The following post was written by Craig Chapman , who blogs at Real Food Real Kitchens  and is part of POPSUGAR Select Food .
Springtime awakens the senses and breathes new life into the world. It's like a breath of fresh air and brings on the comforts of the warm sun, the ocean breeze, the smell of night-blooming jasmine, and of course bounties of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Spring also marks a huge transition in the culinary world. A plethora of new ingredients are born and become available for us to create and share with friends and family, recipes that will evoke good memories for years to come. To kick off Spring, we brought together one of our favorite in-season fruits, strawberries, with a touch of the dreamy tropics, coconut, and created this moist, vegan cake. This cake is the perfect light and sweet way to end an afternoon picnic with friends and family. Think of this recipe as a modern version of the traditional strawberry shortcake.
Vegan Coconut Cake With Frangelico-Strawberry Topping
From Toni M. Elkhouri, Cedar's Cafe , Melbourne, FL
For the coconut cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups (1 can) coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons apple cider or white vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup corn oil
For the strawberry-Frangelico topping:
1 pint strawberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of cardamom
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup Frangelico
Toasted coconut, for garnish
- For the coconut cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 round cake pans or cupcake pans.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the spices.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Add wet to dry slowly stirring together until everything is incorporated.
- Divide evenly between the pans, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes (25 to 30 for cupcakes), or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
- For the strawberry-Frangelico topping: In a small saucepan set over medium heat combine strawberries, sugar, and spices until mixture cooks down and thickens slightly. Add Frangelico and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
- Top the cake with strawberry-Frangelico topping and toasted coconut just before serving.