1 cup (2 sticks) butter or vegetable shortening
2 cups granulated sugar or organic evaporated cane juice
4 large eggs, if you can or egg replacement *
1 tbsp gluten-free coconut extract
3 1/2 cups gluten-free cake flour blend or all-purpose flour blend of choice sift, more to dust pan
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk, warm (not low-fat)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans and dust with gluten-free flour.
In the bowl of an electic mixer, beat margarine or shortening and sugar at medium-high speed for 5 mins, until light and fluffy. Lower speed to medium and add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add coconut extract and mix for a minute longer.
Measure flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt and sift onto a piece of waxed or parchment paper.
Place coconut milk in a glass measuring cup and heat in microwave for 1 to 2 mins until very warm.
Add half the dry mixture to the mixing bowl and beat on low-speed for 30 seconds. Then add half the coconut milk and beat for 30 seconds. Repeat process, scraping down bowl. Then beat on low for 2 mins.
Divide batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake in prepared cake pans, baking in preheated oven for 35 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centecomes out clean.
To decorate cake, place one layer right side up on a flat serving place and spread top with frosting. Place second layer on frosted layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Gently pat handfuls of coconut up the sides. Fill a cake decorator bag with frosting and pipe half loops around the top edge of the cake.
* for egg-free coconut cake, replace eggs with 1 cup applesauce mixed with 1 tablespoon baking powder. Place entire mixture in a bowl with sugar and shortening and proceed with recipe.
For vanilla cake, replace coconut extract with 2 teaspoons gluten-free pure vanilla extract. Replace coconut milk with rice milk or milk of choice.
For lemon cake, replace coconut extract with 2 teaspoons lemon extract, Replace coconut milk with rice milk or milk of choice. Add 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel to dry ingredients.