Tropical Snowbank Cake

Guess who got a new mixology set and drinkware for Christmas!?

Allll that fancy new bareware….combined with the brand new bar my husband and I just finished putting in our house before this year’s Ugly Sweater Christmas party – my favorite of the drinks we made for that party HAD to go into a cake! Recipes below!!

Bacardi Coconut Cream Cake Layers:

Note - this is a slightly-simplified layer cake recipe from ChelSweets.com - I highly recommend checking out her site if you haven't before; it's amazing!! 

3 1/4 c.  all purpose flour
3 c.  granulated sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t.  salt
1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks) room temperature
1 c egg whites (about 7 eggs, or you can use egg whites from a carton if you don’t want to save or waste the yolks) 
3 oz (6T) White Chocolate Liqueur (I used Godiva) 
1 ½  oz (3T) Bacardi Light Rum 
1 ½ oz (3T) Coconut Cream
1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil

Instructions: 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. 
Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly. 
Pour in egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Stir in white chocolate liqueur, rum, and coconut cream. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height. 
Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8-inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7-inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.

While you’re waiting….this is a great time to make your frosting!

Coconut Rum Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons coconut cream
2-4 Tablespoons Bacardi rum, start with 2 and add more to obtain desired consistency
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with coconut cream and rum until frosting reaches desired consistency. Beat until well combined.

Additional Supplies/Equipment:

- 1 8- or 9-inch cardboard cake circle 
- small piping bag & tip (for frosting) 
- additional small piping bag or drip bottle (for decorating with white chocolate ganache) 
- 2 c coconut, to spread between cake layers & to use for decorating
- martini glass – these cake layers bake dense enough to hold a real one, but feel free to use a plastic martini glass if you’d rather
- about ¼ c corn syrup – this is the easiest way I’ve found to rim martini glasses 
- two small plates or bowls (to use to decorate your martini glass)
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, offset spatula, and bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! 
- I also used a Wilton icing comb on the sides of this cake – optional, but I really liked the decorative effect that it added!

Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. I used a jigger from a mixology set for this part, but you could also use a 1T measuring spoon too – pour 1T of Bacardi rum and 1T of White Chocolate Liqueur over the cake layer, letting it soak in. Spread the layer with frosting. Pipe a border around the rim, and add a few tablespoons of shredded coconut and about 1-2 tablespoons of coconut cream over the coconut. Center your next cake layer on top. Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers.

Now you're ready to crumb-coat! If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place the icing comb on the cake circle against your cake and run the comb around the cake to texture the frosting. Place the cake into the freezer for about 20 minutes to set the frosting – and get the cake cold enough to set the white chocolate ganache decoration.

Decorating the glass:
Pour your corn syrup onto one of your small plates, and shredded coconut into the other. Tip the martini glass upside down and dip the rim into the corn syrup, letting any excess drips fall off. Then dip the rim into the coconut to coat it evenly.

White chocolate ganache: I used a white chocolate ganache for this cake – I found my favorite white chocolate ganache recipe so far on ChelSweets.com.

-1/3 cup heavy cream (77 grams)
-1 cup white chocolate chips (175 grams)

Place heavy cream and white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring in between.

I got a bit adventurous this time around, and used a small plastic Tupperware container to pour my ganache – I’ve used piping bags, drip bottles, and even a spoon to do similar drips before though. Tons of options!

When your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm and still be fairly liquid – transfer it to your piping bag/squeeze bottle/whatever you want to use. I piped a small amount of frosting onto the top of the cake to help hold the glass up before adding the martini glass. Squeeze about ¼ c of the ganache into the martini glass, and then quickly invert the glass over the cake, pressing the glass into the cake at an angle (check out my video for an extra guide on this step). Slowly drizzle ganache away from the glass, letting it fall down the edge of the cake to create drips.

Pipe a few frosting swirls around the glass and add a enough coconut to cover the frosting. Sprinkle coconut flakes around the edges of the glass and ganache drips. Use a spoon to add some coconut around the bottom rim of the cake, and press it into the frosting with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

Annnd that’s it! You’re done! High-five yourself on your awesome-looking cake!!

Make this recipe? Let me know  how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!  

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