This recipe is from my mum, and she in turn recieved it from our former neighbour Carol, hence the name “Carol-Next-Door’s Coconut Loaf Cake.”
The actual recipe for this cake comes from New Zealand, where Carol and her husband Stan lived for several years. And it is a taste of my childhood.
When I first started baking on my own, this was one of the first recipes I learnt. I can see me now at that age, standing on a stool with my wooden spoon beating away. These days, I use a free-standing mixer, it is easier, but I still like to do it by hand from time to time. Helps get rid of the bingo wings.
The cake is really moist due to you soaking the coconut in milk overnight in the fridge. I tend to use it as a coffee cake, by which I mean not a cake made with coffee but a cake to go with coffee. I picked up this habit in my college days. My friends and I used to meet up once a week at the local Starbucks before college for coffee and muffins. Occasionally, when we meet up, we go and have one for old time’s sake.
This also tastes good alongside a cup of tea too.
Carol Next-Door’s Coconut Loaf Cake – makes one 900g loaf cake
A plain unadulterated cake, perfect for any occasion. Picnics, coffee mornings, fetes, you name it.
If you insist on having icing with this, may I put in a suggestion for cream cheese frosting?
A cup of coffee or tea is mandatory for this.
50g dessicated coconut
110g unsalted butter
225g self-raising flour
To make this lovely cake, you begin the night before by placing the coconut and milk in a bowl, cover with cling-film and leave this in the fridge overnight.
The next day, when you are ready to bake the cake, you preheat the oven to 160c/140c fan/gas 3. Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin, or use one of those loaf tin liners that are available in kitchen shops.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and flour alternately, then the soaked coconut and any remaining liquid. I tend to fold the coconut and milk into the mixture using a spatula, giving it a good scrape down beforehand. It also helps between the stages of creaming the butter and sugar, and adding the first load of egg and flour to give the bowl a scrape down with the spatula, that way you don’t waste any of the good stuff.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake on the middle shelf, until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, it’ll take about 1 hour 15 minutes. Test with a skewer, you’ll know it’s done if the skewer comes out clean.
When cooked leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Once cool, wrap in clingfilm and leave for a day or two before slicing and devouring.