Thursday, June 7, 2012

Emily Dickinson's Coconut Cake

Last October, when Poet's House put Emily Dickinson's recipe for coconut cake on display in New York, I made a mental note to give it a try.  This morning, when a Facebook friend posted the recipe on my timeline, I knew today was the day to give it a whirl.

The result was beautifully simple, yet very satisfying, much like Dickinson's poetry. Was I expecting anything less?  As it melted in my mouth, it was lovely to think of Emily enjoying the same delight. It would be extra scrumptious with fresh raspberries on the side. I have a feeling Miss D served it that way. 

Emily Dickinson's Coconut Cake
click to embiggen

1 cup coconut
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Here's my own instructions:

Cream sugar and butter, add eggs, mix well.  Add milk and coconut, mix.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Bake in a 9 inch round cake pan 350 for 30 minutes. 


  1. Oh YUM! Dr. Linthead & I will head over to Willow Manor forthwith :)

  2. Get over here before it's gone!

  3. Would you share a piece with me if I make you coffee, please?

  4. sounds divine. i've been wanting a bit of cake.

  5. What a lovely straight forward recipe. It looks wonderful.

  6. I love coconut and I love simple recipes. This is both.

  7. Oh, how lovely. I can just imagine how it tastes!

  8. Simple and sweet! Just like ED herself:) I will give it a try too:)

  9. Oh, how wonderful! I can't wait to try this. Have you ever seen the blog -- it's fantastic.

  10. My, what a prim looking lady. Why am I not surprised that there's no cream, alcohol, or chocolate in her recipe. And no, she wouldn't have had raspberries on the side; just 'apologies'.

  11. Cro: Emily might have been wilder than you think...

    Wild nights! Wild nights!
    Were I with thee,
    Wild nights should be
    Our luxury!
    Futile the winds
    To a heart in port,
    Done with the compass,
    Done with the chart.

    Rowing in Eden!
    Ah! the sea!
    Might I but moor
    To-night in thee!

  12. (Everybody looked prim in 1846...)

  13. OK, so she played Scrabble as well!

  14. My husband will love this!
    And I agree it will be nice to try in her honor!

  15. Might have to give that a try Tess:) Thanks.

  16. I adore coconut and shall try this cake forthwith.

  17. I don't think she looks so much prim as she does malnourished and developmentally delayed.

  18. I adore (and Emily) have persuaded me to try it...
    I may bring it to the Final Dress of *Attila* tomorrow - to feed him and his hungry Huns!

    As for Emily...I see passionate eyes and mouth.... there was a lot more to her than we think!


    ♥ Robin ♥

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  20. I love that. I wonder where Emily got shredded coconut from? Did she go to the market or general store? I'll have to try the recipe.

  21. Donna I was wondering the same thing...I would venture to say she shredded her own from a whole coconut...

  22. Love coconut, love E.D. (Her house is just a few miles from mine.)
    So, I'll be trying this. Thanks for the recipe.
    One question: did you use sweetened flaked coconut (as in Baker's coconut, or similar), or the unsweetened kind usually found in natural food stores?

    1. Miranda, I used the sweetened flaked coconut. Enjoy!

  23. I saw the words coconut cake and got here AS QUICK as I could Tess!!!


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)