Coconut Snowball Cake Recipe

Cake:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 C. sugar
6 eggs
1 T. grated orange rind
3 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. light rum
1 1/2 C. flaked or shredded moist coconut, minced on a cutting board

Filling:
1 C. canned coconut creme
2 eggs
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 C. light rum
1 t. vanilla extract
1 C. minced coconut
1 C. flaked or shredded coconut

Moistening syrup:
1/2 C. water
1/3 C. sugar
3 T. light rum

Heat oven to 350F. Butter and line the bottoms of two 11 x1 7 jelly roll pans. Arrange 2 racks of the oven so that they divide the inside of the oven into thirds.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, blending well between each. Add the orange rind and mix in. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate container, blend the milk and rum. With mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry mixture, then half of the rum mixture, then the second third of the dry, then the remaining rum/milk, then the last of the dry. Add the coconut last and blend well on medium speed.

Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and smooth over until batter is even. Place pans in oven, one on each rack, and bake 15 to 18 minutes, rotating pans top to bottom once during baking. The cakes should spring back when lightly touched in the center area. Remove from oven and cool in pans on wire racks.

For the filling:
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring coconut creme to a boil, stirring often. In a separate small bowl, whisk eggs to loosen. Whisk boiling coconut creme into eggs until well blended, then return mixture to saucepan. Over low heat, stirring constantly, cook mixture until thickened. Pour into a clean bowl and cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until soft and light. Reduce speed to medium and add a little of the cooled coconut mixture, beating until smooth. Add the remaining mixture, a little at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. (Reserve flaked coconut.)

For the Moistening Syrup:
In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium-heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches a boil. Pour syrup into a glass measuring cup and cool to room temperature. Add rum and stir.

To assemble the cake:
Place a sheet of waxed paper over the top of the cakes. Place a large cutting board on top of paper and invert. Remove pan and the paper liner. Cut out one 11-inch circle and one 6-inch circle. Remove the excess cake and set aside. Repeat with other cake, cutting one 9-inch circle and one 7-inch circle.

Brush inside of a 2-quart bowl (diameter of the top of the bowl should measure about 9 inches) with butter, then line bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down to smooth.

On the 11-inch cake circle, cut a line from the center to one edge. Carefully pick up the circle and overlap the cut edges, so the cake is slightly concave. Place the cake in the bowl, centering it and pressing lightly until cake is firm against the bottom and the sides. Where cut edges overlap, there will be 2 layers of cake. Cut off the overlap of one edge so that the cut edges are flush against each other. Brush cake with some of the rum syrup. Measure 1/2 cup of the coconut filling and spread over cake, going up the sides. Spread another 1/4 cup filling in the bottom only. Place the 6-inch circle of cake on top of filling, pressing down lightly. Brush with rum syrup.

Spread a generous 1/2 cup filling over the cake, then place the 7-inch cake circle over that, pressing lightly. Spread 1 cup filling evenly over the cake, then place 9-inch cake circle on top, pressing lightly to level. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Cover remaining filling with plastic wrap and set aside. Cake can be made 2 days ahead to this point. Refrigerate filling, then bring to room temperature and stir well.

Remove cake bowl from fridge and remove top layer of plastic. Invert bowl onto a plate or platter and remove bowl slowly. Remove the plastic lining, if it has not come off with the bowl. Spread remaining icing over the outside of the cake and press 1 cup of flaked coconut evenly over the entire surface, sprinkling any excess over the top of the snowball. Serve at room temperature.


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