coconut

drømmekage (Danish dream cake) bundt cake #bundtbakers

Are you guys as ready for summer as I am?

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Are you ready for sunny days and warm weather? Ready to feel the warmth of sunshine on your skin? Ready to walk outdoors in short sleeves and single layers of thin cotton clothing?

I’m not afraid to admit that I am. I am 100% ready. I’m also, officially, over this winter.

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Up until this point I’ve been doing just fine. Really I have!
Here in the Northeast this winter has been totally mild and easily tolerated. At least it was until last week, when shady ol’ Mother Nature decided it would might great fun to give us a little taste of what we’ve been missing.

For three glorious days, temperatures were suddenly in the mid-70s during the day, with ample sunshine, warm breezes, and the smells of spring air. Record breaking warmth for this time of year. Easily deceived by Mother Nature’s dirty tricks, I started planning barbecues and garden parties.

Our false summer was fleeting though, and disappeared behind some rain clouds as suddenly as it arrived, leaving us to close the windows again and turn the heat back up.

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Luckily, Christiane from Taking on Magazines chose “Tropical Vacation” as our theme for the bundt bakers this month. What better way to delude myself into thinking it’s warm and bright and wonderful outside when you and I both know that it isn’t?

If you’re as hungry (pun very much intended) as I am for some tropical distraction, please be absolutely certain that you scroll down past the recipe and see all the bright & tropical bundts that everyone came up with this month!

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Oddly enough, I’ve never really been a huge fan of most tropical fruits. For whatever reason, I prefer my produce from more temperate climates. Maybe it’s because my family comes from sturdy cold-weather Bavarian German stock, maybe it’s because my grandfather spoiled me with all of his fruit trees and garden fresh berries, or maybe it’s just because I’m a creature of habit and prefer what I’m familiar with. Who knows?
Either way, given a choice between an apple or a mango, a pear or a papaya, a peach or a pineapple, 9 times out of 10 I’m going to choose the option that grows right here in the Northeast, not the one grown on some faraway island under the shade of a palm tree.

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Coconut however, is the one exception to my aversion to tropical fruit. Ever since I was a child I’ve loved coconut, and I can remember countless fluffy white cakes covered in downy clouds of sweetened coconut flakes. I especially love coconut around Easter, when Grandma’s coconut cakes used to be made to look like cute fuzzy bunnies with licorice lips and whiskers, and candy coated eyeballs and noses.

It’s only fitting that I now have the chance to make a sensational coconut bundt cake with Easter only 10 days away.

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

A sensational bundt cake calls for a sensational bundt pan. Luckily Nordic Ware, the company that literally invented the bundt pan, just released a gorgeous new pan to celebrate their 70th anniversary. This elegant crown shaped pan is a gold plated show stopper and features curves in all the right places! They’re truly celebrating their anniversary in style.

Nordic Ware has been making exceptional cookware and bakeware right here in the US for 70 years now, and even after all this time they’re still a family owned company. The bundt pan is by far their most famous and most popular product, and no one makes bundt pans as well as they do. Their pans are sturdy, heavy duty, ultra-non-stick, and unbelievably durable.
I should know! I put those bundt pans through more than their fair share of abuse!
I know that I’ve said this before, but as a bundt baker and bundt lover, I can’t sing enough praises for Nordic Ware’s bundt pans.

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I really wanted to come up with something special this month, so I was on a mission to come up with a recipe that would not only fit our tropical vacation theme, but that could also honor Nordic Ware’s Scandinavian heritage. It didn’t take me long to find a recipe for a traditional Danish cake called a Drømmekage or “Dream Cake”.

If you’re not familiar (I wasn’t), drømmekage consists of a tender vanilla cake that, after baking, is covered with a caramel and coconut topping and returned to the oven to brown up and caramelize. It certainly doesn’t get much dreamier than that!

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

The only problem was that drømmekage is usually made as a single layer sheet cake, with the topping added only at the very end of the baking process. Since the top of a bundt cake is actually at the bottom of the pan while it bakes, I knew that converting this cake into a bundt might be challenging. I was a man on a mission though, and I was determined to make it work. I just kept telling myself, “I can bundt that.”

At first I just tried making the recipe as originally written but baking the topping into the bottom of the pan. Unfortunately the topping didn’t hold up well and got sort of rubbery when baked along with the cake for the full time, and I found the vanilla cake to be a bit bland. Next I tried simply mixing the topping ingredients together instead of cooking them into a caramel first. I just added some of the cake batter to get it all to come together. This attempt was much improved but I thought it lacked the toasty caramel flavor I was hoping for. For my third (and final) attempt I decided to toast the coconut and brown the butter before mixing it all together. I also added some vanilla bean and coconut extract to un-bland-ify the interior cake.

