Social Distancing + Birthdays


Birthdays during social distancing can be fun!  Sure, there may not be the usual friends around the table to sing “Happy Birthday” or the extended family members to help blow out the candles, but the way we choose to approach birthdays during this time can result in pure joy.  

Maybe you’ve never considered making a cake to celebrate your little one’s occasion because you always enjoy ordering it from your go-to bakery.  Or maybe you make it a tradition to make your little one’s cake, but just need a few tips to on how to make it even more memorable.  Below, we are giving you a few tips to make birthdays fun and memorable during this time of social distancing.

  1. Décor.  One sure way to create some fun times is to keep it simple.  Try our pinwheels or garland for this effect.  For a girls’ party, try our floral pinwheels.  Let everything else be table treatment.   Placing a cake stand in the middle of the table to add height to the cake is important.  Next, layer the rest of your table with cloth.

 

  1. The menu. The menu creates the setting.  Everything in this space is finger foods.  Here are a few suggestions.  Let’s start with ham and cheese sandwiches, along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Cutting out designs in your sandwiches create a fun flair to the table.  Next on the birthday menu, are parfaits.  Broken graham crackers with yogurt, fresh strawberries and blueberries layered together and topped with a little agave nectar set up the perfect treat.

 

  1. The most important thing on the table is the cake. Today, we are heading over to Cakes by Courtney. For a full tutorial of today’s cake, or for more recipes, visit her website for videos and cake classes.   Today we are making Courtney’s delicious Coconut cake.  Check it out.

 
 

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE COCONUT CAKE

  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (169.5 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup (231 g) coconut cream*, melted and cooled so it's a smooth texture
  • 1 tablespoon (16 g) coconut emulsion
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups (367.25 g) cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt

*THICK CREAM FROM THE CAN, NOT LIQUID AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CAN.

FOR THE COCONUT BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) cream of coconut (in the bottle, not the can)
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (16 g) coconut emulsion
  • Pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.

GARNISH

  • 1 1/2 cups (225 g) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS

FOR THE COCONUT CAKE

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray your pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar together on medium speed for two minutes.
  3. Gradually add the egg whites, making sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl between additions. Mix on medium-high for 2 minutes after all the egg whites are added.
  4. Add the coconut emulsion and vanilla extract.
  5. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Turn the mixer on low speed and alternately add the flour mixture and the coconut cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
  7. Evenly distribute the batter in your pans.
  8. Bake for about 25-28 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the edges of the cake start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Don't turn off your oven.
  9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely. 

FOR THE COCONUT BUTTERCREAM

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and coconut cream. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the extracts and salt.
  3. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to stir out air bubbles.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Level each cake layer with a knife or leveling tool.
  2. Place your first cake layer, right-side up, on a cake plate or cake board. Cover the cake layer with about 3/4 cup frosting.
  3. Repeat step 2 for the second layer, and then place the final cake layer on top, bottom-side up.
  4. Apply a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to create a crumb coat. Chill the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  5. After the crumb coat is chilled, continue frosting the cake and decorate with toasted coconut. Alternatively, you can add the toasted coconut in between each cake layer if you don't want it on the outside of the cake.

 

 


1 comment


  • KT

    Great ideas! Can’t wait to try this recipe


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