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I should be on an episode of True Life: I take a million pictures and can’t decide which ones I like the best so I post them all.
I’m turning 30 this weekend, and you know what, I couldn’t possibly be more excited. Which, if you knew me when I was younger, you might be surprised. On my 15th birthday, I cried because I was halfway to 30. Cried y’all.
Hello drama queen. If I’m honest, that part of my personality has stayed around. It keeps things interesting, or so I tell myself. But, thankfully I have come around to turning the dreaded 3-0. I loved my 20’s. Absolutely loved every moment of self discovery and every night I drank a little too much. There was also a lot of growing pains to go along with that learning. And, a lot of heartbreak that lead me to a place of self love.
I’ve really found myself the past few years of my late 20’s and have ended up in a place that I am proud to be. I’ve worked hard to become the woman I am today and have a really wonderful life to show for it. I feel like I have set myself up with a solid foundation for my 30’s. I have a relationship that is everything I have ever dreamed of, a career that I find rewarding and allows me financial freedoms. I have an amazing, supportive, close knit family and friends. Basically, life is pretty dang good!
I’m soaking up the last few days of my 20’s like the last few rays of summer sun setting on a season with a good glass of rose, and cake. Specifically, this coconut pineapple pound cake.
While my mother, who is an amazing baker, is making me a birthday cake this coming weekend, I figured a girl needed a pre-birthday week birthday cake as well. YOLO! So, I made this tropical inspired coconut pineapple pound cake, inspired by my life in Hawaii, where I spent my mid-twenties after graduating college. I left my heart on that island, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about those beaches, sunsets, and all the pineapples a girl could consume.
This is not a light cake, it’s moist, dense, a little on the heavy side, and truly delicious. If you’re short on time and looking for a cheat, you could always go with a boxed cake mix, but you must must must not skim out and cheat your way through the filling and icing. They are so much better than store bought. This coconut pineapple pound cake is definitely one that will be making it into my annual rotations of desserts.
- POUND CAKE:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (plus a little for the pan)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, (plus a little for the pan)
- 1⅓ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pash of salt
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- 1 can coconut cream
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cream
- 2 cups toasted coconut chips (like Sunsweet Thai Coconut Chips)
- 1 cup mixed berries
- edible flowers
- PINEAPPLE FILLING:
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 can crushed pineapple, packaged in juice
- 3 tablespoons butter
- COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 2 bricks of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1½ tsp coconut extract
- CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir together.
- In a larger bowl, beat the sugar, butter and sweetened cream of coconut until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Slowly add the dry ingredients along with the cream.
- Beat the egg whites with pinch of salt in another bowl until the egg whites are stiff.
- Slowly and carefully, fold egg whites into the batter. Pour batter evenly between cake pans.Cake pans. Bake the cakes until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack,10-15 minutes. Cool on racks until cakes are completely cool.
- PINEAPPLE FILLING: In saucepan combine cornstarch, sugar and salt.
- Add entire can of pineapple, not drained.
- Cook over medium until mixture boils.
- Once boiling stir for approximately 5 minutes, or until thickened
- Remove from heat and add butter, stirring to melt.
- Let cool then store in refrigerator.
- COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- Using hand or stand mixer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract, coconut cream and coconut extract. Beat until all ingredients are incorporated and fluffy.
- PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
- Level cakes with a cake leveler or knife. Discard the shavings.
- Put one of the cake rounds on a cake stand. Slowly add all of the pineapple filling, spreading evenly as you go. Add top round onto the pineapple filling.
- Use a small amount of the frosting to create a crumb coat. Freeze cake for 10 minutes to set the crumb coat. Frost the cake. Add coconut chips to the side of the cake. Top cake with berries and flowers.