This is a celebration cake. Adapted from Sugary and Buttery, the recipe called for two 6-inch cake pans. I wanted a larger cake and made 1.5 of the recipe.  It may seem frivolous to use 2-1/4 cups of full fat coconut milk, which requires roughly one and one-half cans, but when you want to celebrate, you might as well do it right. The buttercream didn’t need to be increased as it was designed for more layers. Cutting a nut cake into thin slices while fresh would be close to impossible. Weather you make six or nine-inch cakes, do not attempt to cut them unless fully chilled. Keep the cakes in the pan and chill them overnight or at least for 4 hours before cutting. Even after that, handle the slices with the utmost care. 

I am not quite sure what was more amazing, the cake or the buttercream. The crumb was excellent, the flavour was divine; indeed it was a light cake. Despite all the butter in the buttercream, it wasn’t heavy, in fact we found it ethereally light.

Happy Birthday Leilah!

Rafaello Cake [designed for 2 or 4 layers]
5 large egg whites 
1/2 cup whole milk 
1 Tbsp coconut extract 
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup ground almonds
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1-1/2 cups or 1 can of full fat coconut milk 

Meringue Buttercream
6 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp coconut extract

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  • Spray the parchment and the sides of the cake pans with unflavoured cooking spray.
  • Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk them slightly. Add the milk and coconut flavouring and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
  • Next pour the entire can of coconut milk in a deep bowl and stir it smooth until no chunks remain.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, almonds, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the butter and the coconut milk and combine on low speed until moistened.
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the egg white mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing just long enough to incorporate between the additions.
  • Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before cutting around the perimeter to loosen the sides from the cake pan.
  • Allow the cakes to cool down.
  • Wrap and place them [still in the pan] in the fridge for the night.
  • The following day make the buttercream. Whisk the egg whites with your stand mixer on medium-high speed.
  • Add the cream of tartar and a pinch of salt.
  • While the egg whites are whisking, start the sugar syrup by bringing the water and sugar to a boil.
  • Once the syrup reaches 230F on a candy thermometer and the egg whites are stiff, pour the syrup into the egg whites while running the mixer on low speed.
  • Increase the speed to medium-high and whisk until glossy.
  • The meringue should now be cool to the touch. Set the mixer to medium speed.
  • With a teaspoon, cut the butter into the meringue one spoonful at a time.
  • Next, add the icing sugar.
  • Increase the mixer to high speed. The buttercream will start to curdle but don't worry.
  • After 2-3 minutes the buttercream should be creamy and fluffy. Set aside.
  • Take out the fully chilled cakes from the fridge  and gently pry them out of the cake pan with the parchment paper still attached.
  • Gently pry off the parchment and place the cakes on a flat surface.
  • Scrape the crumbs off the tops.
  • Gently slice the cakes in half horizontally. You should end up with four layers.   
  • To assemble the cake, cover the serving platter with clean pieces of parchment paper.
  • Place the first cake layer on the platter.
  • Divide the buttercream in four parts and spread one part on top.
  • Cover with the second layer  and repeat with the third layer.
  • Place the last layer on the top and crumb coat the entire cake, the top and sides.
  • Chill the cake for at east 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Frost the top and the then the sides with the remaining buttercream and decorate it with rafaellos.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!