Coconut Cashew Cake


It goes by sanwin makin in Myanmar.  It's a traditional favorite sweet cake there that's full of flavor, and very moist ~ a one-bowl cake; meaning, wet and dry ingredients are mixed together in one bowl.


I’m a fan of the good taste and texture of semolina bread and was intrigued when I saw Thomas Keller on his Milk Street PBS show making this cake.  I just happen to have the The Complete Milk Street TV Show Cookbook but evidently cruised on by this recipe.

You’ve probably come upon semolina in pizza and pasta.  Unfortunately, I haven’t shopped at a store around here that carries it, so I ordered it from King Arthur Flour.  


Semolina’s yellow color and coarse texture looks more like cornmeal to me, the flour is actually made from wheat though, from coarsely-ground durum wheat.  

Its deep color comes from high concentrations of carotenoids, the same components which give carrots, apricots, and pumpkins their bright colors.  It gives pizza dough a slightly sweet, rich flavor, more cake-like crumb, and a pleasing buttery color.


The flour is commonly used in many cultures.  Sprinkle a bit of the flour for added crunch to roasted potatoes and other root veggies.  Use it when making pizzas, breads, and dumplings.  It sometimes is also used to coat chicken pieces or slices of fish before pan frying in oil, to give it a crispy coating. 

I used it for this cake:  Semolina and shredded unsweetened coconut are toasted in the oven before whisking together with a can of coconut milk.  Shredded coconut acts as a flour substitute by adding flavor but not gluten or structure.  Coconut milk provides the cake with a springy, tender, moist texture, that's not chewy.  It has a totally different texture than the usual cake. 

Ready for the oven

Voila!
The cake might be described as partly cake, a little pudding, with a spoon bread-like texture.  Aromatic and flavorful cardamom is included in the cake along with a sprinkling of roasted cashews and coconut sprinkled over the top.  

It’s an easy cake to make, a unique cake that's not slathered with a plethora of frosting.  It’s generally served chilled, but can be enjoyed slightly warm also, or our favorite way ~ room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream on top.  




It just might work for your Easter dinner dessert...

Try it, treat your family and friends!



COCONUT CASHEW CAKE
Printable recipe


Ingredients:

1 cup semolina flour
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1 (14 ounces) can coconut milk*
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 large eggs
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup unsalted roasted cashew, coarsely chopped


Method:

Heat oven to 350° with a rack in the middle position.
Line bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment.
Mist parchment and sides of pan with cooking spray.
On a rimmed baking sheet, combine semolina and ⅓ cup of shredded coconut in an even layer.
Toast until fragrant and golden at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Transfer to a large bowl, immediately add the coconut milk and whisk to combine.
Set aside until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Increase oven to 375°.
To semolina mixture, add brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, cardamom and salt.
Whisk until well combined.
Pour the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with cashews and remaining 2 tablespoons shredded coconut.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
Run a knife around the pan, then invert onto the rack and removed the pan and parchment.
Re-invert onto a serving plate.
Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

*Do not use light coconut milk

Enjoy!



40 comments:

  1. Hi Pam, This is my kind of cake. Dense and moist with lots of texture and flavor combinations going on. Great recipe! Thanks... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dave! It's different for sure.

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  2. Pam this cake looks absolutely stunning and delicious ! xo

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gloria! It's easy to make too!

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  3. Replies
    1. Oh, I do too! It's a great spice in baked goods. Take care

      Delete
  4. The cake sounds and looks so tempting with coconut and cashew. The moist, dense texture reminds me of my favourite coffee cake.

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    Replies
    1. It is tempting, Angie! Different sort of texture, good!

      Delete
  5. Interesting semolina (semoule here) is something I have never cooked with, I wonder if it is in the supermarkets? Must have a look as this sounds a quite different flavour. Have a good week, Diane

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    Replies
    1. It's good, Diane! Hope you find the flour! The texture is great too. Take care

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  6. Mr. Ken would be all over this cake!

    Coconut is his fave.

    Pop by the old blog I and doing the A to Z
    Challenge. Foods Around the World is my
    theme.

    M : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for Mr. Ken, Melinda! I love coconut too. See you later!

      Delete
  7. 'Moist' is a magic word for me. When it comes to both bread and cake - I like moist texture.
    Semolina and coconut are two favorites of mine. During The upcoming Passover holiday we eat a lot of coconut cakes and cookies (no semolina flour allowed); after the holiday, we'll try your recipe with the semolina ingredient. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Hope you give it a try, Duta! I think it's better the next day after it has set, the texture and flavor is different and good. Take care

      Delete
  8. Semolina is a stable in our pantry as we use it often. But, I've not made a cake with it, bread yes, but not a cake. Toasting the coconut and semolina sounds very interesting and anything with coconut milk works for me. We'll be leaving off the cashews though (allergies), but I think it'll still be a great cake.

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    Replies
    1. The cake should be great without the cashews, Ron! Bet you've made some good semolina bread. Thanks and take care

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  9. I love the idea of one bowl cake...and the combination of coconut and cashew sounds amazing...thanks for the recipe Pam. Have a wonderful week!

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    Replies
    1. One bowl makes life easy! Thanks, Juliana! You have a wonderful rest of the week also!

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  10. Semolina is pretty unfamiliar in standard US kitchens, but popular elsewhere. I tried a recipe once for a soup that used it for thickening -- it was a very quick preparation, and pretty good. But I haven't tried it in cake, sounds like a good idea.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the flour is not so easy to find in this neck of the woods. And I bet it's a good thickening agent for soup. I love semolina bread! Thanks, Mae!

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  11. I love simple cakes like this and coconut and cashew is such a unique creation. Can't wait to try!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Abbe! This is a good simple cake, easy to make and good to eat! Hope you like it!

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  12. As you explained, the texture of this cake looks exactly same... good to know about this combination..

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    Replies
    1. Hi M and E! The texture is unique for sure! Thanks!

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  13. Neat cake! I love coconut, so this one is for me. Don't think I've had coconut and cashews together -- fun idea. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I've never had the combo either, John, but I'll try it again now, it's pretty good. Take care

      Delete
  14. What an interesting cake! I love cakes like this that are moist and delicious on their own without frosting. I haven't baked with semolina either so all of the ingredients sound so interesting and delicious together!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susan! Yes, I like cakes without frosting too sometimes, this one is good! Take care

      Delete
  15. Beautiful cake and so tasty sounding too! Love the brilliant combinations of coconut and cashews. We use semolina in our cooking but I never tried a cake. This looks awesome.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Balvinder! It was good and tasty with coconut and cashews. Take care

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  16. Whoa, that slice is so very tempting! I adore all things coconut!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Liz! I'm a coconut lover too! Take care

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  17. I always enjoy visiting your blog. Not only do I get some wonderful recipes, but I am always learning about things that I never knew. Coconut and cashews, oh my....both are great tasting and so, I can only guess how great this cake taste...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shug! You made my day! Those two are great together, who would've thought? Have a wonderful weekend!

      Delete
  18. What a lovely idea for a cake, very unusual, I would love to try it☺

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    Replies
    1. Hi natalia! It is unusual, very different! Take care

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  19. Looks very moist and delicious! I would love to have a slice!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joyce! Wish I could pass a slice through to you, it's pretty good! take care

      Delete
  20. I love semolina in a cake (I like a courser texture). I just discovered your blog and plan to make this cake for our Easter dinner.

    ReplyDelete


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You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
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