Coconut Rum Cake by Chef Lance Cowart


1 (1 lb. 2 1/2 oz.) box yellow cake mix (not mix with pudding)
1 (3 3/4 oz.) pkg. instant coconut pudding mix
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten (if very large eggs are used, only use 3)
1 tablespoon dark rum

For coconut slivers:
1 medium coconut
2 teaspoons confectioners sugar

For icing:
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons well-stirred sweetened cream of coconut
1 tablespoon dark rum
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Equipment: a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep); an adjustable-blade slicer

Combinecake mix, pudding mix, oil, rum, water and beaten eggs. Beat for 4minutes. Pour into greased and floured 9″ tube cake pan. Bake at 350degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when touched inmiddle. Cool for 10 minutes, punch holes in cake with ice pick or straw.

Makecoconut slivers as cake cools: Pierce softest eye of coconut with asmall screwdriver, then drain and discard liquid. Bake coconut in ashallow baking pan 15 minutes. (Leave oven on.) Break shell with ahammer, then pry flesh from shell with screwdriver.

Thinlyshave enough coconut with slicer to measure 2 cups and toss withconfectioners sugar, then spread in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Bakeuntil just dry but not golden (some tips may color), 5 to 10 minutes.(Shave and bake remaining coconut with more confectioners sugar toserve on the side, or freeze for another use.) Cool coconut completely.(It will crisp as it cools.)

Make icing:
Beat togethercream cheese, cream of coconut, rum, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons creamwith an electric mixer until smooth, then beat in confectioners sugar.Icing should be smooth and slightly runny; stir in remaining tablespooncream if necessary.

Smooth icing over top of cooled cake, allowing some to drip over side, then top with coconut slivers.

Cake can be baked 1 day ahead and soaked with cream
of coconut, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Cake can be iced 2 hours ahead.

Coconut slivers can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight
container at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 45 min
Total time: 2 1/2 hr