I have a few distinct memories from Easter growing up – one is that my mother always made the same coconut cake. While I am not a huge fan of coconut, I insist on making this cake for my family every year.
The cake begins with a basic white cake mix straight from the box, the way my momma always did. She was never into making cakes from scratch. It is topped with my favorite – a Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting, and decorated with green coconut and jelly beans.
Step 1: Prepare a white cake, using a box or your favorite recipe. Bake it in two 8 inch round pans and allow to cool completely before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Prepare the Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting (recipe below). Frost the cake.
Step 3: Place 1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut in a zipper bag and add 5-7 drops of liquid green food coloring. Mix together. Add more food coloring if needed for a darker color. (The amount needed will vary by brand.)
Step 4: Place the colored coconut on the cake. Add jelly beans and gently press the jelly beans into the top of the cake. (I don’t use green ones as they are hard to see).
Using an electric mixer combine egg whites and vanilla, just until incorporated.
In a small saucepan combine first four ingredients. Cook over low heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
Slowly pour the syrup mixture into the eggs while beating constantly at medium speed. Beat for 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
TIPS: If using a hand-held electric mixer you will need to set the mixer on high for 7-10 minutes. There is no need to be concerned with the raw eggs, the boiling syrup cooks them to safe temperature. Also, this frosting needs to be used immediately.