Weird Man's Birthday

Today is Al's birthday.  He's weird.  I'm sure he wasn't born weird or his mother would have said something to me before marrying him..hmmmm.  His weirdness works for me.  Today is his birthday but he buys ME an IPAD!  How weird is that?

Al helps out; cleaning the floors (vacuuming and mopping) every Friday; a good hubby he is.  One Friday though; we had this exchange :

Me : did you clean the floor?
Al :  yeah
Me : it doesn't feel clean
Al :  I decided to mop every other week
Me in my head : WHAT the HECK???!!!

Weird man.

Weird or not, he's mine.  To honor his day, I'm making a birthday cake; his favorite; The Halekulani Hotel Coconut Cake.  This cake is the Hotel's signature dessert; a light; airy sponge cake; layered with an amaretto pastry cream; covered with a beautiful whipped cream frosting...sooo delish!  Here it is; in all it's creamy glory.

The recipe looks a bit daunting but I'm always surprised how quickly it comes together. 

    Sponge Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

    Pastry Cream (PREPARE this first)

  • 2 cups 2% low-fat milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup Amaretto

    Whipped Cream

  • 3 cups heavy cream 
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes 


  1. To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan. ( I used 2 9" cake pans)
  2. To prepare the cake, sift together cake flour, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. In separate bowl, combine oil, egg and water; add to flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
  3. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter until just combined.
  4. Pour into pan and bake about 30 minutes or until center is set. Remove from pan set aside to cool. Store in the refrigerator several hours before cutting.  (NOTE: for the 9" cake pans, check for doneness after 20 minutes)
  5. To prepare the pastry cream, combine 1 3/4 cups milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles form.
  6. Combine remaining milk with cornstarch; add eggs and beat several times. Add ½ cup hot milk mixture to egg mixture; mix well. Pour egg mixture back into milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Scrape custard into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator.
  7. To prepare the whipped cream, combine heavy cream and sugar in a mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
  8. Add 1 cup of whipped cream, amaretto and 1 1/4 cups coconut to pastry cream; stir well. Set remaining whipped cream and coconut aside.
  9. When cake is completely cooled, cut into three layers using a serrated knife. Place one layer on a 9-inch cake board or a serving plate. Place half the pastry cream on top and spread to edge evenly. Place second layer of cake on top of pastry cream and spread remaining pastry cream on top. Place third layer of cake on top. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut.
Take a peek at my latest project.  I can't seem to stop making new things; enjoying the process of creating; learning; liking it more than mass producing; although this is also a challenge that I vow to conquer one day.

I'm not sure what to call this...a needle book? a sewing book? a sewing needle book? Whatever it is, it's the perfect sewing partner for when I do hand stitch work; having a place to 'rest' my sewing needle instead of sticking it in my bra..ouch!


  1. Hi Chloeandme ~ thank you...I'm happy how it turned out after a few hiccups trying. I'm deciding what to try next..I don't know why I insist on giving myself a headache! heh.

  2. Stop saying he's weird and consider yourself lucky! :-)

    Happy belated birthday, Al! (Can you teach my hubby to be wise like you? LOL!!)

  3. I am with Marcia...wish I could get mine to do floors too Lucky girl you are:)

    Cute shop!!!

    aka AudreyGardenLady

  4. Hi Marcia ~ Hi Audrey ~

    Well...he does do the laundry too...and cooks dinner on the weekends....does that make me the STEP-WIFE? heh.