If you’re looking for an impressive dessert with all the YUM factor but without complicated instructions and dirtying multiple bowls, then this recipe for what is called the ‘World’s Best Cake’ may be right up your alley! With sweet, complementary layers of toasted coconut and bananas with ground cinnamon and cardamom, your tongue will be met with a symphony of flavors and textures that will surely never be forgotten. As a tip, you can also add fresh strawberries to add a sweet, juicy twist!
As for whether it’s the ‘World’s Best’ or not, we’ll leave it to you to decide once you’ve tasted it for yourself.
- 10 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, which works out to 1 stick plus 2 • 1/2 tablespoons
- 1 2/3 cups sugar, divided
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, about 170 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 pinch salt
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, and up to 1/2 cup, large flakes recommended but small flakes can absolutely be used
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 or 2 bananas, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a rack in the middle. Line a 9- by a 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and letting some drape over the sides of the pan.
Use either a handheld electric mixer in a large bowl or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar until light and creamy, which takes about 3 minutes.
While using the low speed, mix the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt well.
Mix in the egg yolks and the milk until it is all incorporated, then scrape the batter into the pan you previously prepared.
Clean and thoroughly dry the bowl you used and prepare the whisk attachment of the stand mixer or be prepared with your handheld electric mixer.
Pour egg whites into the clean, dry bowl and make sure there are no specks of yolk, then add the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Beat to soft peaks; this step may take a bit, so patience is key. If the egg whites don’t come to soft peaks, wait until the mixture ribbons back onto itself, then spread it carefully on top of the cake layer.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and puffy. About 15 minutes into the baking time, cover the meringue with coconut flakes so they will attach but won’t burn.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack while you make the whipped cream by pouring the cream into a medium bowl and scraping in the vanilla seeds. Discard the vanilla bean pod. Beat the whipped cream into t soft peaks with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes.
Carefully transfer the cool cake to a cutting board, then use a serrated knife to cut the cake in half crosswise. Place one half of the cake on your tray or cake plate and cover with the cream and banana slices. Place the other half with the merengue on top.
Chill and soften the cake in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.