In all my “carpe diem”-ing, I took a small trip down to Philadelphia this past weekend to visit a friend from school who recently moved there. And, as per my usual, I decided the morning of to bake something. Anything, so long as it was good.
I took a quick survey of my kitchen and found leftover shredded coconut and not much else. After a quick Google search, this cake was it. And I’m so glad it was because it was a definite hit among my two girlfriend and myself as we polished off half of it that afternoon. Luckily, we have large enough stomachs that it didn’t spoil our dinner. I threw in a touch of almond extract at the last minute and was told that the addition made the cake. A tender crumb, moist coconut, and the delicious idea of sprinkling some vanilla sugar over top all made the perfect afternoon snack.
Unfortunately, in all the rush, I neglected to take pictures of the cake slices. Trust me that it was delicious. Also, had I taken pictures of the inside, you’d have seen little flecks of vanilla bean because the original recipe called for it. The end result, however, didn’t exactly showcase the vanilla so I omitted that in the recipe below. If you opt out of the almond extract you may find the vanilla bean flavor present but I love the almond and coconut combination.
Note: I call this a half-pound cake because the eggs and butter are only half a pound and not the classic pound. I also think it’s a cuter title this way.
Coconut Half-Pound Cake
adapted from the Naptime Chef
Makes 1 9×5″ loaf.
- 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- heaping 1 c sweetened shredded coconut, divided
- vanilla sugar
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9×5″ loaf and set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs approximately one egg at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed after each addition. Add extracts and combine. On low speed, slowly add in the flour until just incorporated. Fold in 3/4 c coconut with a spatula. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, sprinkle remaining coconut and a good helping of vanilla sugar over loaf and continue baking another 15 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool completely. Eat, eat, eat!