Coconut Poppy Seed Cake

coconut 14I. Am. Exhausted.

This new “early morning” shift I’ve been gifted with is kicking my butt.

Waking up at 3:30am? Going into work at midnight and working until 11am? Too. Much.

I’ll get the hang of it soon, but for now I feel like all I’m doing is working and sleeping. It’s been difficult adjusting to a new shift, that’s for sure.

So I was VERY excited when the weekend rolled around this week. I could relax, do some retail therapy, get back into the kitchen and enjoy life with my  boyfriend. It has been an excellent weekend, and I’m very sad it’s coming to an end, but I feel a ton better about working early this week. Plus, the THUNDER WON! We’re going to the next round, baby, and we kicked the daylights out of Memphis!

Yesterday while Stephen and I were watching the game, I had a whole meal cooking for our nice game-day date night. Parmesan-panko crusted chicken, rosemary garlic potato wedges, and this amazing draw out of my recipe box. I cannot believe I used to HATE coconut when I was kid—and well up until a few years ago. Now, I can’t get enough of it. Coconut oil, water, milk, cake, cream pie, cookies….I love coconut. It’s my favorite topping for frozen yogurt (toasted coconut, though). I love coconut fried shrimp (I’m a sucker for Red Lobster’s). Coconut is my new favorite tropical fruit, barely edging out mango.

So I couldn’t wait for this experiment. I love poppy seed muffins, and I love coconut, and I love easy-peasy recipes. Like I’ve said before, I am not a great baker, so when a fancy sounding cake calls for pre-made cake mix, I’m sold.

Coconut Poppy Seed Cake

  • 1 pkg. white cake mix (regular size)
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 3 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 2 pkg. (3.4 oz each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut, toasted

coconut`1. Prepare cake according to package directions, adding coconut and poppy seeds to batter.

coconut 32. Pour into greased 13×9″ baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely.

coconut 53. In a large bowl, whisk the milk, extract, and pudding mixes together for 2 minutes. Let stand or refrigerate for 2-5 minutes or until soft set and firm.

coconut 74. Spread pudding over the cake. Spread with whipped topping and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

coconut 12coconut 11I cannot tell you enough how good this cake tastes. The cake is almost angel-food like, and the topping is wonderful. A little bit of coconut extract goes a LONG way. And a normal 3.4 oz box of pudding calls for 2 cups of milk, and you use two boxes, but only 3.5 cups of milk to make it a little more firm. Also, an easy way to toast coconut is to spread it in an even layer on a baking sheet, set your oven to broil, and literally pop it in for maybe one minute. Keep an eye out because it will burn easily.

coconut 8

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