Cake · Food

Samoa Layer Cake

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season!!

And continuing with my current cake theme, I made a cake inspired by my favorite cookie, the Samoa. Caramelized toasted coconut and chocolate with a vanilla base, this cake is basically just a Samoa cookie on steroids.

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I really feel like I cheated with the filling on this one, because I could have easily made my own caramel sauce, such as the bad ass salted whiskey caramel sauce that I made for this cake which was my pride and joy this holiday season, but I used caramel squares instead. Next time.

I didn’t want to waste the cake pieces leftover from leveling out the tops of my cake layers, and wanted to have a sweet presentation, so I made some easy cake truffles. I broke up the baked cake pieces with a fork to make a cake meal and mixed in some of the vanilla buttercream and caramel with toasted coconut to make a dough. Then rolled them into cake balls and dipped them in an easy chocolate sauce: 3 tbsp melted butter, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, and 2 tbsp heavy cream.

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I made my classic vanilla cake from King Arthur Flour which will traditionally make two 8″ cakes, but I like to use my Wilton’s Easy Layers Pan Set which makes 5 smaller cakes:

– 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature20170123_133719.jpg

– 2 cups granulated sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

–  4 eggs, room temperature

– 1 tsp salt

–  1 tbsp baking powder

– 3 cups King Arthur cake flour

– 1 cup milk (I use almond milk)

Preheat oven to 350º F, lightly grease non-stick cake pans.

Using electric beaters, beat together the room temperature butter and sugar until lighter in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, and 2 eggs at a time, mixing well to combine after each addition.

Mix in the baking powder and salt. Add half of the flour, the milk mixture, followed by the rest of the flour, mixing well to combine but not over mixing.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out clean. (While the cakes are baking, prepare the caramel and coconut filling).

Let cool on wire racks until room temperature, then carefully remove from the pans.

Caramel and Toasted Coconut Filling

– 2 cups sweetened coconut

– 11oz caramel squares

– 1/4 cup heavy cream

In a 350º oven, place the coconut in an even layer on a non-stick baking dish and bake for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. It can go from toasted to burnt momentarily.

Then, in either in a double boiler or a microwave safe glass dish, melt the caramel squares with the heavy whipping cream. If you use a microwave, make sure to stop and stir every 45 or so seconds.

Stir the caramel and cream until smooth and add in 1.5 cups of the toasted coconut. Set aside to cool slightly.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature

– 1.5 cups confectioners sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 2 tbsp milk

Cream the butter until lighter in color and fluffy, slowly add the confectioners sugar until incorporated. Then add the vanilla and milk and beat until fluffy.

To assemble thus far:

Carefully, using a bread knife, cut off the top domes of the cakes to level them. Place one down and spread a thin layer of buttercream, then spread the filling (which if the caramel has cooled too much it may be helpful to heat it back up slightly, but you really don’t want it too warm so that it oozes out everywhere). Add another layer of cake and repeat, making sure to end with cake.

Once stacked, crumb coat the entire cake by spreading a thin layer of the remaining vanilla buttercream on the top and sides. Then chill. While the cake is chilling, make the cocoa buttercream.

Cocoa Buttercream Frosting

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature

– 1.5 cups confectioner sugar

– 1/4 cup cocoa powder

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 2 tbsp warm water

Cream the butter until lighter in color and fluffy, slowly add the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder until incorporated. Then add the vanilla and water and beat until fluffy.

Spread evenly over the top and sides of the cake and garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted coconut.

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