12 November 2014

Baked Occasions

We love those "Baked" boys, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito!  We loved Baked.  We loved Baked Explorations. We loved Baked Elements, though we never wrote about it.  We were wondering why we didn't write about it, and whether we should write about it before we wrote about about Baked Occasions, but we couldn't decide and we couldn't wait, so here is Baked Occasions.

We usually don't go all in on baking books.  We don't like a lot of sweet, we don't like anything that doesn't contain chocolate, we don't like to read we need glucose, or meringue powder, or orange water, or sheet gelatin and on and on.  (We do love having to buy a speciality pan of some sort to bake in, but I digress....)

We are not going to lie to you -- these recipes are quite long and involved.  Don't panic.  As with much baking, you need several leaveners, so there is baking powder, baking soda and salt; then a mix of white and brown sugar, plus confectioner's sugar for glazes, whole eggs and an occasional extra white or yolk, and flavorings -- these things add up to long recipes, but not unmanageable.  Read the recipes -- basically, most baking boils down to dry stuff, sweet stuff, oily stuff and wet stuff.  Those four things in a myriad of combinations is baking.  

Lewis and Poliafito specialize in making desserts that harken back to childhood, retaining that wonder and elevating the baking with a modern spin on flavor.  Every cookie, cake, and tart is, indeed, an occasion. Each year the pair celebrates Dolly Parton's birthday by making this special cake. 
"It would be easy, almost lazy, to categorize our yearly birthday tribute to Dolly Parton (forever known far and wide as just “Dolly”) as mere kitsch. While we are partially attracted to Dolly’s camp factor (who isn’t?), we are equally, if not more, fascinated by her business acumen and all-around talent. She is Martha Stewart with a banjo. She is Oprah with a country heart. Her musical accolades are well known and well deserved"
They have done Dolly well.  This recipe was featured in Sweet Paul a while back.  Yes, it is long, but you can do it.  Do it for Dolly!  Just divide and conquer!  The cake has four parts.  The cake, the filling, the glaze and the sprinkles.  

Dolly's Doughnut

For the Coconut Bundt Cake:

3 cups (385 g) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan

21/2 cups (500 g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons coconut extract

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

11⁄3 cups (315 ml) unsweetened coconut milk

For the Dark Chocolate Coconut Filling:

5 ounces (140 g) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (40 g) lightly packed unsweetened shredded coconut

6 ounces (170 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), melted and cooled

1 large egg

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Simple Coconut Glaze:

4 to 6 tablespoons (60 to 90 ml) coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (225 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

6 ounces (170 g) good quality white chocolate, melted but still warm

Red or pink food dye or gel

For Décor:

Pink or rainbow sprinkles (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Butter the inside of a 10- or 12-cup (2.4- or 2.8-L) Bundt pan, dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour. Alternatively, spray the pan with cooking spray. Either way, make sure the pan’s nooks and crannies are all thoroughly coated.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl again, add the coconut and vanilla extracts, and beat until just incorporated.

4. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mixing after each addition until just combined, about 10 seconds; do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the standing mixer, transfer the batter to a large bowl, and clean and dry the mixing bowl.


1. In the now-clean bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the unsweetened coconut, melted dark chocolate, egg, and granulated sugar and beat again until completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for a few more seconds. Add 1/2 cup of the cake batter to the filling batter and fold until incorporated.


1. Spoon half of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the filling on top of the batter, keeping it in the center of the batter and away from the sides of the pan. Then pour the remaining half of the batter over the filling. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until a small sharp knife or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

2. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack. Place a baking sheet (lined with parchment if you like, for easy cleanup) underneath the wire rack.

1. In a large bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of the coconut milk, the coconut extract, and vanilla extract. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Slowly stir in the warm white chocolate. We prefer a thick yet pourable glaze; if the glaze appears too thick, thin it out with additional coconut milk, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Stir in the food dye, a few drops at a time, until the desired color is reached.

2. Pour the glaze in large, thick ribbons over the crown of the Bundt, allowing the glaze to spread and drip down the sides of the cake. Top with sprinkles, if using. Allow the glaze to set before serving, about 5 minutes.


The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

We are thoroughly enamored of the ribbon of chocolate running throughout this cake—it is a tasty and fun surprise. However, if you are not a chocolate fan (the horror!), you can turn Dolly’s Doughnut into a straight-up (and quite tasty) coconut-y Bundt. Simply omit the dark chocolate filling in its entirety, pour all of the coconut batter directly into the pan, and bake per the recipe. We leave it up to you whether you want to omit the white chocolate glaze (and whether you consider white chocolate to be chocolate, anyway).

Yes, making this cake an occasion fit for a Dolly, or anyone else you might adore!


  1. Sounds like a very cool book, Lucinda! I am so NOT a baker especialy these days. I do know a lot of them though and they would LOVE this book and anything Dolly!

    Thanks for sharing, Lucinda...

    P.S. I'm going to try and link it up, fingers crossed:)

  2. I bake a lot; of course, 6 sons will make a baker of anyone! This cake sounds marvelous, although I don't know why you should call the sprinkles optional; they are part of the fun of this cake! Thank you for the Dolly Parton inspiration - she's one of my heroines! And thanks for introducing me to this cookbook.

  3. 3 Researches REVEAL Why Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you actually kill fat by consuming coconut fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from major medical journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin