks. 
  3. With the mixer on low, add in the butter one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. If frosting seems clumpy or too soupy, visit this page for instructions on easily rescuing the frosting. 
  4. Once butter has been added, add the vanilla and almond extract and whip until smooth.

Cake assembly

  1. Use 1 acetate strip to line inside of cake ring. 
  2. Bottom layer: Place one cake round into the bottom of the cake ring. 
  3. Spread a thin layer of Swiss meringue buttercream on cake round.
  4. Cover the buttercream with a generous layer of crushed oreos, followed by a layer of shaved coconut. 
  5. Spread another thin layer of Swiss meringue buttercream over crumble. 
  6. Spread a layer of the raspberry sauce (1/2 of the raspberry sauce) over the buttercream.
  7. Middle layer: Place the broken cake round in the cake ring, making it form a complete circle. 
  8. Repeat steps 3-6.
  9. Top layer: Place the nicest cake round in the cake ring. 
  10. Let cake sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before removing the acetate and cake ring. 
  11. Optional: use extra Swiss meringue buttercream and add in a tablespoon of coffee and a tablespoon of instant coffee to make an espresso buttercream to ice the cake with. Otherwise, if you're pleased with the neatness of the cake, you can leave it naked. 

Enjoy!


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