I’m not sure when it happened, but it did…
My Dad always told us we should consider ourselves blessed to have just one true friend in our lives. I’ve been very blessed with so many wonderful friends who I love dearly, but there is one that I’m missing terribly right now.
Nine years ago, we met our neighbors three doors down. Our daughters became inseparable. Our sons, even despite their ten year age difference, became buddies. And the rest of us? Well, we just seemed to connect so easily.
As time has passed, we’ve shared holidays, birthdays, trips and dinners that have lasted late into the night. We’ve endured two hurricanes together, once without power for nine days where we pooled together any food we had left and ate and laughed by candlelight. We’ve been there for each other during illnesses, losing a parent, or just to let the dog out or water the plants.
It’s so hard for me to pinpoint the moment, but somewhere along the way, I forgot that we weren’t really related. They became family.
Today, we said goodbye for a while. Our dear friends have moved across the globe to Australia for two years. We couldn’t be more excited for them. I know they have the most fantastic adventure ahead, but…I’m broken-hearted. I miss them so much already and am counting the days until they return.
We celebrated my friend’s birthday a few weeks ago. This is the cake I baked for her. Two of her favorite desserts are coconut cake and Key lime pie. Not sure of which to make, I figured I’d combine the two into one cake. It has the tartness of Key lime and the sweet richness of coconut cake, yet it’s much lighter than most coconut cakes. I topped it off with a fluffy seven minute frosting in place of buttercream and lots and lots of shredded coconut.
Funny thing…yesterday, someone asked my friend and I if we were sisters. Yes, we are.
Coconut Key Lime Cake
- 3 cups cake flour sifted (12 oz.)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup coconut water
- 1/4 cup Key lime juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 egg whites
- Coconut Key Lime Seven Minute Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut water
- 3 tablespoons Key lime juice
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- Spray 3 nine inch pans with baking spray. Line the bottoms with a parchment circle, then spray that a bit.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a small measuring cup, combine the coconut water and the Key lime juice and set that aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about three to four minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for just a few seconds. Add the flour mixture and alternate with the coconut water mixture.
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
- Fold the egg whites into the batter just until incorporated. Divide the batter into the three prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
- When done, cool the cakes in their pans for about 10 minutes. Turn them out and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Prepare the frosting by combining all of the ingredients, except the vanilla in a heat proof bowl. Beat with a hand mixer for about a minute. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water without letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Resume beating with your mixer for 7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat in the vanilla.
- To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake stand. I like to place three strips of parchment in a triangular shape under the outer edges of the cake for easy clean up. Then scoop about a 1/3 cup of frosting over the top and spread to the edges of the cake. Repeat with the next two layers. Frost the sides with the remaining frosting. Now, the fun part…get a handful of coconut and go around the sides of the cake, lightly pressing it into the frosting. You can cover just the sides, or the entire cake, like I did.
Adapted from Cooking Light’s Fresh Coconut Cake.