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Charleston Coconut Cake

If you’re a fan of this cake then you already know how amazing it is. If you’re just learning about Charleston coconut cake now, you’re in for one amazing treat! This cake is a bit of a process to make but you don’t need to be a seasoned baker to take on a cake like this one. Traditionally, a Charleston coconut cake has up to 12 layers of cake and frosting, making it a towering achievement in cake construction. We’ve simplified it a little bit here in this recipe with only three layers of dessert heaven.

We really wanted to amp up the coconut flavor so we’ve used canned coconut milk (check the Asian foods section of your grocery store) in places that would otherwise call for heavy cream. And of course, we add coconut extract and coconut flakes to our Charleston coconut cake, as there’s clearly a theme here and it’s COCONUT! There’s coconut in the cake, in the filling, and in the frosting, so at no moment is the message lost that it is a coconut cake. Flavor is huge here, which takes a cue from all of those amazing layers that add an astonishing height to Charleston coconut cake.

No specialty items are needed, just multiples of some key ingredients, like shredded coconut, canned coconut milk, and butter. You’ll need to pick up 2 (13 oz) cans of coconut milk, 8 sticks of unsalted butter, and 2 packages of shredded coconut. These are all combined during three phases of preparation: cake, filling, and frosting to make the coconut “glue” that will hold the cake together.

Charleston coconut cake is a bit of a legend in the state of South Carolina, a butter cake with layers of rich coconut filling, cream cheese frosting and, of course, toasted coconut. The toasted coconut is the final element of the cake that really gives it some elegance (as if it needed it) and the toasty coconut is a nice contrast in flavor and creamy texture. It’s one of those extra special desserts that will leave a lasting impression, especially on the taste buds. We can’t make it to South Carolina, but we can do our best to remake this cake right in the comfort of our own kitchen.

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