Green Curry & Coconut Cake

Can a cake be refreshing? Because this might be the closest we’ve come to making one that is. Its crumb is a little dense, but it doesn’t feel heavy, thanks to the light citrus aroma of the kaffir lime and the bright spice of the green curry. Even brighter and lighter is the basil, coconut and coriander buttercream, which tastes sweet but fresh and herb-y. Not bad for a snack, but we think it works best for dessert.

This makes us want to try more curry desserts.

For the cake:
2 sticks / 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup lime juice
5 dried kaffir lime leaves
2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp green curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the buttercream:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 tbsps coconut cream
2 tbsps finely chopped basil
2 tbsps finely chopped coriander
1 tbsp lime zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

Make the cake. Preheat oven to 176°C/350°F. Grease and flour two 7×3 inch round cake pans. Line with parchment.

Combine coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves in a blender. Pulse until well-combined. Set aside.

In one bowl, combine and whisk together flour, dessicated coconut, baking powder, salt, green curry powder and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with your electric mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add both kinds of sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes or until it has become creamy and light-colored.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you do. Beat on high speed for 30 seconds after each addition. Beat for 1 minute after all eggs have been added. Add the vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture and blended coconut milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir by hand to finish. Be careful not to overbeat.

Bake at 176°C/350°F for 40-45 minutes (rotate halfway through, if your oven is a little tricky and has a habit of baking unevenly) or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on a rack for at least an hour and a half.

Make your frosting. In a medium bowl, beat butter and coconut cream with a mixer on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add vanilla extract. Add sugar gradually. Add chopped basil, cilantro and lime zest. Mix until smooth.

Assemble the cake. Make sure cake is completely cooled (cut to size or trim if necessary) and your frosting is at room temperature.

Place a dab of frosting on your plate, cake bottom or cardboard. Place cake on the cake bottom or cardboard. Use an offset spatula (and a scraper if you want to smooth the icing).

Add a rough layer of frosting to seal in the crumbs. Spread a thick layer of frosting to the top and sides of your cake. Move the spatula in the same direction (this way the loose crumbs will be nicely tucked into the frosting).

Place the crumb-coated cake in the fridge for at least an hour before adding additional layers of frosting.

Smooth the frosting. Take your spatula and work back and forth across the surface and sides to smooth it. Wipe off any excess frosting if necessary. Do this until you think you’re happy with your cake.

Refrigerate the cake for at least half an hour. Serve it cold.

Have some cake. Enjoy.

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