Sunday, May 20, 2007

Coconut Layer Cake

As promised, here is the recipe for the Coconut Layer Cake I made for Phillip's birthday.

I found the recipe in the May 2000 Victoria magazine...

"There are few things that stir warmer memories than the classics we remember from childhood--the buttercream-clad treats that Mother would whip up for a birthday or the church's Sunday bake sale.

This snowy white coconut layer cake comes from recipes and cookbooks of long ago, when cakes were made from scratch with lots of wholesome ingredients."

Coconut Layer Cake
(The Magnolia Bakery)

For the cake:
2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
One 7-ounce package sweetened, shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (equals 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoons)
( I added 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to the frosting for extra flavor.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease three 9 x 2-inch cake pans, line pans with wax paper, and grease the paper. Dust pans with flour, shaking out excess. Set aside.

2. MAKE THE CAKE: In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream butter, add the sugar a little at a time, and beat mixture until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flours and add to the butter mixture in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Divide the batter among the cake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centers of cakes comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto racks and let cool completely.

3. MAKE THE FILLING: In a saucepan combine the milk, sugar, and flour and whisk mixture until smooth. Cook over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes, or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the coconut, reserving a handful. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and cool to room temperature.

4. ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: When the cake has cooled, spread half the filling between the first two layers of cake, then the other half between the second and third layers. The cake should be assembled so it can be iced as soon as the frosting is completed.

5. MAKE THE FROSTING: In a large bowl with an electric mixer combine the egg whites and the vanilla extract. In a saucepan over moderately high heat combine the water with the sugar and cream of tartar. As mixture begins to bubble at edges, stir once to make sure the sugar is dissolved completely, then let come to a rolling boil (about 2-3 minutes). Remove immediately from heat.

6. With the electric mixer on medium-high, beat the egg whites and the vanilla extract until foamy, about 1 minute. Without turning off mixer, pour the sugar syrup into the beaten egg whites in a thin, steady stream. Continue beating constantly, on medium-high speed, for about 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form but frosting is still creamy. Frost top and sides of cake immediately and sprinkle top with reserved coconut.

Do you have a favorite cake from your childhood?


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

What is funny is even though I make almost all the cakes by scratch in our family, the cake that takes me back to my childhood is made by a local bakery.

My mom worked full time so she always bought my cake. The same bakery did my wedding cake, too.

I tried serving one to my own kids but they preferred mine. :)

Janice said...

That is a gorgeous cake, Kelli! It looks like something out of a magazine. :o)

Anonymous said...

I was going to say exactly what ~janice~ said. :-)

My grandmother used to make coconut cakes as I was growing up. Such great memories.

My favorite cake of all time is Carrot Cake but I am very picky about the frosting. It has to be very thick and made with real cream cheese. Also...served cold with a cold glass of milk. Not that I am particular, or anything. :-)

HsKubes said...

The cake looks and sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

~ Christina

Myrna said...

WOW! That is beautiful--almost too pretty to eat! But it looks to delicious to not eat!

Trella said...

You cake looks gorgeous. You did a great job. My family would love it, I on the hand don't like coconuts. However, your cake looks so good, I think I would give it a try:)

Susan said...

That makes my mouth water just looking at it and it's only 6:30 a.m. Gotta try this one.

The main cake my mother made was Angel Food (from scratch).

Julie said...


My favorite childhood cake is chocolate with 7-Minute frosting that has been allowed to go "crackly". I also love angel food cake with powdered sugar frosting, which I recently learned is called buttercream frosting.

So you save your Victorias too! I understand Victoria is coming back in October.

By the way, I tagged you (see my blog). Hope you don't mind.

Jenn said...

WOW< That looks great! I'm printing this and saving it for sometime special in the future ;-) Thanks for sharing it!! LOVE how fluffy it looks!!


Carole Burant said...

Ok, where's my piece???? hehe Oh Kelli, that cake turned out fabulously and I can just imagine how happy Phillip was with his birthday cake:-) xox

Emily said...

Of course, a fudgy chocolate layer cake with equally over-the-top chocolate fudge frosting would be my all-time favorite.

But two cakes I remember, quite fondly I might add, from family get-togethers were the beautiful Red Velvet layer cake with cream cheese frosting and a plain old scrumptious chocolate pound cake warm from the oven. Both made by my Nana, one of those great Southern cooks.

I'm fascinated by the lore of the Red Velvet cake. As a Southerner, I'm partial to the belief that Red Velvet cake is of Southern origins. But does it matter? Let's just eat it!


Karen said...

That is a great magazine. I have been reading old issues of it lately. The cake looks great jood job!


Susan P. said...

That cake is absolutely beautiful, Kelli! My favorite childhood cake is one I still have each birthday (Mr. P makes it for me:o) It is called Pineapple Dream Cake!

