Coconut Cake for Old Man Richard

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The first time I made this cake, we were up visiting an old friend who rents a cottage every summer up in Gloucester, Mass.

We spent the greater part of the evening out on the deck, catching up and listening to the waves wash up on the rocks. The drinks were cold. The dogs were running around. The grill was sizzling. It was the perfect thing to round out our seaside barbecue.

This cake is sweet, but not too sweet. And it’s not overly heavy, even though it’s packed with flaky coconut.

Serve it by itself as a mid-afternoon treat, or dress it up for dinnertime with a drizzle of warm chocolate sauce. (I will admit, it’s also an amazingly decadent breakfast.)

Coconut Cake for Old Man Richard

2 cups flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups sweetened, flaked coconut

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, cut to fit your pan. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until light yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat to combine.

Stir this rest of the batter by hand. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until they’re incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Fold in the coconut.

Spoon the batter into your prepared pan. Bake on the middle rack of your oven at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes. The top of the cake should be golden brown and a toothpick when inserted should come out clean.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.