I combined 3 recipes and ended up with a coconut cake that taste like one that my grandma used to make. I baked this cake for Thanksgiving and the end result was just what I'd hoped for.
Note: For a quick version use a boxed cake mix and bake according to directions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare 2 9-inch pans or 9x13 inch pan with non stick spray and flour.
Cream butter. Add sugar gradually, creaming continuously.
Mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl.
Alternately, add buttermilk and dry ingredients to butter mixture.
Add vanilla and fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Do Not Over Bake. When done remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In the meantime, make Sugar Glaze.
Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup water and 1 tsp. of coconut in small saucepan. Boil for 2 minutes or until just thickened. Place one cake layer on cake plate. Using fork, poke a few holes in cake. Spread small amount of glaze over cake LIGHTLY covering top and sides (will not use all of the glaze.)
Make Coconut Buttercream Frosting: Cream butter. Add vanilla to milk. Gradually add sugar alternately with milk, ending with sugar. Beat until smooth. Spread frosting over bottom layer of cake.
Place the second layer on top of the frosted cake layer. Repeat with light sugar glaze on top layer. Then frost with buttercream over top and sides. Sprinkle coconut on top and sides of cake.