I have always loved making birthday cakes. They are so decadent and special and you can make them so pretty. I have, however, had varied success on the actual yumminess factor, though they may look impressive with flowers and ganache and all that. I have been getting steadily better over the years and it is mostly due to my clear understanding that one should NOT decrease fat or sugar in attempts to make it somehow more healthy. I even use the dreaded cake flour sometimes, if a recipe that looks really good calls for it.
This year, for Ava's Birthday party, she requested a coconut cake and , let me tell ya, I found a humdinger (I never use that word, but really, this cake was soooooo good). I got the recipe from Martha Stewart Baking. It is a cake that uses shredded coconut as well as coconut milk (I actually used unsweetened coconut, and it was perfect). The frosting was a vanilla bean butter cream. Oh, and between the layers was a yummy lemony gooey spread. I don't know what to call it because it isn't a curd (no eggs, lots of cornstarch), which Ava finds "metallic" tasting. It was moist and coconutty and way sweeter than I usually go, but then my cakes are never this good, so, point taken. I will make this cake again!
The party was so much fun. Exactly what we hoped for. I will post some pics of the kids busy busy busy crafting. The project suited the group well and even the parents got in on the action.