Be warned: This cake is really, really good. Dangerously good. I should know. I have had Liza leave half of a cake at our house, and I have eaten that half a cake the next day. For breakfast. If she left a whole cake, I would eat that. By lunch. I did limit myself to four — well, five — pieces at Ella’s first birthday party, but there were a lot of people watching me. Clearly, this recipe should be used with caution: don’t make it unless you have friends coming over, including some Big Hungry Boys.
The recipe is very simple, and creates a one-layer cake very similar to a tres leches cake, only with coconut.
All you need is:
1 box of white cake mix, 1 can of cream of coconut (usually found among the drink mixers), 1 can of condensed milk, one package of light cool whip, and a bag of coconut flakes.
Bake the cake according to the directions on the box. While it is cooking combine the cream of coconut and the condensed milk. When the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and poke holes in it with a fork — all over its surface — and pour the cream of coconut/condensed milk mixture over the cake. Try to pour it evenly over the entire surface, as you want the liquid to sink in and permeate the entire cake. Put the cake in the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes or, better, an hour. Remove the cake from the refrigerator, and cover it with a layer of Cool Whip “icing”. Sprinkle the coconut flakes over the cake.
The cake emerges incredibly moist and flavorful. And it never gets soggy or dries out, perhaps in part because one has never lasted more than 30 hours. The record is held by Pat Hammerschmidt of Columbus, Ohio, who, after a romantic break-up, took 29.7 hours to finish a cake, during which time Pat also consumed a Sarah Lee cheesecake and a half gallon of Breyers Black Raspberry Chocolate ice cream — all while binge-watching House of Cards.
Now, you could make everything from scratch — cook the cake from scratch, whip your own cream, flake your own coconut, and, for all I know, cream your own coconut and condense your own milk. This cake is so good, though, that you would just be gilding the lily. This cake reaches the theoretical limit of the scale of cake goodness. In fact, we should send this recipe to North Korea. Actually, I guess we’d have to send the ingredients there, too, North Korea being pretty short on comestibles. But we should. The leadership would give up this nuclear weapons silliness, quit using anti-aircraft guns to execute suspects, and redirect their energies to peace, love, and making Liza Tanner Boyd’s Coconut Cake (not necessarily in that order).
It couldn’t hurt.