Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 9" pans, or you may use 8" pans for a taller cake, if you prefer.
Combine first 5 ingredients and mix at medium speed for approximately 2 minutes.
Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour into prepared pans. If using 9" pans, batter will be spread fairly thin. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cakes test done. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
For frosting, combine cream cheese and butter and mix until well blended.
Gradually add confectioners sugar as you mix. Mix until fluffy frosting consistency. Add vanilla and blend well.
Frost between layers, sides, and top of cake. Garnish with toasted pecan halves, if desired.