You can make the custard and cake for this shaggy white-on-white dream two days ahead and assemble the final product at your leisure. Just don't throw away the egg whites — you'll need them for the buttercream!
- Portion size 16 servings
MethodLemon Cream: In bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon rind and juice, and cornstarch.
In saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until bubbles form around edge; gradually whisk half into egg mixture. Whisk back into pan; bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, until bubbling and thickened, about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat. Whisk in butter. Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
On baking sheet, toast half of the coconut in 350°F (180°C) oven until golden, 3 to 5 minutes; set aside.
Grease two 9-inch (1.5 L) round metal cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture alternately with coconut milk, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of coconut milk. Fold in toasted coconut.
Scrape into prepared pans. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans. Peel off paper; let cool completely.
Cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread with one-third of the lemon cream; repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down. Set aside.
Buttercream: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk egg whites with sugar. Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water; cook, whisking, until warm and sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute.
Using whisk attachment, beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Beat in butter, 2 tbsp (30 mL) at a time, until satiny (mixture will curdle initially). Beat in vanilla and salt.
Spread one-third of the buttercream over top and side of cake to mask in crumbs; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spread remaining icing over top and side. Press remaining coconut onto top and side.
Nutritional facts Per each of 16 servings: about
- Sodium 196 mg
- Protein 7 g
- Calories 615.0
- Total fat 41 g
- Potassium 195 mg
- Cholesterol 162 mg
- Saturated fat 27 g
- Total carbohydrate 59 g
- Iron 14.0
- Folate 27.0
- Calcium 7.0
- Vitamin A 29.0
- Vitamin C 7.0