Best Recipe: Small Easy Coconut Cake (Cake for Two)

Cook’s Notes: A new addition to my best recipe category — This cake is made in one bowl, and it happens to be eggless. I have a friend who is allergic to eggs, and I am always looking for treat recipes for her. We didn’t have buttermilk on hand, so I used yogurt instead. It’s a wonderful cake, just enough sweet and scented with almond. This is definitely a keeper.

I baked the cake in two 4.5-inch springform pans. The batter makes two tasty layers. I frosted each layer separately, rather than making a layer cake. Each layer provides 4 satisfying servings (8 total servings), and they are so dang cute. Each frosted layer can be stored in a 6-cup plastic food-saver container.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

6 oz heavy whipping cream
4 tsp sugar
Scant 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Heat oven 350F. Coat baking pans with cooking spray (two 4.5-inch springform pans or muffin tins).

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add yogurt, oil, and extracts. Stir until smooth. Scoop batter into prepared pans. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (possibly less for very small pans), or until a cake tester comes out almost clean. Check the cakes at 15 minutes.

Cool cakes in the pans on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Cool cakes completely on racks before frosting.

Make the frosting: Pour the cream and vanilla into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat on high speed until the cream has thickened, about 1-1/2 minutes. Stop the machine, and add the sugar. Beat the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes more. Gently fold the coconut into the frosting.

Place a heaping spoon of whipped cream frosting on each cake. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to spread it out. Make sure to cover the tops completely. There is enough frosting to cover the sides, too.

To make a chocolate cake, use 2/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa instead of 1 cup of flour. “Because it calls for oil and cocoa rather than butter and chocolate, it’s less rich than most cakes,” Stephanie says.

You can also bake the batter in a muffin pan, tart pans, a small cake pan, or a loaf pan.

Stephanie notes: “You can flavor this [chocolate cake] in different ways: 1/2 tsp almond extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon; 1/2 tsp peppermint extract; 1 Tbs strong coffee; or 1/2 tsp grated orange rind. But it’s pretty good just as it stands, especially straight out of the oven.” Oh, yeah.

Recipe sources:
Cake recipe adapted from the Pie Queen blog (Friday, April 01, 2005 post, “Cake for One, and My Nigella Problem”)

Frosting recipe adapted from Small Batch Baking by Debby Maugans Nakos