This has become the cake that everyone wants me to make regardless of the occasion. It actually tastes better the day after you make it as the flavors meld. Because it is basically white, it lends itself to creative decorating depending on the season, event, etc. The picture shows one I made for an autumn birthday decorated with edible gold flakes, fall leaves, pecan halves around the base and a beautiful flower.
Grease and flour three 8” - 9” round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350°. Use your fingers, or a piece of paper towel and rub about a teaspoon of solid shortening evenly around the bottom and sides of the pan. Add about a tablespoon of flour to the pan and shake it around, tapping the sides of the pan to evenly cover all surfaces. Turn pan over the sink and tap out the excess flour.
Cream together: ½ cup butter and ½ cup Crisco.
Beat in 2 cups sugar, then 5 large or extra large egg yolks, one at a time – save the whites.
Sift or whisk together: 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt.
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with 1 Cup buttermilk and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract. Stir in 1 cup coconut and 1 cup chopped pecans.
Beat the 5 egg whites until they are stiff. (Egg whites beat best when they are at room temperature.) Fold the beaten whites gently into the batter. Distribute the batter evenly among the three prepared pans.
Bake about 35-40 minutes until golden and inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Depends on your oven and size of pan used). Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then run a knife around the edges of the pans, then remove from pans and let cool completely on racks.
Once the cakes are completely cooled, wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least an hour. This makes the cake much easier to frost. Frost with a cream cheese frosting. Decorate by pressing more coconut onto the sides and top of the cake and adding other seasonal or occasional touches.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream together 1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese + 2 tablespoons and ½ cup butter. Beat in 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and about 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar – enough to make a smooth spreading consistency.