chocolate coconut buttermilk loaf cake + the art of packing


Right now I have to accept the fact that my apartment looks like it’s been hit by a typhoon. This is a real struggle for a Type-A neat freak, who has started sweeping around the towering bags of food ready to be moved downstairs. Yesterday it occurred to me that packing my things into boxes didn’t even make sense, even when I sent emails and purchased boxes out of habit, because when I’ve ever had to move to another floor? My moves have always involved trucks, buff bros and a quaking kitty. This go-around I’m packing my foodstuffs in bags, hauling my clothes down in hangers, and hiring someone to help me with the heavy lifting.

And although I was initially tempted with the idea of filling the space, simply for the fact that this apartment is nearly twice the size of my current home, I paused. The space is for living not for things. The space is meant to have people over for a proper dinner party. The space is meant for doing yoga and writing and having space to think.

This weekend has been something of a maelstrom, however, what’s been wonderful is the fact that I’ve thrown out and given away so much. I’ve only ordered the essentials for my home {2 new white bookcases — one for the kitchen and one for the office, a vacuum cleaner, and some marble tiles for my food photographs}, with plans to invest in a dining table once I score another consulting project.

Until then, this Type-A neat freak will deal with the mini typhoon and pare down to only the things I love, while feasting on some homemade pound cake, naturally.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup virgin coconut oil, room temperature
1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup buttermilk
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325°. Butter an 8×4” loaf pan; line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat oil, ¼ cup butter, and 1½ cups sugar until pale and fluffy, 5–7 minutes. If you’re using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, you can cut the mixing times in this recipe in half. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions; beat until mixture is very light and doubled in volume, 5–8 minutes. Add vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients (do not overmix; it will cause cake to buckle and split). Scrape batter into prepared pan and run a spatula through the center, creating a canal. Sprinkle with coconut and remaining 1 tbsp. sugar.

Bake cake, tenting with foil if coconut browns too much before cake is done (it should be very dark and toasted), until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 70–80 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool in pan 20 minutes before turning out.


10 thoughts on “chocolate coconut buttermilk loaf cake + the art of packing

  1. Lovely recipe, lovely pictures. Yours sounds and looks like a beautiful, light-filled home. I especially like the line “The space is meant for doing yoga and writing and having space to think.” I totally believe in it!


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