With its magic and nostalgic memory-making abilities, cake is the fairytale of the kitchen. It smells good, it looks good, it tastes good, it feels good. Dianne O'Connor

This is a sweet and simple cake with a delightfully sweet coconut covered meringue style seven minute frosting. It is the ideal cake to bake for all ages and all spring celebrations from Easter to Mother's Day. Fresh flowers, while used only for decoration, add a natural element to the cake that make it just that much more extraordinary. We used a sprig of quince on this cake and we love the rustic wabi-sabi beauty it creates.
cuisine American
difficulty Moderate
season Spring
serves 8 to 10

Ingredients for the Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites

ingredients for the frosting

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 blossoming branch, optional

Directions for the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and move the oven rack to the middle position.
  2. Butter and flour a 10" tube pan and turn upside down to shake out any excess flour.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together two times.
  5. Alternately, fold the dry ingredients and the milk into the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl. 
  6. Wash and dry the electric stand mixer bowl. Add the egg whites to it and beat them over medium-high speed until the whites are stiff and glossy and peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the cake batter.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to even out and level the batter.
  8. Bake the cake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top springs back when it is gently touched. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack. Let it cool for 20 minutes before running a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and then turn it over and remove the pan completely. Let cool completely before frosting.

Directions for the frosting

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of the sugar, the water, and the syrup to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Stop stirring but continue to cook until the temperature reaches 235 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. From time to time, use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to keep crystals from forming.
  3. While the sugar is cooking, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Gradually mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar into the egg whites.
  5. When the syrup reaches 235 degrees F., immediately add it to the egg whites in a slow and steady stream down the side of the bowl.
  6. Raise the speed on the mixer to the highest setting and mix until thick, shiny and cooled, about 7 minutes.
  7. Stir in the vanilla and spread immediately over the cooled cake using an off set spatula.
  8. Gently press the coconut into the sides of the cake. Just before serving, add the optional flowering branch.