Everything came together at once to inspire this cake! The recipe showed up on my iPad edition of Saveur magazine a couple of weeks ago. I bookmarked it as it looked so good and had such great reviews! http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/pecan-cream-cake Then… I received a beautiful antique cake pedestal stand for Christmas, in my favorite depression glass pattern: Heisey Orchid. The next “sign” was receiving a one pound bag of pecans in our first Besh Box*. All this coincided with needing a dessert for the Fentons family holiday dinner. My only change to the recipe was using two 10″ cake pans, rather than three 8″ pans.
FOR THE CAKE:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
2 cups flour, plus more for pans
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
1¼ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup finely chopped pecans
FOR THE FROSTING:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour three 8″ (or two 10″) cake pans; set aside.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl. Cream butter, shortening, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy, 2–3 minutes.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low-speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high, and beat until batter is smooth, 5–10 seconds.
Whip egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites, coconut, and pecans into batter.
Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth top with a rubber spatula; drop pans lightly on a counter to expel large air bubbles. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 20–22 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks and let cool completely.
Make the frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.
To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake stand lined with 4 strips of waxed paper, and spread with ⅓ cup frosting. (The waxed paper protects your plate and will be removed when finished.)
Top with remaining layer. Cover top and sides with remaining frosting and sprinkle top with pecans; chill cake 1 hour until frosting is firm.
*What’s a Besh Box you ask? One of our favorite chefs. John Besh, has created monthly subscription boxes filled with some of his favorite kitchen tools, special ingredients, recipes, music suggestions and cocktail suggestions. Dave and I subscribed for the year. We look forward to sharing our creations from our monthly Besh Box, with you on this blog. Check it out here: http://beshbox.com/about/