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Coconut Cream Cake (Makes one 3-layer 8-inch cake)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup ground pecans
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar (about 6 cups), sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup pecan pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 F. degrees.
Lightly grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the granulated sugar with 1 stick of the butter.
With the mixer running, add the oil in a steady stream.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift the flour and baking soda together into a medium-size mixing bowl.
Add the ground pecans and mix.
Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, mixing well.
Fold in 1 cup of the coconut.
With the electric mixer, in another large mixing bowl (wash and dry the beaters well first), beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake until the center springs back when touched, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.
After the cakes have cooled, invert them onto sheets of parchment paper. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, in another large mixing bowl (wash and dry those beaters), cream the remaining 1 stick of butter with the cream cheese.
Add the sifted confectioners' sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
Add the vanilla and milk and mix well.
Fold in the pecans. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on top of each cake layer.
Place the layers of cake on top of each other and ice the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining 1 cup coconut.
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