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Island Cake with Coconut Rum Cream Cheese Icing

This cake is deliciously moist and has all the flavors of the tropics like coconut, pineapple, bananas and rum.  It has a cream filling that is much lighter than the icing.  If you prefer a less sweet tasting cake, use the filling for the inside as well as the outside of the cake instead of the icing.  If you are a cream cheese frosting lover, you will want to stick with the icing recipe provided here.  This cake tastes even better the longer it sits, so it is a great one to make the day before.  I know it looks like a lot of steps, but it is well worth it.  It can be the center of your next potluck, party or other social event.

For the Cake

2 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

3 cups flour (all purpose) sifted

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

8 oz pineapple (undrained)

4 mashed bananas (medium size)

2 tsp coconut extract

2 tsp butternut extract

For the filling

1 pint heavy cream

4 oz cream cheese softened

3 tbls butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1 ½ tsp coconut extract


For the Icing

8 oz softened cream cheese

1 ½ sticks butter softened

2 tsp coconut-pineapple rum

1 ½ tsp rum extract

6 cups powdered sugar

Heavy cream – approximately 4 tablespoons, but may be a little more. The amount varies according to many factors, but basically is determined by how dry the mix is when it is beaten.  Add heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until it is at the desired spreading consistency.


For the toppings

1 ½ cups toasted pecans chopped

(Note about pecans:  My favorite way to toast pecans is to melt 2 tablespoons of butter and mix with 1 ½ tablespoons of brown sugar.  Toss over the pecans and bake on a sheet pan for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Do not over bake these.  When you begin to smell them baking, they are probably ready to come out of the oven.  Don’t like pecans?  You may use walnuts or almonds or nothing at all.) 

1 cup toasted coconut

(Note about coconut:  I use the sweetened coconut in a bag.  Toss it into a non-stick skillet and cook on medium.  Stir constantly and do not leave unattended.  This only takes a few minutes to toast it to a golden brown.)

To Make the Cake:

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs oil, vanilla, pineapple, bananas and extracts.  Mix well, then add flour 1 cup at a time until mixed well.

Using three non-stick round cake pans, spray each pan with non-stick spray.  If you are using cake pans that are not non-stick, I would recommend lining the bottoms with parchment paper to keep the cakes from sticking.  Divide batter evenly between the three pans.  Bake on 325 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow them to rest about 5 minutes before removing from pan.  Let these cool on a cooling rack.

While the cakes are cooling, toast the pecans and coconut and set them aside to cool.



For the Filling:

Using a hand mixer, beat 1 pint of heavy cream with the powdered sugar until it becomes the consistency of whipped cream.  In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter until they are blended well, then add them to the whipped cream mixture.  Use the hand mixer to combine these well, but don’t over mix it.  This will be a lighter texture than frosting, but should be thicker than cool whip and should be thick enough to withstand the weight of the cake.  Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to frost the cake.


For the Icing:

Using a hand or stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, butter, rum and extract in a large mixing bowl.  Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at the time.  Add the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the icing is at the spreading consistency you want for the cake.


Assembling the cake:

Once the cake layers have cooled, dollop a small amount of the icing onto the cake plate or cake round before placing the first cake layer on top.  This will keep the cake from moving back and forth.  The cream filling will go between the layers and the icing will go on top.  Once it has been completely frosted, use your hands to press the nuts along the sides of the cake, then sprinkle the coconut on top.  Refrigerate for a few hours before slicing.

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