In the dark of winter, tropical flavors like coconut, ginger and citrus are as welcome as sunshine. Bundt cakes are a great vehicle for these flavors, and this one was inspired by the inimitable Dorie Greenspan. In her book Baking: From My Home to Yours, she has a coconut tea cake with several variations. It’s a straightforward recipe that can be as simple or fancy as you want; for my sweet-toothed husband, I added a light glaze and toasted coconut as decoration, but the cake stands tall without the extras. My variation of Dorie’s recipe has zing from citrus and candied ginger, warmth from dark rum, and creamy, nutty notes from coconut. As the original recipe’s name suggests, it’s perfect with tea or coffee as an afternoon snack, but I like a slice toasted for breakfast just as well. Spring is around the corner; until it arrives, add a little brightness to your kitchen with this wonderful coconut bundt cake.
Coconut Bundt Cake with Orange & Ginger (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. dried ginger
- 1 c. coconut milk, from a well-shaken can
- 4 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 2 c. sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1 T. dark rum (or use 2 tsp. vanilla)
- 3 T. minced candied ginger
- 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, preferably large flakes
- juice of your zested orange
- 2-3 T. powdered sugar
Start by toasting the coconut. In a dry skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add the coconut. Stir occasionally or shake the pan until the coconut toasts and becomes fragrant. Remove from the hot pan to a bowl or plate as soon as you achieve the color you like; it will continue cooking in the hot pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place an oven rack in the center of your oven. Carefully butter a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan and then dust with flour. Shake out any excess flour and check to see if you missed any spots; go back and butter them if you did.
In a small saucepan, warm the coconut milk and butter until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and dried ginger. To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar. Beat for 3-5 mins., until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add the orange zest and rum, then slow the mixer down to add the sifted dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once and stop mixing when you can no longer see dry flour.
Add the candied ginger pieces and 3/4 c. of your toasted coconut to the batter and turn the mixer back on low speed. Stream in the warm coconut milk mixture. Stop the mixer when the batter looks uniform and give a few stirs with your spatula to ensure even mixing. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and tap a few times on the counter to even the batter and knock out any air bubbles.
Bake for 45-60 mins., until the cake is golden brown and a skewer or knife comes out clean from the thickest part of the cake. The time will depend on your oven and pan shape. Cool for 30 mins. on a rack and then run a sharp knife around the edges and center cone and invert carefully onto a plate.
Mix the juice of your orange with 2-3 T. powdered sugar to create a thin glaze. While the cake is warm, gently drizzle the top with glaze and allow it to run down the sides. Before the glaze hardens, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c. toasted coconut over the top. Cool the cake completely and serve. Your coconut bundt will store for 2-3 days covered at room temperature or 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Without glaze, it can be frozen, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.