TOASTED COCONUT CAKE WITH CRANBERRIES AND WALNUTS

  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 2/3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 tsp. real vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
FROSTING & TOPPING:
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut, toasted
DIRECTIONS:
Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans (or use Pam for baking); set aside.  In a medium saucepan, bring cranberry juice to boiling; add dried cranberries then return to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand at least 20 minutes, drain.
Meanwhile, position two racks in center of oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup butter and the granulated sugar;  beat with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  With mixer on low speed, beat in the egg whites, vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract.  On low speed and making three additions, beat the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk until combined.  Evenly divide batter among the prepared pans.
Bake cakes for 18 to 20 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center of each cake comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.  Remove from pans; cool cakes completely on wire racks.
FROSTING:
In a large mixing bowl, beat 3/4 cup butter with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Gradually add 2 cups of the powder sugar, beating well.  Slowly beat in coconut milk and coconut extract.  Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar until fluffy (beat in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if frosting appears dry).
Place one cake layer on a cake plate, spread with one-third of the frosting.  Spread the cranberries on frosting.  Place a second cake layer on cranberry filling.  Spread with one-third of frosting, te top with 2/3 cup of the walnuts and 1/2 cup of the coconut.  Top with remainig layer.  Spread with remaining frosting.  Top with remaining coconut and walnuts.
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