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Rethinking the basic Danish sheet cake with a caramelized coconut topping
Milk Street Bowtie Danish Dream Cake

Danish Dream Cake

50 minutes plus cooling

Danish Dream Cake

Free

In our version of the Danish baked good known as drømmekage (dream cake), a light, fluffy vanilla cake meets a buttery coconut–brown sugar topping. The topping is spread onto the still-warm cake, then a brief stint under the broiler caramelizes the surface. When applying the topping, spoon it onto the cake’s edges, which are sturdier than its center, then spread inward to cover the entire cake. You will need a broiler-safe 9-by-13-inch baking pan for this recipe (note that neither nonstick nor Pyrex is considered broiler-safe). For slicing, use a serrated knife to make clean cuts. Wrapped well and stored at room temperature, leftovers will keep two days.

210 grams (1¾ cups) cake flour, plus more for the pan
1½ teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
214 grams (1 cup) white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1¾ cups whole milk, divided
299 grams (1½ cups) dark brown sugar
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter
340 grams (3¼ cups) unsweetened shredded coconut
Ingredients
  • 210

    grams (1¾ cups) cake flour, plus more for the pan

  • teaspoons baking powder

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • cups whole milk, divided

  • 299

    grams (1½ cups) dark brown sugar

  • 12

    tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter

  • 340

    grams (3¼ cups) unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a broiler-safe 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, dust evenly with flour, then tap out the excess. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then sift into a medium bowl or onto a large sheet of kitchen parchment.
    See Demo
    danish-dream-cake-step-1
  2. 02
    In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, white sugar, vanilla and salt on low until sugar dissolves, about 20 seconds. Increase to medium-high and whip until the mixture is pale and thick, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce to low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost incorporated, about 10 seconds. With the mixer running, slowly pour in ½ cup of milk. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and another ½ cup of the remaining milk. With the mixer still running, add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until no flour clumps remain, about 20 seconds. Using a silicone spatula, fold the batter, scraping along the bottom of the bowl, to ensure the ingredients are well combined.
    See Demo
    danish-dream-cake-step-2
  3. 03
    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until just beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and heat the broiler.
    See Demo
    danish-dream-cake-step-3
  4. 04
    In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ¾ cup milk, the brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the coconut and stir until evenly moistened. Spoon the topping onto the outer edges of the warm cake, then, using an offset or silicone spatula, gently spread into an even layer over the surface. Broil until the top is bubbling and deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, rotating the pan if needed for even browning.
    See Demo
    danish-dream-cake-step-4
  5. 05
    Set the pan on a wire rack and tent with foil. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.
    See Demo
    danish-dream-cake-step-5
Tip: Don’t underwhip the eggs and sugar. The mixture should be beaten with the whisk attachment until pale and thick. The air incorporated during whipping is in part what makes the cake light. Also, don’t forget to tent the finished cake with foil after broiling. It’s an unusual step, but the foil traps a little moisture and prevents the topping from forming a brittle crust so the cake is easier to cut for serving.
In the store
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Danish Dream Cake

Get Ready to Cook

12

Servings

50 minutes

plus cooling

Tip

Don’t underwhip the eggs and sugar. The mixture should be beaten with the whisk attachment until pale and thick. The air incorporated during whipping is in part what makes the cake light. Also, don’t forget to tent the finished cake with foil after broiling. It’s an unusual step, but the foil traps a little moisture and prevents the topping from forming a brittle crust so the cake is easier to cut for serving.

Ingredients
  • 210

    grams (1¾ cups) cake flour, plus more for the pan

  • teaspoons baking powder

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • cups whole milk, divided

  • 299

    grams (1½ cups) dark brown sugar

  • 12

    tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter

  • 340

    grams (3¼ cups) unsweetened shredded coconut

Step 1 of 5

Sift Flour and Baking Powder

210
grams (1¾ cups) cake flour, plus more for the pan
teaspoons baking powder

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a broiler-safe 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, dust evenly with flour, then tap out the excess. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then sift into a medium bowl or onto a large sheet of kitchen parchment.

Step 2 of 5

Combine Ingredients

4
large eggs
214
grams (1 cup) white sugar
2
teaspoons vanilla extract
½
teaspoon kosher salt
1
cups whole milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, white sugar, vanilla and salt on low until sugar dissolves, about 20 seconds. Increase to medium-high and whip until the mixture is pale and thick, 5 to 6 minutes.


Reduce to low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost incorporated, about 10 seconds. With the mixer running, slowly pour in ½ cup of milk. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and another ½ cup of the remaining milk.


With the mixer still running, add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until no flour clumps remain, about 20 seconds. Using a silicone spatula, fold the batter, scraping along the bottom of the bowl, to ensure the ingredients are well combined.

Step 3 of 5

Bake Cake

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until just beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and heat the broiler.

Step 4 of 5

Add Coconut Topping

¾
cup whole milk
299
grams (1½ cups) dark brown sugar
12
tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter
340
grams (3¼ cups) unsweetened shredded coconut

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ¾ cup milk, the brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the coconut and stir until evenly moistened.


Spoon the topping onto the outer edges of the warm cake, then, using an offset or silicone spatula, gently spread into an even layer over the surface. Broil until the top is bubbling and deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, rotating the pan if needed for even browning.

Step 5 of 5

Let Cool and Serve

Set the pan on a wire rack and tent with foil. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.

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OCTOBER 2019
CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL FOR ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS 3-KNIFE SET, WORK SHARP CULINARY E5 ELECTRIC BELT-STYLE KNIFE SHARPENING SYSTEM, WORKSHARP E5 UPGRADE KIT

For October’s giveaway, we’re featuring the Christopher Kimball 3-Knife Set—created with the folks at Zwilling J.A. Henckels. To keep your knives in tip top shape, we’re also including a Work Sharp Culinary E5 electric belt-style knife sharpening system, plus the Worksharp E5 upgrade kit.

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