Toasted Coconut Cake
1/3 cup liquid portion from coconut milk (see NOTE below) or water
1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
HEAT oven to 350°F.
GREASE 8-inch cake pan well. Dust with 1/2 tsp of cake mix.
WHISK eggs, oil, water (or coconut milk) and 1 Tbsp of vanilla in large bowl. Add in 1/4 cup of toasted coconut.
ADD wet ingredients to cake mix, mix until well blended.
POUR batter into prepared pan.
BAKE for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
CUT cake horizontally in half to form two layers.
SPOON solid coconut milk from top part of can into a small bowl. Do not add any liquid from the can. Beat on high speed until fluffy. Add coconut sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp of vanilla; blend well.
SPREAD half of the whipped coconut milk on bottom layer of cake; sprinkle with 1/4 cup of remaining toasted coconut. Top remaining cake layer (repeat previous steps).
GARNISH with strawberries, if desired.
NOTE: Coconut milk must be thoroughly chilled in order to whip. Refrigerate it the night before you want to make this cake. Do not shake the can before or after refrigeration. The goal is to separate the solids from the liquid. The solids will be whipped for the filling and 1/3 cup of the liquid can be used in place of water in making the cake layer. For this recipe, do not use lite coconut milk; it will not whip
HOW TO TOAST COCONUT: Heat oven to 350°F. Spread coconut on shallow baking sheet. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned