Coconut Almond Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd

It is embarassing how long I’ve had this post started as a draft. To give you a hint, it was before I even started blogging for Yankee Magazine. You see, my good friend Aimee had started working at Yankee as an assistant editor. She sent me one of their latest recipe book-a-zines to take a look at. As usual, I was instantly drawn in by the layer cake in the issue.

Coconut Almond Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd Filling

This specific cake was served at cookbook author Amy Traverso’s wedding. In my mind a wedding cake is such a special treat. If this was served at Amy’s wedding, it had to be amazing.

Now I’m not going to lie, this cake was somewhat finicky to deal with. More so than the average layer cake. I blame myself for the majority of the issues I had with the cake though. For starters, I didn’t give myself enough time. When I make layer cakes, I try to bake the layers in advance so they’re nice and cool when I need to assemble the cake. Somehow, time got away from me that weekend, and I was rushing.

Coconut Almond Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd Filling

Second, the blackberry lime curd filling was a bit runny. Again, had I been planning better, I would have made it a day or two in advance so it would have had plenty of time to completely cool and set up. But I didn’t. Shame on me.

Coconut Almond Layer Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd

The other mistake I made was not using a frosting dam to hold the filling in. I usually pipe a thick line of frosting around the edge of the cake layer (like this) prior to spreading the filling. This will help prevent the filling from spreading out of the layers as you stack them. I was seriously off my game that day.

Because of these mistakes, as I started frosting the cake, even after applying a crumb coat, some of the dark pink filling started coming through the frosting. I proceeded to just keep slapping on more frosting, which I then covered with shredded coconut to hide any blemishes.

Coconut Almond Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd Filling

Now I have to admit, I’m being hard on myself. If you ask anyone who ate this cake, they never would have guessed that I had so many issues with it. The cake is very moist with a great texture from the ground up almonds and shredded coconut. And that filling? Out of control. The frosting and coconut on the outside of the cake tie everything together. It’s no wonder Amy Traverso served this cake at her wedding. If I were getting married again, I might do the same.

Coconut Almond Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd Filling

The next time you have a special occasion, whether it’s a wedding, Mother’s Day, Easter, or any other get together, make this cake. Your friends and family will thank you. But be sure to learn from my mistakes. Plan ahead and keep your head on straight. Following simple cake baking best practices will result in a less frustrating experience then I had with this cake…

One Year Ago: Pepperoni Pizza Puffs and Dulce De Leche Brownies
Two Years Ago: Roasted Broccoli and French Macarons – Chocolate with Espresso Buttercream
Three Years Ago: Rocky Ledge Bars and White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Bars
Four Years Ago: Crockpot Pulled Pork
Five Years Ago: Lemon Curd Cookies

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Coconut Almond Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd

Yield: Serves 12-16


For the Cake
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pans
3 cups flour, plus extra for pans
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
8 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

For the Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening
5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1/2 cup milk or light cream
2 tsp vanilla
Grated zest of 1 lemon

For Cake Assembly
Blackberry Lime Curd
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut flakes
Fresh blackberries


For the Cake
In a food processor, chop almonds to the texture of coarse meal. Set aside.

Lightly grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans; set aside. Adjust oven rack to the center and preheat to 350°.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar, scraping bowl and beaters occasionally, until there are no lumps and mixture is light and fluffy, 4-6 minutes.

Add egg yolks, two at a time, mixing well after each addition; blend in vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time, alternating with buttermilk.

Scrape the bowl; then blend in coconut and almonds.

In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks; fold egg whites into batter in three stages.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove cakes from oven and cool in pans 5 minutes. Flip cakes out onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and
cool completely. If making ahead, wrap each cake individually and refrigerate.

For the Frosting
In a bowl, cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl and beaters.

Add confectioners' sugar in three stages; blend well and scrape bowl between additions.

Add milk or cream, vanilla extract, and lemon zest; blend well.

For Cake Assembly
To assemble cake, choose your prettiest layer for the top. Spread the tops of the other two layers with equal amounts of Blackberry Lime Curd; then stack the cake.

Frost generously all over with frosting; then sprinkle all over with coconut flakes and top with blackberries.

Recipe adapted from Yankee Magazine

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14 Responses to “Dairy Free Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla Ice Cream Cupcakes”

  1. #
    ttfn300 — May 27, 2009 at 12:47 am

    these look so fun! i, too, am LI, but i carry lactaid with me everywhere… and jp licks makes a lactose free flavor 🙂

  2. #
    Jen — May 27, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Lactaid is my best friend. I have spare pills in the car, in Hubby’s wallet, in my purse and desk. Can’t ever be too prepared! I have had their lactose free flavors and they’re quite tasty. I wish they had more than one a month though!

  3. #
    Sam — May 27, 2009 at 2:43 am

    Ooooh. This looks too good. I’m gonna have to try that.

  4. #
    Stef — May 27, 2009 at 4:23 am

    I love the idea of using the cone method for ice cream cupcakes. I hadn’t thought of that. That strawberry down the middle of the cupcake is so perfect! I’m so glad you entered again!

  5. #
    gaga — May 27, 2009 at 5:36 am

    I wouldn’t be able to live without ice cream! Your cupcakes are beautiful. Good luck in the competition!!!

  6. #
    Ingrid — May 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    They look pretty! Love the photo of the cross section where you can see the strawberry.

  7. #
    Vegiegail — May 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Those cupcakes look scrumptious! Oh, and you’ve gotta try Purely Decadent made with Coconut Milk Ice Cream! It’s rich and creamy, a lot like gelatto!

  8. #
    Jen — May 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks Vegiegail – I’ll have to check that out.

  9. #
    Sara — June 1, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    So cute! These are so pretty with the strawberry in the middle and they look delicious.

  10. #
    paru's_circle — June 3, 2009 at 4:23 am

    voted for your strawberry one..good luck!

  11. #
    Bethany — June 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    gorgeous. love the inset strawberry. love the Neapolitan theme.


  12. #
    Shoshana — June 12, 2009 at 4:46 am

    I agree with you about the non-dairy ice creams available in stores. However, If you have an ice cream maker vegan chick-0-stick ice cream is unbelievably rich, creamy and delicious.

    Here is the recipe

  13. #
    Karen — May 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hey, these cupcakes sound awesome! I use to be Lactose Int., but I found the best cure ever & seriously have been L.I. cured for 7 years. I could not give up my dairy & use to take 3 Lactaid every time I ate.I heard about “Lactogen” on the radio on the way home from a trip. I would do anything to get rid of my L.I. so it was $90.00 at the time so I said what the heck I spent $200.00 a year on Lactaid. I was floored that it worked & 7 years later still no signs. I drink milk every morning, cheese everyday, & ice cream when ever. It retrains your body to except lactose, so for 42 days while you take it (a mix to drink with water) you have to stay away from all dairy & anything with dairy in it. I just went to the health food store during that time. I am sure you can find it on the web. Lactogen is the name

  14. #
    Karen — May 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    This is my second post, it erased my first. But for all you suffering with Lactose Int. try Lactogen it really works I have been cured for going on 7 years now. It was only $90.00 when I tried it & I was spending $200 a year on Lactaid at the time. I now can drink milk every morning, & eat cheese every day & ice cream when ever. It is not an on going thing you take it once for 43 days & that is it.

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