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I'm Julia; a wife, a mother and a lover of food. I'm in constant pursuit of my newest craving in the kitchen. I hope you'll join me in my journey to find new and delicious ways to bring classic and versatile dishes to the table. Bon Appetit!

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Coconut Cake with Lemon Whipped Cream

My girls are in their pajamas, washed and clean, ready for bed. Mamas, you know the feeling, right? At last, they've succumbed into quiet slumber, surrendering in the fight against sleep, and the hectic clamor of the day gives way to a peaceful evening. My mother told me some days would be like this, and days would turn into weeks, and weeks into months. To be a mother is a tough job, I don't have to say it! You cook the meals, clean the messes, play game after game with your toddler, snuggle with your baby, then cook another meal and so it goes!

Yes, the monotonous days of motherly duties (that at times can go unnoticed) can be exhausting. And sure, perhaps you can't take a nap whenever you want. But in the evening, after you pick up the toys, put away the last of the dishes, and do that pile of laundry, I invite you to fill the tea kettle, and slice yourself a piece of cake. Or two. This recipe I've used multiple times now, an ingredient added or an ingredient omitted but the base stays the same. I love the muted tartness of the sour cream in my cake batter, and the zest of grated lemon peel combined with sweet coconut. Give it a try, and if you want to add dried fruit instead of sliced almonds, or fresh blueberries instead of coconut, do that. Do something for yourself, mama. You deserve it.

Coconut Cake with Lemon Whipped Cream

Serves 8

Ingredients for Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

2/3 cup sour cream

1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Ingredients for Lemon Whipped Cream:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

Zest of 1 large lemon

Juice of 1/2 a large lemon

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

sliced almonds, for topping


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3. With an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg, 2/3 cup sour cream, zest and juice of 1 large lemon, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon almond extract and 2/3 cup shredded coconut. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Do not overmix.

4. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Times may differ depending on your oven.

5. Remove cake from oven when finished and allow to cool 10-15 minutes before inverting onto wire rack to let cake cool completely.

6. To make the whipped cream frosting, combine 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until peaks form. Add the zest of 1 large lemon and juice of half the lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until well mixed in.*

*You may continue to whisk until desired thickness achieved. Be careful not to overmix or you will make butter! Personally I preferred a very thick frosting with this cake. Also keep in mind the frosting will soften and wilt if it is no standing in refrigerator so keep refrigerated if not serving immediately.

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