Vanilla Almond Coconut Cake
I had a birthday request for a coconut cake. I rarely run away from a challenge. This was a damn good cake. It was credulously moist and packed with flavor. It wasn't overly sweet and I love the taste understated flavor of almonds. I am not typically a fan of coconut but this was a perfect bite.
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, pod removed
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups almond meal
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour, containing xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 cream cheese frosting recipe (of your choice)
2 cups toasted sweetened, flake coconut, for garnish
slivered almonds, for garnish, if desired
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a rectangle cake pan.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla bean scrapings and almond extract. Scrape down bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, combining between each addition.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, almond extract, salt, and baking soda. Alternately add this mixture with the milk until the mixture is smooth.
Pour into rectangle cake pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until cake springs back when poked.*Cool completely.
*Check the cake for doneness. Do not pull it from the oven based on color--almond meal will cause the cake to be darker than you're used to.
Frost the top and the outside of the cake with the cream cheese frosting. Press toasted coconut around the sides of the cake. Decorate the top with slivered almonds, if desired.
Store cake in the refrigerator for up to one week.