Monday, August 16, 2021

Coconut Cake and Custard Trifle

Necessity is the mother of invention, right? That's what happened with this recipe. It was SUPPOSED to be a coconut layer cake. Then this happened.

So, I decided to make the best of it. And, I think this trifle probably turned out better than my layer cake would have... partly due to the amazing coconut custard that I used for the filling. 

Not to mention all the crunchy toasted coconut layered in and placed on top!

This recipe uses some convenience products, like a boxed cake mix and cool whip. But the homemade custard more than makes up for any of that. And you don't even have to worry about getting the cake out of the pan nicely, because you'll just chop it up anyway! (There is nothing stopping you from using a homemade white cake and whipping cream. Do what you like best, and own it!)

This is so beautiful and impressive in a trifle bowl - but if you don't have one, any big glass bowl will work just fine. You could also use a glass 9x13 in a pinch - it will still taste good, but the presentation will be a little different.  Trifles don't look nearly as pretty when they're in an individual serving dish, but I can't overstate how delicious this is. 

If you have someone in your life who loves coconut, this is the perfect dessert!

 Coconut Cake and Custard Trifle

1 boxed white cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
4 egg yolks

For assembly:
1 8oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed if frozen
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

For the cake, combine the cake mix, oil, water and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until well blended. Transfer the batter to either two greased 9" round cake pans, or a greased 9x13 pan. Bake according to the directions on the box for each pan type.  Cool completely, then cut into small, bite-sized squares.

While the cake bakes, make the custard. In a medium saucepan (not over any heat), whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add in the whole milk, and whisk well to dissolve the cornstarch. Whisk in the coconut milk and the eggs. Once well combined, place the saucepan over medium heat, and stir constantly until the first big bubbles burst, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Toast the coconut by spreading it out on a large baking sheet and placing it in a 400 degree oven. Stir after about 4 minutes, then watch carefully, stirring every 2-3 minutes until it is all toasty. Coconut burns easily, so watch it carefully.

To assemble the trifle, in the trifle dish or large glass bowl, layer cake cubes, custard, cool whip and toasted coconut. Repeat layers, ending with about 1/2 cup of toasted coconut on top.   (You will likely have leftover cake cubes. You can freeze them for later or serve them with ice cream at another time!)

Serves 10-12.

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