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Kaitlyn Willingham | Central Texas EC

This popular cake is often served at birthday parties and other celebrations. This version features nuts in the frosting, but Willingham also loves to incorporate pecans within the cake. For those who enjoy more coconut, press extra coconut flakes to the frosting while it is still tacky.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
5 eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 round 9-inch cake pans.

2. In a large bowl, cream sugar, shortening and butter. Add egg yolks one at a time.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the large bowl alternately with the buttermilk and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter until no streaks remain, then stir in coconut.

5. Divide batter between cake pans and bake 25–30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer, beat in powdered sugar until smooth, taking care to increase speed slowly. Add vanilla and pecans. Place one cake layer on serving plate and top with 1/4 of the frosting, spreading evenly to edges. Top with second layer of cake and spread remaining frosting on top and sides.

Serves 12.

May 2020 Recipe Contest