I always give my friend Kendra a hard time whenever she bakes with a cake mix. She considers using box mixes like having a sous chef prepare the main ingredients for your use. I consider them the devil's playthings. OK, maybe that's a little dramatic but let's face it, I'm a baking ingredient snob. And I'm definitely skeptical about cheap grocery store box cake mixes coming up to the level of making cake from scratch.
But every once in awhile I unbend enough to set my hifalutin' snobbery aside and try out a recipe that uses cake mix. After all, the Kahlua Cake is based on a mix and I like that well enough. I don't mind the texture of cakes baked from mixes; it's the taste that makes my picky taste buds shudder. But my theory is if you can add enough ingredients to mask the taste of the mix, you can come up with something decent that excuses dumping a box of Betty Crocker into a bowl. Ooh, see how that snobbery just rears its hoity-toity head?
That theory was proven out by this recipe from Bru Crew Life. I was heartened by the fact that you add sour cream (richness) and coconut milk (richness and flavor). The other ingredients make up a similar supporting cast as goes into the Kahlua Cake – pudding, eggs and oil – so that boded well. I did forego the coconut extract though in favor of vanilla. Much as I love coconut, I loathe coconut extract and its artificial flavor, so I left it out since I never buy it and didn't have it on hand. The original recipe also called for glazing the cake with melted dark and white chocolates but I decided to amp up the coconut and instead went with a vanilla glaze topped with toasted coconut.
This cake turned out pretty well. It came out of the Bundt pan cleanly and the texture was soft and moist. I probably took it out a few minutes too soon but it was still fluffy and moist but not gummy. I liked the texture contrast between the soft cake and crispness of the toasted coconut. This is an easy cake to make and has a nice homey look to it with the sprinkling of toasted coconut over the glaze. Another exception to the box mix snobbery.
Oh, and I brought my parents a piece last weekend and they liked it so much they suggested I make this for my dad's upcoming birthday party instead of ordering from Nothing Bundt Cakes like we had planned. Which means this garnered their highest praise of "it's not too sweet."
Coconut cream Bundt cake
From Inside Bru Crew Life
1 box vanilla cake mix (15.25 oz.)
1 box instant coconut pudding (3.4 ounce)
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons coconut extract (I used vanilla extract)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1-1/2 cups shredded coconut + extra for garnish (toast the garnish)
1 cup powdered sugar
Enough milk for the desired consistency
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the cake mix, dry instant pudding mix, sour cream, extract, eggs, oil, and milk in a mixing bowl. Beat for 1 minute on low speed and 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir the shredded coconut in by hand.
3. Spoon the batter into a greased 12-inch Bundt cake. Bake at 350 degrees F., for 55-60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip out onto a plate to cool completely.
4. Whisk powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Add milk a teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Pour over cooled cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut before glaze sets.
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