Cara Cara Coconut Matcha Cake boasts eight layers of coconut and matcha cake filled with Cara Cara orange curd, fresh berries and silky citrus buttercream!
In the mood for a little cake disaster? This Cara Cara Coconut Matcha Cake is exactly that! Sure it looks pretty decent all put together and perched on its black throne; an impressive comeback after its massive fall from grace.
Apart from Bundts, pretty much every cake I’ve made to date has had at least four layers, usually six. When I was thinking up this number, I envisioned eight layers – two coconut, one matcha, two coconut, one matcha, two coconut – filled with citrus curd, fresh berries and buttercream. Easy, right…
All seemed to be going according to plan – the cakes baked up lovely, the curd was just right, the buttercream was deliciously silky – until it wasn’t.
I blame it on my preoccupation with filming. It had been a while since I made a cake building video, like this, so I thought I would try to capture the construction of these eight layers. It’s not a huge undertaking, I just set my phone up on a bowl, or something sturdy, press start and let it run, then edit right on my decvice. I know, real professional.
If you know me just a little, you know I am a germaphobe – the incessant hand-washing, take a blow-out mattress to a five-star hotel type – yeah, I’m in treatment. Anyhoo, the phone kept slipping and each time I had to touch it, I would of course wash my hands/change my gloves. Now the sensible thing would have been to stop recording and just finish off the damn cake. In case you didn’t know, my middle name is stubborn. So there’s that!
Somewhere in between washing my hands with every slip of the phone, I not only screwed up the placement of the matcha layers (they ended up sandwiched together, instead of between the coconut layers), but I forgot to place a cake board and straw at the halfway point to support the cake. Of course, this wasn’t apparent until I was crumb-coating the cake the the bottom layers began to split and cave in.
My heart sank, just as the cake began to lean in slow motion. Without thinking, I laid the cake on its side, pulled out a sheet of plastic wrap and wrapped the cake. I then stood it up, a straw down the middle, plastic wrapped the top and stuck it in the fridge so that the buttercream would firm up and help with stability. I also used the cardboard from a cake box to build a tube around the cake for further support while it chilled.
In my panic, I hadn’t realize I knocked over my phone and the remaining buttercream. OOOOYYY! After whipping up another batch of buttercream, I removed the mini leaning tower of pisa from the fridge with bated breath. With the help of the straw and makeshift cake corset, things were looking up. PHEW!!
From the outside it looks good, but if you look closely, you will notice that the cake layers at the bottom have been flattened and most of the filling squeezed out. It’s stands eight layers tall, but it’s quite a small cake – I used five-inch pans. Drama aside, forgetting to add the support meant that I could cut a full eight-layer slice, as opposed to the four layers I would have gotten with a well supported cake.
A silver lining, I suppose. Here’s a little video (sans drama). What’s been YOUR worst cake mishap?
Cara Cara Coconut Matcha Cake
Cara Cara Coconut Matcha Cake boasts eight layers of coconut and matcha cake filled with cara cara orange curd, fresh berries and silky citrus buttercream!
For the curd:
- make a double batch of cara cara curd (see link below)
For the buttercream:
- make a batch of swiss meringue buttercream (see link below)
For the coconut cake (adapted from the book Rose's Heavenly Cakes):
- 90 grams egg whites (3 large eggs)
- 160 grams coconut milk (2/3 cup)
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped I use Rodelle
- 200 grams cake flour (2 cups)
- 9.5 grams baking powder (2 1/2 + 1/8 teaspoons)
- 200 grams granulated sugar (1 cup)
- 2.5 grams salt (1/2 teaspoon)
- 113 grams unsalted butter 1 stick
- 40 grams shredded coconut multicoloured
For the Matcha cake:
- use the same recipe as for the coconut cake, but replace 20 grams of the flour with culinary matcha.
Make the curd:
Make a double batch of this recipe
Make the buttercream:
Make a batch of this recipe and replace the gianduja with cara cara curd
Make the cakes:
Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare pans with cake release (or your preferred method) and place on a baking sheet pan.
Add the egg whites, 3 tablespoons of the milk and the scraped vanilla beans in a bowl and use a hand to whisk until just combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the sugar and salt and mix on low speed for 30 seconds using the paddle attachment.
Add the remaining milk and butter and mix on low speed to moisten the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for 1 1/2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides when needed.
Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the egg white mixture to the batter in two parts. Beat for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate fully. Scrape the sides of the bowl, as needed. Fold in the shredded coconut.
Distribute the batter evenly among the the three pans, then use an offset spatula to spread and smooth the batter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Test for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick.
Remove from the oven and and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. After 10 minutes, turn the cakes out on to the wire rack to cool completely.
Assemble the cake:
Spread a little buttercream onto a cake board and centre the first layer on the board. Pipe a border of buttercream around the cake and fill with curd and berries. Top with another layer of cake. Repeat for two more layers, then insert 2-3 sturdy straws into the cake and top with a cake board. Prepare the other four layers, as with the first four.
Cover with buttercream, adding random splotches of the coloured buttercream and smoothing it onto the cake. Add some random sprinkles and gold flakes for fun. Top with piped buttercream rosettes, candied orange slices and fresh blinged-out berries.
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