Hawaiian Guava Cake

Guava juice is reduced to a concentrate that adds tropical vibrancy to moist sponge. Swathed in delightfully pink guava cream cheese frosting and topped with nonpareils, this recipe tastes like the best vacation you have ever had.

Guava Cake
Adapted From NYT Cooking

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup whole milk
1 cup reduced guava juice (or guava concentrate, see Tip)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 drops red food coloring (optional)

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
3 drops red food coloring (optional)
1/2 cup reduced guava juice (or guava concentrate, see Tip)

nonpareils, for sprinkling

TIP: If using guava juice, reduce it. Boil two liters of juice over high heat until it’s reduced by half, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely before using. Avoid juices that contain any added sugar so the cake does not become overly sweet (ex: Ceres brand).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour baking powder, and salt until combined. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar on medium until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add the egg whites in three additions, beating about 1 minute after each. Reduce speed to low, add the oil, and mix until combined, about 1 more minute. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, guava concentrate, vanilla, and food coloring. On low speed, alternate between adding the wet and dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream on medium speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until it’s light and fluffy with stiff peaks, another 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and the salt and increase the speed to high. Beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the food coloring. Add the guava concentrate in four additions, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after the second and the final additions. increase the speed to high and beat until smooth and well incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Using a spatula, gently fold the whipped cream in three additions, incorporating completely after each addition.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake, using an offset spatula to smooth it over the edges. Sprinkle with nonpareils. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Slice into squares, to serve.

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