White Chocolate Coconut “Tom Cruise” Cake

Have you heard about the Tom Cruise cake? It’s the Doan’s Bakery Bundt cake that Tom Cruise sends all his friends every Christmas. It’s a rich coconut-flavored butter cake filled with chunks of white chocolate, covered with cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut. Several of Cruise’s famous friends have gleefully admitted to looking forward to this cake every single year. You can order your own from Doan’s, but at the time of writing this post, the waiting list is two months long!

When I needed a showstopper dessert for a coconut-loving friend’s birthday, I decided to attempt to make this cake myself. It came together easily using a highly-rated recipe from Plain Chicken, and I snuck enough “tastes” in the kitchen to know this cake was worth the hype! My birthday friend’s response?

“You, once again, have outdone yourself. That cake is 5-star plus!”

NOTE: This cake is dense! It’s essentially a rather large pound cake; you could easily feed a small crowd with this recipe. Furthermore, this cake is meant to be celebratory, chock full of things that aren’t good for you, including a box of instant pudding mix. But as Julia Child used to say, everything in moderation including moderation!

NOTE: I made this cake as originally written with a single exception. Since the cake itself is already rather sweet, I cut back on the confectioner’s sugar in the frosting. I prefer it when the flavor of the cream cheese isn’t masked by too much sweetness. But if you like your frosting super sweet, refer to the original recipe, link below.

NOTE: One difference between this Plain Chicken copycat recipe and the original Doan’s Bakery cake is the coconut on the top. Doan’s doesn’t toast it, but Plain Chicken recommends that you do. Since I wanted to make my cake as close to Doan’s as possible, I didn’t toast my coconut. However, I can see how taking this extra step would bring a deeper, roasted flavor to the cake. Choose whichever option you prefer!

White Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake (aka the “Tom Cruise” Cake)
(Original recipe: Plain Chicken)

3 C all-purpose flour
1 (3.4-oz) package instant coconut cream pudding
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 C (12 oz) butter, room temperature
2-3/4 (360g) cup sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP coconut extract
1 (8-oz) container sour cream
1 (4-oz) white chocolate bar, finely chopped (I used Ghirardelli)

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 C (4 oz) butter, room temperature
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 C powdered sugar
7 oz shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour a 15-cup Bundt or tube pan. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and coconut extract. Beat until light and pale yellow in color, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add pudding mix to the batter and mix.

Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream. Mix until fully combined. Stir in the finely chopped white chocolate by hand.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. If necessary, place a piece of aluminum foil on top to prevent over browning.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake.

Press toasted coconut into the frosting.

Helpful notes from Plain Chicken:

The center tube is important in evenly baking this dense cake. If you decide to use a smaller-sized pan, be sure to leave 2 inches of space between the batter and the top of the pan, even if you have leftover batter.

Do not make the pudding; you are only going to use the dry mix. If you can’t find coconut cream pudding, you can substitute white chocolate or vanilla pudding, but be sure to slightly increase the coconut extract.

Yes, you can substitute an equal weight of white chocolate chips for the white chocolate bar.

You can make the cake ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. The cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the baked cake. Simply wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. The cake will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.

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