Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 350°F. Afterward, butter and lightly flour the pans you will be using. It would be best to use two (or three if you prefer thinner layers or more space for filling) of each pan size. You could also use cooking spray with flour in it. It is a time saver!
Step 2 - Grab the eggs and place them in the stand mixer’s bowl or a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer. Gradually add the granulated sugar while mixing on high. You should mix for at least 5 minutes or until it reaches the ribbon stage (that means that, when taking out the paddle, the mix leaves a trace on top of the rest of the batter).
Step 3 - Melt the butter in the microwave in 20-second intervals, mixing in between. Let sit for 5 minutes, until it is no longer piping hot, and add the coconut milk and the extracts. Mix well.
Step 4 - Add this mixture to the eggs and sugar. Beat for 2 minutes on high speed or until well combined.
Step 5 - Sift and combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: the flour, baking powder and salt. Add them to the batter gradually while mixing on medium speed.
Step 6 - Once everything is blended together, separate two cups of the mixture into a medium-sized bowl. Combine it with the coconut flakes and then add it to the batter. This is called “liaison” and it will help with achieving an even distribution of coconut flakes throughout the batter.
Step 7 - Separate into the pans. To do this, we recommend measuring how much batter you have total and dividing it into thirds. Two thirds will go to the 8-inch pans and one third to the 6-inch pans. If you eyeball it that is totally fine too!
Step 8 - Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Check to see if they are done by sticking a knife in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, then you are good to go!
Remember that if you are baking all of them at once, they will take longer to bake. Also, the heat in the oven may not be even, so you should interchange the places of the pans to allow them to cook evenly.
Step 9 - Once baked, take them out and let them sit for 10 minutes before unmolding them onto a cooling rack. You should leave them to cool off completely – at least one hour. Preferably, you could place them in the fridge.
Your cakes are done! Now onto the strawberry buttercream.