If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

The Coconuttiest of Coconut Cake of all time from John Barricelli of SoNo Bakery and Café

         Our friends, Don and Jeff had a dinner party this weekend.  Among the invitees were two of their friends from Miami, where they have a winter home. We’d met Jorge and Peter before.  In fact, the last time we met them, Andrew had brought the dessert pictured above (on Don and Jeff’s kitchen counter).  As it turned out, Jorge had fallen so hard for this coconuttiest of all cakes, that whenever and wherever he saw Coconut cake on a menu, he would order it. For two years,  he kept hoping he’d find one that matched this incredible recipe.  And no wonder, this is a coconut lover’s dream, because it’s coconut on coconut covered with more coconut.  The result is a decadent buttery cake filled with coconut pastry cream. But it doesn’t even stop there.  Shredded coconut covers the coconut buttercream icing like a blizzard of sweetness.  It’s a three layer cake made in a single nine inch pan.  Is it hard to make?  Well I tried to convince Jorge and Peter that they too could achieve this result in Miami.  But I don’t think I got very far.   Andrew then offered the following piece of new news.  Apparently one of our friends told him that she had taken a cake recipe off Chewing the Fat, gone to her local bakery and they had baked the cake for her. I keep thinking that Jorge might be able to pull that one off himself.  Because if he did, I could almost guarantee that baker would put this cake on their regular cake list instantly.  To non-bakers like Jorge and me, anything this elaborate looks difficult.  But Andrew assures me it’s not.  And I can promise you that the results are worth any degree of difficulty, it’s just that good.

John Barricelli
         John Barricelli has appeared in Chewing the Fat before and he will again. Chef Barricelli has a background equal to his status as a third generation baker.  He was Martha Stewart’s right hand baker on her TV show, hosted her Everyday Baking Show and then, in 2005, took his talents north where he opened his SoNo Bakery in South Norwalk CT.  of all places.  But with the New York Times waxing over his wares, and saying “This new bakery is superb and proves it daily”, it naturally became a reason for pastry lovers to come from all over to sample the chef’s creations.  In 2010, John wrote “The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter 2010) which is where Andrew found the recipe for today’s Coconut Cake.  If you are looking around for a great baking cookbook, put this one on your list.  John is a great teacher.  And like all great teachers, his instructions are highly detailed, his explanations of techniques don’t stint on details.  All of which is to say, don’t be put off by the length of this recipe.  The devil, after all, is in the details.  Here is the recipe:

4 thoughts on “The Coconuttiest of Coconut Cake of all time from John Barricelli of SoNo Bakery and Café”

  • How stunning is that?! What a presentation that would make and the taste….. Thanks for making me crave cake…not that I needed any help in that department.

    I can't wait for the weather to cool off so I can get back to baking.

    Thanks, Monte!


  • I have been coming back to look at this gorgeous cake for days… it makes me happy. C: Wait till I bake it, I think my head will explode with anticipation! C:

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