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Aunt Ruthie's Coconut Snowballs

  • ACTIVE: 2 HRS 20 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 50 MIN
  • SERVINGS: Makes 14 snowballs
  • MAKE-AHEAD

"Aunt" is what Daniel Orr called one of his mother's best friends, Ruth Johnson. She always grated her own coconut for these angel food cakes, which are first soaked in coconut milk and slathered with marshmallow frosting.

Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips

  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  3. 16 large egg whites
  4. 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. Two 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
  7. 1 cup granulated sugar
  8. 6 cups sweetened shredded coconut (21 ounces or three 7-ounce packages)
  9. Marhsmallow Frosting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar.
  2. In a very large bowl, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice and salt at high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 1 cup of confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and continue beating until firm peaks form. Sift the dry ingredients over the egg whites and fold them in completely. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden and the tops spring back when lightly tapped. Invert the cake pans onto a wire rack and let the angel food cakes cool completely.
  3. Run a knife around the edge of each cake and unmold. Peel off the parchment paper. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out 14 rounds total.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk and granulated sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a large shallow glass or ceramic baking dish and let cool. Add the cake rounds and let soak for 5 minutes. Transfer the soaked cake rounds to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and let drain for 10 minutes.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Spread half of the shredded coconut on a large platter. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip or a large sturdy plastic bag with a corner snipped off with some of the Marshmallow Frosting. Pipe Marshmallow Frosting onto 2 of the soaked cake rounds, covering the entire top. Invert the rounds into the shredded coconut and press lightly. Pipe frosting onto the top and sides of the rounds and sprinkle some of the remaining coconut all over to cover them completely. Tap off any excess. Transfer the snowballs to the wax paper—lined baking sheet and continue making snowballs. Refrigerate them until set, about 1 hour.
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