justified – blueberry kalamasi coconut cake

by hungryrabbit on January 31, 2014

Blueberry Kalamasi Coconut Cake

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the question: are four sticks (1 pound) of butter a bit excessive to make 12 muffin-size cakes? The responses were quite interesting. Most said yes, but a handful of folks actually said it’s justified, if these mini cakes are like pound cakes.

I was encouraged to test that recipe, but after much consideration, I trusted my instincts and decided not to waste all that good butter—even if I halved the recipe. By comparison, Ms. Deen’s tube pan-size pound cake only calls for two sticks of butter.

If I were to use lots of butter and eggs in a cake, let it be for something that’s worth the sacrifice . . . like a rich eggy coconut corn cake slathered with a citrusy buttercream.

The cake uses four, yes, FOUR sticks of butter, but it’s evenly divided between the cake and the curd base buttercream (the buttercream amps up the citrus curd). I used kalamasi for a more interesting flavor, but you can substitute basic lemon juice or a combination of lemon and lime.

The blueberries piled on top to give the cake an illusion of healthiness—HA!


Blueberry Kalamasi Coconut Cake

yield: one 8-inch cake

Coconut-Corn Cake

1-1/2 cup (6 ounces) cake flour
1/2 cup (1-3/8 ounces) fine yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
16 tablespoons (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks, room temperature, reserve the whites for another use
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil, in liquid form
1/4 cup (2 ounces) sour cream


1. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pan. Set aside

2. In a medium bowl, whisk cornmeal, cake flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk vanilla, egg yolks and eggs together, set aside.

3. In the bowl of standing mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-low speed until sugar is moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add vanilla-egg mixture, a little at a time, beat until combined.

4. Add coconut oil, beat to combine, reduce speed to medium-low. Add half of the flour mixture until just incorporated. Add sour cream and then the remaining flour mixture, beat until just combined. Finish mixing by hand with rubber spatula.

5. Divide batter into prepared cake pans and smooth the surface with a small off-set spatula. Bake  until the cake is golden and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 28-32 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto same wire rack, top side up, and cool cake to room temperature, about 40 minutes.

(Cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and keep in room temperature for up to one day)

Kalamasi Buttercream


1-1/2 cup kalamasi puree or juice
7 large egg yolks
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
32 tablespoons (1 pound/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoon limocello (optional)


1. Heat kalamasi puree in medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in bowl until smooth. Remove puree from heat and, whisking constantly, add half of puree to yolk mixture to temper. Whisking constantly, return tempered yolk mixture to remaining puree in saucepan. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is bubbling and thickens to consistency of warm pudding, 3-5 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. (If refrigerated, warm gently to room temperature in microwave at 50 percent power, stirring every 10 seconds.)

2. In the bowl of standing mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until smooth and light, 3-4 minutes. Add kalamasi mixture in 3 batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Add limocello and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes longer, scraping down bowl thoroughly halfway through mixing.



2 Coconut-Corn cake layers
Kalamasi Buttercream
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 teaspoon lemon juice or water
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes


1. With a serrated knife, trim cake and slice each cake layer horizontally into two even layers. Place one cake layer, cut side up,  on the bottom of cake stand or serving platter. Spread a layer of buttercream over cake layer. Top with second layer, cut side down and spread another layer of buttercream. Repeat with the remaining two cake layers.

2. Spread remaining buttercream evenly over top and sides of cake. (buttercream will not be as smooth as regular butttercream). Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes to set.

3. While cake is chilling, heat apricot jam with lemon juice until runny. Place blueberries in a medium bowl, pour apricot mixture through a strainer into the bowl of blueberries. Toss to coat. Remove cake from refrigerator and place blueberries on top of cake, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.

4. Press coconut flakes on the side and top edge of the cake. Serve. (If make ahead and refrigerate, bring cake to room temperature, about 30-40 minutes before serving.)


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen January 31, 2014 at 8:40 am

Four sticks of butter?! I don’t recall ever seeing that post, but I can’t imagine what kind of muffins require that amount of fat. I just got the Bouchon Bakery cookbook for Christmas (fabulous cookbook, BTW) and one of the recipes I’ve made so far was the pumpkin muffins. They were perfect, but they only called for I believe about a 1/2 cup of oil and were incomparably moist as such. Now I’m curious about these butter box muffins! :)

Coco in the Kitchen January 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm

What brand of butter do you use, Ken?

I’m a butter advocate through & through. My favs are President (French), Lurpak (Danish), Kerrygold (Irish).

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm

There are so many cool flavours in this cake – so lovely!

hungryrabbit January 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Hi Coco, I grew up with Lurpak, so I have a fondness for it. Kerrygold is excellent as well. I use basic Land O Lake and 365 organic butter for testing recipes, because I want to use something that everyone can get their hands on, so the result of the desserts won’t varied too much. -Ken

Ala January 31, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Heyy there, totally-healthy blueberries! And then everything else. I’ve never tried a corn-based cake before–what is the texture/crumb like? Regardless, this is decadent and duly bookmarked!

dina February 1, 2014 at 10:02 am

looks like a lovely and delicious cake!

Christine February 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I’ve been trying to cut down on sweets but you’ve given me a reason to have a cheat day. This looks delicious. I’ve never made a cake with cornmeal in it so excited to try it!

hungryrabbit February 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Hi Ala, the cake is moist w a sweet corn flavor. Hapy Baking! – Ken

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