Paula said...

Move over, Martha! LOL!

The cake looks just perfect! Coconut cake is Mr. C's favorite, so I'm going to have to try this recipe. :)

Christine said...

Hi Kelli! Your cake is definitely gourmet quality. My favorite cake from my youth is carrot cake. My favorite part is the delicious creamy icing. Blessings!

Lori said...

Yummy! I will have to try that some time. It looks wonderful.

I think my favorite cake in my childhood was always the angel food cakes. I also liked any kind of chocolate cake.

Terri said...

That cake looks absolutely scrumptious! Could you send me a piece, please??
God bless.

Marci said...

Wow, this sounds really good. It is beautiful to look at too. Thanks for sharing the recipe and all the pictures.

Rita Loca said...

Looks so yummy! I am a bit saddened becuase here in Venezuela we are having so many shortages, I could never get all the ingredients for this. Oh well, one day. we have no sugar, no eggs, no butter.

Gena said...

Your cake is just beautiful! I know your hubby was thrilled to have that for his birthday. My hubby loves coconut cake, as well, which I just found out. We've been married almost 15 years and he had never told me that. I will have to try that recipe.

My favorite cake is Sour Cream Poundcake. I used to always ask for that to be my birthday cake. When I got married (the first time) my aunts did my cakes and they used the sour cream poundcake recipe and put lemon curd in between each layer. It was SO delicious.

copperswife said...

Oh, Yummmmm.....your cake looks so good!

LadySnow said...

That cake looks delicious!

Kelley said...

Hi Kelli!
Boy that cake looks yummy!
How funny that you mentioned cakes from our childhoods because a couple of days ago I posted a recipe for a cake that I have loved for many years!

Hope that Philip had a wonderful birthday!

Wishing you a blessed day ahead!

Dani said...

Wow Kelli, your cake looks spectacular!

dot said...

Kelli, that is a beautiful cake. You know I'll be trying that recipe soon!

Jenn4Him said...

Let me see. The best cake I remember growing up was made by my grandma and she made it for family reunions. It is called Prune Cake. It has a yummy spice cake like taste. She would make the icing too. Her chocolate mayonnaise cake was good too. I need to ask her for the recipes!

Jennifer in MS said...

Oh My Stars!!! That looks heavenly!! I must try this!

Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Sheri said...

Oh Kelli, your cake looks both beautiful and delicious!

My husband and I are big coconut cream pie fans. I bet we would like this cake just as well. I'm going to give it a try soon.

Susie said...

This looks just delish. I've made the Paula Deen version of this and it was a hit.
What a great birthday cake!!
My Mom's carrot cake was absolutely wonderful. I'd say that was one of my favorites..

Christie Belle said...

Oh, man! I love coconut cake! But I haven't had it in probably 2 or more years. This one is going down on the list of must-tries:)

Lyndy said...

That is a gorgeous cake and mine would never turn out that pretty. (lol)

For me my mom always made homeade pound cake and it is a recipe that I use today. So yummy.

Henny Penny said...


My favorite cake from childhood (and still) Is the carrot cake my mom makes at Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Yum! We had a cake my mom used to make every year for my birthday (she still does if we are together) called Texas Cake. It is a very, very thin chocolate cake, single layer, about the thickness of a brownie. But it has the most delicious chocolate glaze over it that has whole pecans in it. Oooh, so good.

Cris said...

Hum, beautiful! And it looks delicious! That's one of my favorite frostings, I remember my friend's mother taught it to me, I was about 12 years old, you are a great cook!

Marci said...

Kelli, on the cream of tarter in the icing portion of the recipe... Can you explain what you mean by what is written? Thanks.

Ruth said...

Brown you have your own chickens?

The cake looks great!

Phillip Winn said...

This was the second best (tasting and looking) coconut cake Kelli has ever made. It took a small fraction of the time the best one took, so it's a winner!

Sharon said...

Your cake looks yummy!! I'll have to try that sometime.

My favorite childhood cake was a chocolate cake my mom baked each year for my birthday, but I loved her carrot cakes, too.

JacquiG said...

Your cake looks lovely, and quite yummy! Making me hungry!!!

Patty said...

Oh my. I just popped over from Pea's blog, for a visit with you. I didn't realize I would gain 10 lbs just by reading your post. That cake looks sooooo good. I am going to steal. I mean borrow the recipe. I will be back again. I plan on joining your Friday show and tell soon.

Lila Rostenberg said...

I'm so glad to know Victoria magazine is coming back! Lady Laurie had a link to subscribe in her latest post!
Your cake is so pretty and I'm sure it was fantastic!

Becky said...

Oh, my, what a scrumptious looking cake!

I'm enjoying your blog very much, and look forward to each visit. :)