Yes. I said it. Free Coochie. Who doesn’t want that? Well…
Anyway, so, like, I have this legendary dessert that I accidentally came up with called “The Coochie Cake.” Once I perfected the recipe, everyone used to stress me to make it. It was moist, delicious – an infusion of goodness that made people see Baby Jesus when they ate it.
The way I arrived at the recipe was pure happenstance. Back in the late 80’s/early 90’s when I still lived in Fort Lauderdale, I used to entertain a lot. I’d rush home from work at 5-ish, whip up a full dinner party, and have folks over by 7:30-8:00pm. I’d have lots of drinks and good food: seafood quiches, Buffalolitas (<==my wang speciality), homemade empanadas, steaks/ribs/shrimp/lobster on the grill, and always some kind of dessert. In the beginning, the dessert varied. It could be a fresh chocolate mousse cake, cheesecake, or some kind of cake-cake. Whatever it was, it was always from scratch. Everything was from scratch.
Enter the Coochie Cake:
One evening, in my rush to get the dessert in the oven in time for the dinner party, I added too many ingredients in a cake I had been experimenting with and it came out too moist, just shy of looking like some sort of cakey flan. I frosted it anyway. It was a variation of yellow cake that had sour cream, cream cheese and pudding in the batter. The frosting was a buttercream with cream cheese and a citrus combo (lemon juice and orange juice). I frosted it up and put it on the table. When I cut the first slice, my closest friend, Rhonda German, a superb baker herself, said, “That cake looks wet!” I shrugged and let the cake stay out anyway.
The cake lasted less than ten minutes. Ironically, it was mostly the men at the party who went for it. Women kinda gave it the side-eye. So Rhonda says…*wait for it…*
“You must have put COOCHIE juice in that ol’ wet-looking cake because all the men just ate it up.”
A title was born!
Over the next few days, I worked out the recipe so that it rose the way it should, looked like a normal cake, but still had the killer flavor. At the next party, it was a hit with everyone, including the women. From that point on, I had a Coochie Cake at every party. People began to order them from me. My daddy, who loved them (that just sounds all kinds of wrong for me to say, doesn’t it?) used to insist that I get grocery stores to carry them. I had one Puerto Rican friend who, along with his wife, used to come to all my parties. He asked his wife once,
“Is she going to make the Poosy Cake? Make sure she makes the Poosy Cake!”
Yeah, baby. I got yo’ Coochie Cake. Rightcheah.
I’ve never, ever shared the recipe. Not in over 20 years. This week I baked one and put the recipe up on Facebook. And now here it is for you!
Lo’s Infamously-Delicious Coochie (Cake)
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 sticks softened butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup softened cream cheese
1 1.5oz package of vanilla instant pudding mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9” round pans.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, continuing to mix until butter and sugar are well-blended, light, and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time.
Add flour mixture to the egg/butter/sugar mixture gradually, alternately adding buttermilk. Add sour cream and cream cheese, continuing to blend after each. Add pudding mix last, blending in thoroughly. Once pudding is well-blended, increase speed, beating batter for about two minutes until it achieves a fluffy lightness.
Pour batter into prepared pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake 30-50 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let cakes cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pans. Let cool completely before frosting.
UPDATE: For those of you who’ve made this before, you’ll notice that I slightly increased the amount of the three first ingredients in the frosting. Better to have too much frosting than not enough, right?
Cream Cheese Citrus Buttercream Frosting:
3 cups confectioners sugar
1½ sticks softened butter
6 oz softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1½ tsps lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
1½ tsps orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
Grated lemon and orange zest (to sprinkle on top of frosted cake)
Cream butter on low speed, gradually adding confectioners sugar. Once butter and sugar are blended, increase speed one level and beat until smooth. Add cream cheese, blending in until smooth. Add vanilla. Add lemon juice and orange juice. Beat frosting until light, smooth, and a good spreading consistency. If frosting is not thick enough, gradually add more confectioners sugar until desired consistency is achieved. If frosting is too thick, add a few drops of milk, in very small increments, until desired consistency.
In honor of my cake, writer Tuesday Knight has declared today Free Coochie Day. I cosign that.
“What the world needs now is coochie, sweet coochie…cake.”