I made this cake a while back just because cakiness is next to godliness. This was surprisingly light and the rum and lime added a nice touch. The next time I make this, I probably won’t toast the coconut – I think I would prefer that texture better. My roommate enjoyed the coconut, but he would enjoy eating the toasted coconut if it was sprinkled on a 2X4.
For the cake:
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Generously butter a 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper (or flour). Toast coconut in a small baking pan in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool. Leave oven on.
Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and lime zest with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir together flour and 1/2 cup coconut (reserve remainder for topping). Stir together milk and 2 Tbsp lime juice. At low speed, mix flour and milk mixtures into egg mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour.
Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to warm, then turn out of pan and discard parchment.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
Carefully slice the cake horizontally into two disks for a two-layered cake. To assemble, spoon the remaining 2 Tbsp lime juice and rum (if using) over the bottom layer of cake. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the bottom layer. Then, carefully lay the other cake layer on top of the first one. Frost the entire cake and sprinkle with remaining coconut.