Third time’s a charm as they say, and this cake seriously ended up being thebomb.com. Thankfully, it was worth all the effort and recipe testing!

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

The rich brown coconut part of this cake is dense and chewy on the outer edges with a buttery and almost creamy quality on the inside. It has an amazingly rich, toasty, nutty flavor from the browned butter and toasted coconut, and a wonderful caramel flavor from the dark brown sugar. The simple vanilla cake on the interior is tender and buttery and packed with warm homey vanilla flavor.

Getting the coconut and brown sugar mixture to work as a “topping” like it would in a traditional dream cake means that you have to carefully press the mixture against the walls of the pan and make sure to push it up the sides and center tube. This can be a bit of a pain but does make for an impressive presentation. If you want to make your life a little easier though, I think it would be simpler and just as delicious if you were to combine these two batters like a marble cake instead. I’ll leave that up to you.

If you can, I recommend you try to make this cake the day before you’d like to serve it. It was amazing on the first day but I found that the texture of the coconut part had become even more tender and wonderful by the second day.

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Drømmekage (Danish Dream Cake) Bundt Cake

adapted from Saveur

If possible, try making this cake one day before you plan to serve it. The cake benefits from a day’s rest.

Coconut “Topping”:
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

Cake: 
1 1/4 cups sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder)
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting, optional

Heat the oven to 350.
Evenly brush a 10 to 12 cup non-stick bundt pan with softened butter. Be sure to get into every nook and cranny. Dust pan with flour and tap out excess. Place pan in freezer while you proceed with recipe.

Make the coconut “topping”:
Spread coconut in an even layer over a large baking sheet. Toast coconut for about 10 minutes, stirring once to promote even browning and prevent burning. Watch carefully, the coconut can go from toasty to burnt in under a minute.
Once cool enough to handle, crush up roughly half of the coconut with your hands.
In a medium saucepan, brown the butter (only first stick) over medium heat, stirring regularly. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Once the butter reaches a nutty golden color, immediately transfer to a heatproof bowl. If desired, strain out browned milk solids in the butter. (I did, but not entirely necessary)
Add brown sugar and toasted coconut and stir to combine. Set aside.

Make the cake:
In a the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and softened butter (remaining stick) on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add scraped vanilla bean seeds (or paste or powder) and mix to combine. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl between additions. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and beat to combine.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
Alternate additions of flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour, scraping sides of bowl after each addition.  Mix just to combine after each addition. Do not over-mix.

Measure out about 2 cups of the batter and transfer to the bowl with the (cooled) browned butter and coconut mixture. Fold the batter in until combined.

If you want the coconut mixture on the outside and top of the cake, transfer it to the bundt pan and press the mixture against the sides of the pan, pushing it almost all the way up the outer sides and center cone of the pan. Next pour the remaining cake batter into the center of the coconut side walls.
If you’d prefer a marbled effect, pour cake batter into pan first, dot the top of the batter with several large spoonfuls of coconut mixture, and gently swirl the two batters together with a dull knife or icing spatula.

After adding batter to pan, gently tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.
If using an intricately designed pan, you may want to place it on a cookie sheet to keep it level in the oven. Transfer to the center of the oven and bake just until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Cool for 15 to 20 minutes on a wire rack before inverting the cake onto the rack to remove the pan. Cool for at least 30 minutes more before dusting with powdered sugar. Store in under a cake dome, in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out. If well stored, the cake should keep for several days at room temperature.

drømmekage (danish dream cake) bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

There are so many mouthwatering bundts this month you can’t help but feel tropical. Regardless of what’s happening outside, you’re gonna need sunglasses to get through these amazing links!

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BundtBakers

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#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.

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brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache #bundtbakers

Have you had your Girl Scout Cookies yet this year?

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

We got ours, shipped in from Texas a few weeks ago, fresh from one of Russell’s girlfriend’s daughters. He ordered a few different flavors, but of course our favorites are the coconutty caramelly shortbread Samoas. In my experience, these are most people’s favorite choice, unless they don’t like coconut (in which case they’re probably crazy and may need to be committed).

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

This month Kelly from Passion Kneaded is our Bundt Bakers host and, in the spirit of the season, she chose Girl Scout Cookies as our theme. It didn’t take me more than half a millisecond to decide my cake would be inspired by the incomparable Samoa.
Thank you Kelly!

If you love Girl Scout Cookies (and Bundt cakes) as much as I do, be sure you scroll down past the recipe to see all the other mouthwatering recipes the Bundt Bakers came up with this month!

