Chef Donatella Arpaia cooks for a cause with City Harvest

PIX11 Morning News

September is City Harvest Hunger Action Month, and PIX11 has partnered up with them to bring awareness and get people engaged.

During the pandemic, Chef and Restaurateur Donatella Arpaia used her restaurant resources to send food to hospitals and the police stations. 

Arpaia, who is also a City Harvest supporter, shared her recipe for a healthy coconut cake.


  • 3 tbsp of raw brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut extract
  • 4 large eggs separated
  • Teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup coconut unsweetened finely shredded
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut extract
  • 1/3 cup almond flour sifted
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour (finely sifted)
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 tbsp of coconut oil
  • Zest of one lime

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch cake pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

2.In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form set aside.

3.In a second mixing bowl, combine together the coconut oil, sugar, apple sauce and the egg yolks. Add the flour, coconut extract, and baking soda and mix just until smooth. Stir in lime zest and shredded coconut until the flakes are well distributed throughout the batter,

4.Gently, fold in the whipped egg whites and transfer the finished batter to the prepared cake pan.

5.Bake for 25 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before serving. ( or in airfryer for 20 minutes at 325)

Mascarpone FROSTING

  • 8 ounces mascarpone (chilled)
  • 3 tbsp of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Optional garnish: Large toasted coconut shavings unsweetened (1-2 cups)

Place the mascarpone in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and start beating on medium speed. While beating, add the coconut extract and vanilla extract followed by the confectioner’s sugar and coconut sugar. Scrape sides and continue beating until light and fluffy. With the mixer running on high speed, slowly add the whipping cream until the frosting becomes light and fluffy, about 1-3 minutes.

Spread onto cake then add toasted coconut shavings. Please note if you overmix mascarpone it will curdle

For more information on how to donate food, volunteer or attend the fundraising concert to support City Harvest, visit

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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