justified – blueberry kalamasi coconut cake

justified – 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


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
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)
  • 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


Coconut-Corn Cake

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.

Kalamasi Buttercream

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.


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.)