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

Rather than recreating the Samoa in Bundt cake form, I decided to just let the flavors and ingredients of the cookie inspire, rather than dictate, the direction I would take my cake.

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

I just bought a classic 12 cup Nordic Ware Bundt, and wanted to show it off in all it’s beautiful glory so I decided not to cover up the outside of the cake with a thick layer of coconut and caramel.
Instead, I thought I’d try to mix some brown sugar and butter with sweetened coconut flakes and make a sort of “shell” to line the interior of the pan before pouring in the batter. This way the coconut and “caramel” would appear to be on the outside just like the cookie, but it would really be baked as part of the cake. For the body of the cake, I used brown sugar and coconut milk to help emphasize the flavors of the coconut shell.

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

Mere words cannot describe the otherworldly sublime aroma that filled my house while this cake baked.

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

When it came time to glaze the cake I went with a thick, rich, bittersweet dark chocolate ganache. I decided on dark chocolate over milk because, A) I personally prefer dark chocolate, and B) real Samoas have dark chocolate drizzled over them too.

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

Have you ever heard anyone refer to Samoas as Caramel Delites? I always assumed the two names were just regional variations on the same cookie, but it turns out that these are two different types of girl scout cookies and the difference depends on the bakery they come from. Samoas have a richer, darker caramel color and a higher caramel to cookie ratio with a dark chocolate drizzle. Caramel DeLites have a caramel that’s lighter in color and not as thick, so more of the cookie comes through in the flavor. They’re also, oddly enough, actually octagonal rather than round, and are drizzled with milk chocolate instead of dark.

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

I usually bring at least half of my bundt cakes to work with me every month to share with my coworkers, because a bundt cake is too big for me and Russell to eat on our own (as much as we’d like to). Unless I have a special occasion or celebration that calls for a homemade cake, I’m baking these cakes each month just for the fun of it and because I like the challenge of working within the group’s theme each month.

This time around, everyone LOVED the cake other than one coworker who doesn’t like coconut (lunacy). The one thing that seemed to be a point of contention though was the dark chocolate ganache. Some people, myself included, were crazy for the contrast of light sweet delicate cake and assertive rich dark chocolate, while others thought the dark chocolate was too strongly flavored and overpowered the cake. If you’re not a fan of dark or bittersweet chocolate you can definitely go with milk instead for a Caramel Delite affect, or you could even substitute a powdered sugar and cocoa glaze if you think ganache might be too rich for you.

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

However you want to glaze this cake is just fine. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or a thin cocoa glaze, it’s all going to be delicious. In the end it doesn’t matter anyway, because the real star of the show here isn’t the glaze, it’s the CAKE!!!

The outside of this cake has a sweet buttery chewy crunchy coconut caramel shell that really drives that Samoa flavor home. The interior of the cake is buttery, tender and impossibly moist with a perfect subtle hint of caramel thanks to brown sugar and a delicate touch of coconut. Oh man.

So good.

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

Brown Sugar Coconut Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Adapted from Food Network

Coconut brown sugar mixture:
butter and flour for pan
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted unsalted butter

Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk

Ganache:
4 oz good quality dark chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Generously butter and flour a 10 to 12 cup non-stick bundt pan. I recommend one of Nordic Ware’s cast aluminum pans because of their superior non-stick coating.  The coconut brown sugar mixture may stick to less non-stick pans or pans that are very intricately designed. Simpler is better in this case. Tap out excess flour and refrigerate.

Mix brown sugar and coconut together until well distributed. Pour melted butter over the mixture and toss to combine. Press into prepared bundt pan and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the cake.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
Cream the butter and sugars together using a stand mixer or hand mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Once incorporated, stir in the extracts and the coconut milk and beat until combined. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients in three additions just until the mixture is smooth. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan up to about 3/4 of the way full. If your pan is smaller than 12 cups, you may have batter leftover. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Cool cake 20 minutes before turning it out onto a wire cooling rack. Cool completely on the rack.

Once cake is completely cool, make the ganache.
Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a small heat proof bowl. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan just until it begins to simmer. Pour cream over the chocolate, add a pinch of salt, and let sit for 2 minutes so the heat from the cream can melt the chocolate. Stir or whisk until smooth and free of lumps. Before the ganache cools, pour it over the cake in a thick even stream.

Cake will keep, well covered and air tight, for 2 to 3 days at room temperature.

brown sugar coconut bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

Check out all these drool worthy Girl Scout Cookie inspired cakes! I can’t handle this much delicious in one place!!!

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BundtBakers

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Interested in learning more about us? #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page here.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.