Coconut Peach Cake

Blending one traditional Southern classic, the cloud-like coconut cake, with blushing stone fruit, this triple-layer cake is an undeniable showstopper. A final coating of toasted coconut flakes brings a dash of color to the typically snowy-white appearance.

Coconut Peach Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • 3½ cups (437 grams) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) coconut milk
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
  • Peach Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
  • American Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup (225 grams) sliced peeled fresh peaches (about 2 medium peaches)
  • Garnish: toasted coconut flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; butter and flour pans again.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together coconut milk and buttermilk. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with coconut milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Brush layers with Peach Simple Syrup.
  5. Place 2 cups American Buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe a ½-inch-thick layer of buttercream around edge of one cake layer. Spread buttercream within border. Layer half of peaches in center, gently pressing into buttercream and ensuring border is higher than peaches. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread a thin layer of American Buttercream on top and sides of cake. Freeze for 30 minutes. Spread remaining American Buttercream on top and sides of cake. Press toasted coconut into sides of cake, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
2 Weeks Ahead: Make Peach Simple Syrup. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
2 Days Ahead: Bake cake layers, and let cool completely. Brush layers with Peach Simple Syrup. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
1 Day Ahead: Frost and assemble cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Day of: Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Peach Simple Syrup
  • ½ cup (112.5 grams) sliced peeled fresh peach (about 1 medium peach)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120 grams) water
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat all ingredients over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool. Using an immersion blender, blend until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

American Buttercream
  • 2½ cups (567 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 pounds (1,365 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup (240 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until creamy, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, cream, and salt, beating until smooth. Use immediately.


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