Coconut Cake with Spun Sugar Christmas Tree – Cheap Family Dinner Party Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease two 18cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
  2. Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add coconut essence and then add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add half the dry ingredients (flour + coconut) followed by half the wet ingredients (sour cream + milk) and mix until just combined.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined, taking care not to overmix. Split mixture between the two tins and bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Cool in tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

For the icing:

  1. Place cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add lemon zest, then add icing sugar gradually, beating until combined. In a separate mixing bowl, beat cream to nearly stiff peaks then add to cream cheese mixture and mix until smooth. Take care not to overmix.
  2. Sandwich icing between the two cake layers and crumb coat the cake with icing. Use the remaining icing to cover the cake completely.

For the spun sugar trees:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan on low heat. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes until the mixture becomes a bubbling, thickened syrup.
  2. Place the base of the saucepan carefully in cold water to halt the cooking process. Using two forks held back-to-back (see photo above) dip prongs into the syrup mixture. Shake the forks back and forth over a clean, lightly oiled sharpening steel or long metal skewer (this will be messy so it is best to cover your bench top in baking paper), so that long threads of spun sugar are formed. Lift up spun sugar threads carefully and wrap around the tip of a lollipop stick, pinching the top end so that it forms a cone. If the syrup starts to harden too much, return the pan briefly to low heat until the mixture melts again. Keep the sugar tree in fridge.
  3. Place spun sugar trees on top of the cake and dust lightly with icing sugar right before serving

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