Summer Strawberry Coconut Cake
1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix
4 T. strawberry gelatin powder
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
2 T. granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. pureed strawberries
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. coconut extract
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced
1 c. coconut, finely shredded in food processor
several strawberries to fill cake and garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl and stir together. Beat in oil, eggs, water, strawberry puree, vanilla, and coconut extract. Mix well. Stir in diced strawberries and coconut. Pour into two 8- or 9-inch round pans, greased and floured. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the cakes are pulling away from the sides of the pans.
Put pans on wire racks and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and leave on racks to cool completely. While cooling, make icing.
Spread some icing on first layer, then top with sliced strawberries. Place second layer on top and ice the rest of the cake. Cover entire cake in shredded coconut and garnish with fresh strawberries. I don’t tint my coconut pink like in the original recipe, because I think it’s so pretty to cut into the white cake and have the surprise of bright pink inside. I like the contrast of the white icing/coconut and pink cake.
The first time I made this, I did cupcakes. They’re really pretty with a small strawberry on each one.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
2 16-oz. boxes powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until desired consistency. Add a tablespoon or so of milk if icing is too thick.