When it comes to growing your own produce, it seems to be all or nothing.
I remember growing up with a large garden in the Pacific Northwest, and how if we had two tomatoes, we had two hundred. And zucchini–HELLO! Come zucchini season, the neighbors would dodge us for fear of being handed one more bagful of zucchini.
I love that. (Not the neighbors dodging us, but an abundance of produce, obviously.)
We have different produce here at our Hawaiian country home, but the same rule applies.
You’ve seen us go through it with Apple-Bananas, Coconuts, and Mountain Apples.
This summer, it’s the PAPAYAS’ turn.
(I’m not complaining!)
We all love papayas. Chilled–with a squeeze of lime being about as good as it gets. They are also delicious in smoothies.
However, I have not done a lot of experimenting with other ways to cook with papayas.
Then, last week I found myself on Pinterest (because killing the extra time I do not have is always a good idea,) and started snooping around for Papaya recipes. The texture and consistency of papaya is rather unique–but I figured it had to be somewhere between a banana and a peach. (I don’t know–you tell me what you’d compare a papaya to!)
I stumbled upon one recipe that caught my attention because it had NOT ONLY papaya in it, but also coconut. And really, how could you go wrong with that combo?
The recipe I found was from An edible mosaic, and once again–I had to thank Pinterest for leading me to another fabulous food blog! Faith, who writes at an edible mosaic, is full of great ideas, and even just announced a brand-new ebook last week that I can’t wait to check out! (here’s her announcement.)
I followed Faith’s recipe for the most part…However I changed up a couple of things: I cut back on the sugar, and used coconut milk instead of water. There are a few other small differences as well (she recommended Rum extract, and that sounds DE-lish, but I didn’t have any on hand…and she also suggested frosting the cake–which I didn’t do.)
I’m pretty excited with how this cake turned out!
I served the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar, and fresh whipping cream, and found it to be a wonderful summer dessert. Here’s the full review:
Dave and I loved it. We agreed that I might have gone a little heavy on the papaya–tossing in almost an extra cup! (I had a lot to get rid of!:)) So it had a very, VERY moist texture. But it held its shape, and it tasted fantastic. The coconut flavor absolutely showed up, and blended well with the papaya. Dave and I each had more the next day. It was really good served cold out of the fridge!
The kids scarfed it down gladly, but didn’t get excited like they would chocolate cake or anything. The next day they weren’t begging for more. When I asked what they thought, they all said “Yeah, it was good.” And then maybe “DO you have any Oreos?”
One day their taste buds WILL mature. Then they’ll come back to me begging…
If you have Papayas available to you, I hope you’ll try it, and I would sure love some feedback.
I think life is all about trying new things. Well, that, and taking naps, but that’s another story.
Here’s the printable recipe!
Papaya Coconut Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened, but unsweetened would be fine.)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar (can add more if you like it sweeter.)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2(+) cups mashed papaya.
1/2 cup coconut milk.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two loaf pans with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and coconut in a medium bowl.
3. Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat eggs in until well combined and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract.
4. Combine papaya and coconut milk well. (I recommend you use a food processor or blender.)
5. Add the papaya and coconut mixture to the wet ingredients.
6. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet, adding a little at a time.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake about 40-50 minutes. Check using a toothpick inserted inside the cake. Cool at least ten minutes in the pans.
8. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. (I might have cheated and tasted it almost immediately, which proved to be messy, but quite delicious.) It will firm up nicely after it cools!
Don’t forget to try out Faith’s version as well over at An Edible Mosaic! (That frosting might have just been the game changer for my boys now that I think about it! :))
If you ever cook with Papayas, I hope you’ll tell me what you make!
With much Aloha, and lots of papayas…
PS As always, don’t forget to PIN, SHARE, and tell everyone you see about this. (haha, kidding.) (Kinda.) 🙂