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Speckled Malted Coconut Cake

Bonus: This robin's egg cake tastes just as good as it looks.

recipe for speckled malted coconut cake
Brian Woodcock

If you're looking for just one way to impress your guests on Easter Sunday, this stunning Easter cake will do the trick. Whether you serve this coconut confection with the rest of your brunch spread or have it as the finale to your dinner menu, this dessert will not only wow the crowd, but it will satisfy any sweet tooth. Although it might look a bit complicated, there are easy steps you can take so your cake turns out picture-perfect. To ensure your sweet is super fluffy, beat your egg whites to nice stiff peaks—they should be able to stand up straight and have a glossy sheen. For a velvety smooth frosting finish, it's all about the tools you use. Start on the sides with a large off-set spatula, then move on to the top while applying even pressure throughout your strokes. And when you're creating that delicate little phyllo nest, be careful to not break the dough into small pieces, otherwise, it won't hold its shape. Now you have all the pointers you need to bake this special holiday treat.

You can find multicolored robin's egg candies by Whopper or Cadbury at most grocery stores around Easter time, but these blue and brown delicacies from Terrain will match your cake. 

Get the frosting recipe here and the phyllo nest instructions here

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Yields: 12 - 15
Prep Time: 0 hours 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Baking spray, for pan

3 c.

cake flour, spooned and leveled

1 1/2 tsp.

baking powder

1/4 c.

malted milk powder

1 tsp.

Kosher salt

1 c.

canola oil

1 c.

half-and-half, at room temperature

1 c.


1 tsp.

pure vanilla extract

1 tsp.

pure coconut extract


large egg plus 2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 tsp.

brown gel food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease three 8-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Whisk together flour, baking powder, malt powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together oil, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, coconut extract, and whole egg in a separate bowl until smooth. Fold in flour mixture just until incorporated. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold egg whites into batter just until combined.
  3. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely.
  4. Place one layer on a cake plate and frost top with 1 cup Coconut Buttercream. Repeat two more times. Frost sides with remaining Coconut Buttercream.
  5. Stir together food coloring and 2 drops water in a bowl. Dip the tip of a wide, stiff paintbrush into the mixture. Holding the brush 6 to 8 inches from the cake, gently fling the mixture onto iced cake. Repeat for desired effect. Spread Phyllo Nest around the base of the cake, and nestle robin's egg candies in nest.
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