I have a confession to make. I’m kind of in love with The Chew. I wasn’t very optimistic about it, but tuned in on the first day to see what it was like, and I was hooked pretty much instantly. It’s a really fun show to watch with light conversation topics, hosts with awesome personalities, some amazing recipes, cool taped pieces, and just a really great all-around vibe. I don’t add a lot of the recipes to the list, mostly because they don’t make many desserts, and when they do, they tend to involve lots and lots of chocolate, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it any less. I watch it for background noise that is stress-free, as opposed to some of the other talk shows out there.
I’ve been a Michael Symon fan for a long time from seeing him on the Food Network and Cooking Channel, and I love watching him on The Chew. I recently posted my version of his microwave carrot cake, which I love. The Chew also introduced me to Daphne Oz. I didn’t really know who she was before watching The Chew, but in a short time, I’ve come to like and respect her. She’s an intelligent, pretty woman who focuses on healthy eating but also understands there is room in life for splurges. This Coconut Pecan Cake is one Daphne made on The Chew, and it is definitely a splurge.
I wanted to try making this since before Christmas when Daphne made it and finally got around to it. I love coconut and pecans. I also love cake, especially those made in my Bundt pan. This cake was easy to put together. I did end up using the hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar since my butter seemed a little hard even though it had been sitting out all day long.
The smell of coconut was totally intoxicating as usual, but was not overpowering in the end product; just the right amount of coconut flavor was present. I left the pecans in rather large pieces, some whole, because I like pecans in some bites and not others. They add just the right amount of crunch. The cake took awhile to bake, as Bundt cakes tend to do. Just keep an eye on it to avoid overbaking.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, a sugar syrup is poured over it. It sizzles and bubbles, before soaking into the cake. It is then inverted as soon as possible onto a serving plate – not a cooling rack. Once inverted, pour most of the remaining sugar syrup over the top of the cake. Some it will soak in, while some will pool on the plate; make sure it doesn’t go to waste, as it is so yummy. Save the leftovers of the syrup to drizzle over individual pieces.
Here’s the thing. The cake looked pretty brown, almost burnt, when it came out of the oven and was inverted. It didn’t smell burnt, but the look was definitely worrysome. However, there was no reason for alarm, as there was no burnt taste whatsoever; I actually think the crusty exterior was my favorite part, and is definitely the perfect foil to the rich, moist, dense interior of the cake. If it comes out brown for you, and I’m guessing there’s a good chance that will happen, don’t worry. It’s so good. Give it the chance it deserves.
One of the other amazing things about this cake is that it can be, and definitely should be, eaten warm. There aren’t many recipes out there that don’t warn you to let your baked goods cool to room temperature. But not this one. Go for it! Eat it warm! Enjoy every unctuous bite! Just don’t burn yourself.
This is totally my new favorite bundt cake, and maybe one of my favorite desserts period. The wonderfully moist and rich cake on the inside, made even more so by the syrup, along with the crunchy exterior, softened some by the syrup, is complemented so well by the pecans and tropical coconut. I can’t really say enough good things about this cake. I’m so glad being a fan of The Chew and Daphne Oz led me to this cake; I can’t wait to try more of her recipes. Perhaps it will make you a fan of The Chew too, and if not, you’ll at least be a fan of this cake.
Update: I made this cake again and loved it even more. It did not get as brown and was even better than the first time. I also swapped unsweetened coconut milk for buttermilk and really liked that addition. I think it may have made the difference.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 4 large eggs (pasteurized if you like)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 ¼ cups shredded unsweetened coconut (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter, eggs, and sugar together with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low, alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk to butter mixture, beginning and finishing with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stir in coconut and pecans until fully incorporated.
- Pour batter into a bundt pan which has been buttered and floured to ensure easy removal. Spread batter evenly over pan. Bake for about 60-65 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs on it.
- Five or so minutes before the cake is finished baking, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, before reducing the heat and cooking for about 5 minutes more. Timing does not have to be exact; if it is done before the cake comes out of the oven, pull it off the burner, and leave it until the cake is ready.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour half the syrup over the cake. It will bubble and sizzle. As soon as the cake cools slightly and stops sizzling, invert the cake onto a serving plate, being very careful, as the cake is still hot. When the cake is inverted onto the plate, it should come out of the pan easily, pour most of the remainder of the syrup over the cake. Let cake sit for about 10 minutes, before cutting into pieces and serving with more syrup drizzled over each piece.
- The cake may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.