Coconut and Almond Cake {Torta di Cocco e Mandorle}

by cakeduchess on March 7, 2012 · 56 comments

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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

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew's Mom March 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Oh my coconut and almond – two of my favorites. Printing this now!

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I love cakes like this – perfect for dessert or even afternoon spuntino! Apricot jam sounds delicious with coconut.

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:57 am

so do I! It was lovely as a spuntino;)

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A Thought For Food March 7, 2012 at 4:05 pm

This looks absolutely fabulous, Lora! I need to get my hands on that book!

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Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) March 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Coconut and almonds are such a winning combination–I love seeing the two of them together in a cake. What you said about the simplicity of Italian cakes and how they’re not too sweet–that’s what I like most about them, too…but I understand your dad. :) It’s been a while since I last made an apple dessert so I bought a bag of Granny Smith’s a few days ago–hopefully I’ll be inspired to make something sweet with them this weekend. :)

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:54 am

Thanks, Jean! I hope you make an apple dessert…can’t wait to see it:)

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S.V. March 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

This cake looks and sounds fantastic!!! I love the combination of coconut and almond together. I posted coconut loaf cakes today so we are definitely on the same page. :)

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:55 am

That sounds fantastic!!:)

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Karriann March 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I bet this smells fantastic! Can’t wait to whip this up in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

“Happy Cooking”

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Emily March 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I am going to be dreaming coconut tonight thanks to this post. This looks like a great cake and I am heading on over now to check out muffins.

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Brittany Campbell March 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

That is beautiful! and sounds delicious with jam on it. yum!!

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Sandra M. March 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm

You paired two of my favorite flavors..Love the cake..got to say it is what i love the most with my coffee or tea! Amazing photos dear Lora, tempting and tasty!!!xoxo

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Kiri W. March 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm

This looks fantastic – two of my favorite things in a gorgeous torta :) I can relate – we had snow storms on the weekend, and today it’s in the 60s!

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Elisabeth March 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Lora-your Coconut Almond Cake was really, really delicious, simple, yet so amazing…keep making your amazing cakes that we all love:DDD
Buzzed you!

p.s. also left comment for the #greenslove on your previous post!
xoxo

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The Food Hunter March 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm

perfect flavor combo

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Cookin' Canuck March 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Yes, yes, yes to coconut desserts (sorry, Lora’s dad)! This sounds simple and absolutely perfect.

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Amy March 8, 2012 at 12:24 am

This cake would be a favorite of mine, as I love coconut and almonds! The shredded coconut on top is a nice textural addition to the cake!

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Maureen March 8, 2012 at 1:28 am

I love how this cake is made and the jam with sprinkled coconut on top is brilliant. Not gooey and too sweet. (although there’s a lot to be said for gooey and too sweet on occasion)

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Lyn @LovelyPantry March 8, 2012 at 2:56 am

I absolutely adore the ingredients. I recently re-acquainted myself with apricot Jam – not sure how I ignored it for over a decade. I think I will have to try making this lovely cake. Nicely done, Lora!

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:52 am

Thanks so much, Lyn:)I think you need to reacquaint yourself with it;)

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Ann March 8, 2012 at 3:17 am

This looks delicious and it sounds like you have a coco-nutty goodness planned!

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Dionne Baldwin March 8, 2012 at 5:22 am

Ooo I love the looks of this cake. And your photo! It gave me that contented happy feeling I get in the spring and summer with constant fresh and and warmth! (sigh)

I love coconut too. I remember getting those bunny cakes when I was little. In the shape of a bunny with coconut on top. YUM! If I get gutsy we will make one of those!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful cake you beautiful woman! xo

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:53 am

awww…my mom baked us that cake:)She’s made it for the grandkids too and they love it:)Thanks, Dionne!xx

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LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! March 8, 2012 at 8:14 am

i’m with you on the coconut! I can’t get enought coconut love coconut cakes!

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LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! March 8, 2012 at 8:14 am

i’m with you on the coconut! I can’t get enought coconut love coconut cakes!

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LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! March 8, 2012 at 8:14 am

i’m with you on the coconut! I can’t get enought coconut love coconut cakes!

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LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! March 8, 2012 at 8:14 am

i’m with you on the coconut! I can’t get enought coconut love coconut cakes!

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Eliotseats March 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

Love coconut! This sounds amazing!

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Ilke March 8, 2012 at 11:50 am

Sometimes a simple cake would do! I like anything ground almond in it.
Gotta give credit to your dad, he stands his ground even in front of this beauty:)

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:53 am

Thanks, Ilke! He does…stubborn about Apple Love:)

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Reem | Simply Reem March 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm

This cake has left me speechless….
Absolutely Gorgeous!!!!
Coconut…. I am in love.

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Liren March 9, 2012 at 2:58 am

Hee hee, the organic butter makes it all better, Lora :) I love coconut too, so I am all over this cake! Don’t even miss the frosting, but I can’t wait to see that creation, too.

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:55 am

hahaha! It does, right Liren?:)I will get to it. I need to b/c I can’t stop thinking of it;)

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Baker Street March 9, 2012 at 3:11 am

Love that you used organic butter. Somehow you don’t feel that bad eating a rather huge slice. Heh. The cake looks spectacular Lora! :)

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Monet March 9, 2012 at 3:38 am

I love these family recipes! And you know I love coconut! Like Florida, Austin’s temperature has been fluctuating. It is driving me mad! Thank you for sharing this cake. It looks so very good! I hope you are having a great week. We’re gearing up for a busy weekend. Love and hugs.

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BigFatBaker March 9, 2012 at 4:55 am

Gorgeous. I love the shredded coconut.

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SweetSugarBelle March 9, 2012 at 6:59 am

I love that this is such a simple straightforward dessert. It presents natural flavored and brings back the simplicity of dessert. Sometimes we get overly processed and forget. Gotta live those Italian ladies!

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Carolyn March 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Delish, girl! I am pinning this one!

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:56 am

Thanks for the Pin, Carolyn!!

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Julia March 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I loooooove coconut too. I can just smell the coconut baking, filling my house with the sweet aroma. Mmmmm, so good!!!

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:51 am

The smell of coconut baking is enticing:)

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Kitchen Belleicious March 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Oh it looks to die for! The coconut and almond flavors together is a match made in heaven! Delish!

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Shulie March 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm

This is lethal Lora, as in good lethal! :) Almond plus coconut equals LOVE. The birds are chirping here since January and we are not even in Florida. Building nests and we didn’t have time to brush off the leaves off the bushes yet. I guess if we touch anywhere around their nests they will abandon it.

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Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking March 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm

This cake is so lovely, Lora! It looks so moist and flavorful, just from your photos. Thanks for sharing this pretty, spring-inspired cake! I hope you have a very nice weekend.

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts March 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm

The cake looks beautiful! Great flavors, moist and delicious for spring!

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Cake Duchess March 10, 2012 at 2:51 am

I feel spring is here:)Thank you, Erin!

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Reeni March 10, 2012 at 1:29 am

I’m a coconut lover too! With a dollop of jam over top I turn into one happy girl! The weather has been crazy nuts here too! It was 70 yesterday and now it’s going to snow. Have a great weekend Lora! xoxo

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Lael Hazan @educatedpalate March 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Simplicity with flavor, the essense of Italian desserts! Although, I’m looking forward to that book of Apple desserts, I tend to agree with your dad re: great apple desserts take the cake anytime.

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Jersey Girl Cooks March 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Coconut and almond is a great combo.Looks moist and delicious.

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bunkycooks March 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I love these simple and elegant cakes that are so popular in Europe. Your lovely cake has reminded me to get back into the kitchen and do some baking!!

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Magic of Spice March 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I love this combination! Gorgeous torta :)

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Jamie March 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

JP prefers apple desserts to almost any but mmmm I love coconut! Maybe it is the Florida girl in me? Every time we drove down to Miami Beach when I was a kid to visit my Uncle, we would find coconuts under the trees on his street and bring one home, crack it open and eat it fresh. Delish! And I’ve actually been starting to think about baking with coconut which I never do! You’ve got me going now, baby! Looks fabulous!

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Paula March 13, 2012 at 4:05 am

My Dad loved apple desserts too. I’m with you today though as far as this coconut and almond cake go. Love that it looks so delicious.

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Lisa March 13, 2012 at 9:17 am

I love his cake – it’s like almond joy minus the chocolate, but a few drizzles of chocolate wouldn’t hurt, if I accidentally spilled some on top, right? ;) BTW, you could have worn flip-flops in the NYC area for much of the Winter. Only three days of actual freezing Winter this year – weird ozone stuff going on.

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England Furniture Company March 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm

This coconut and almond cake looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

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AdriBarr March 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

My, but what a lovely cake. And indeed, typical Italian. I adore coconut, so I must try this one. Thank you for a great post.

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