Coconut and Almond Cake {Torta di Cocco e Mandorle}

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Birds are chirping and the temperatures dropped again. This is crazy winter in South Florida. It can be very confusing. One day I’m wearing flip-flops and on that same day, I’m in my boots.

You really always have to be prepared for these swift weather changes and know that nothing is constant in life. Especially when you’re talking a South Florida winter. 
But one thing that is constant is my steadfast love of coconut; especially coconut desserts. I can’t get enough of them. What I really wanted to make was a gigantic layer cake frosted and with oodles of coconut all over the sides and the top. This time I restrained. I will still make that coconut cake, but not just yet. We’re exercising and trying to behave over here. And I’m not claiming that this cake is healthy by any means just because it doesn’t have oodles of frosting. It does have a fair amount of butter. I did use organic.;)

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I can say with confidence that in the very near future (like, tomorrow!) I will be making Joy the Bakers Chocolate Coconut Almond Scones. I keep going back to that recipe and reminding myself to make it. I love to make scones on weekends and haven’t gotten organized to whip them out. But soon! And then next on my coconut dream list are these Double Coconut Dream Muffins I spied on Smitten Kitchen’s (they’re really not called Double Coconut Dream Muffins…I just added the Dream part;) site last month. 
Oh my coconut goodness! Coconut oil and coconut in the batter and on top. Plus Deb suggests using coconut milk if you would like your muffins to be dairy-free. Why yes, I would love coconut milk in my muffin. Can’t wait to make these cuties! 
This is a cake my mother-in-law Teresa taught me how to make one summer in Italy. Like most Italian cakes, it’s pretty simple and straightforward. A little jam on top and it’s not overly sweet. My dad tried it and told me he prefers my apple cake. Yes, dad! I know…just apple desserts for you. I could write a book on apple desserts with all the different cakes and pies I’ve made just for you.

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Coconut and Almond Cake-Torta di Cocco e Mandorle

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
9 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
3/4 cup of ground almonds
1 cup finely shredded coconut

Topping:
3 tablespoons apricot jam (or your favorite jam)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan with removable bottom. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until creamy (about 5 minutes). Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the mixer with a spatula to make sure you’re mixing it all together.

Add the flour mixture to the batter in three portions and incorporate stopping the mixture to scrape down the sides of the bowl after the addition of each portion. With the mixer on medium-low speed, mix in the shredded coconut and ground almonds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with your spatula to incorporate. 

Spoon your batter into your prepared baking pan and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Check cake at about 40 minutes. Every oven is different. If cake is browning, cover with aluminum foil for remainder of baking time. Let cool for about 20 minutes before removing from cake pan.

When the cake has cooled, remove from the pan and place on your serving dish. In a small bowl whisk together the shredded coconut and powdered sugar. Spread the jam on top of the cooled cake and sprinkle the coconut/powdered sugar on top.

What’s your favorite coconut dessert? Do you go crazy for coconut in desserts and other recipes like I do?;) Pin It

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