I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Classes a year ago and have been baking and decorating cakes for friends and family. For my mother's birthday this past December I asked her what flavor cake she wanted. She described a cake she use to make 30 - 40 years ago that had a surprise filling. Since this was her recollection I had to guess at the measurements. I added handfuls of the coconut and pecans to the filling mixture until it looked thick enough to stand up as a filling in the cake. It turned out to be very delicious and she said it was as she remembered it being.
Bake cake according to package directions in two 8 or 9 inch round pans.
Remove cake from pans after 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Once cakes are completely cool, drain cherries and chop using a food chopper or cut into small bits and set aside.
Drain small can of crushed pineapple well using a strainer and add to chopped cherries.
Add chopped pecans to cherries and pineapple mixture. You can add as little or as much as you like. Stir well.
Add shredded coconut to the cherry, pineapple and pecan mixture. Again you can add as little or as much as you like. Stir well and set aside.
Cut 1 package of softened cream cheese and 1 stick of softened butter into pieces. Add to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and cream together until well mixed.
Fold in the cherry, pineapple, nuts and coconut mixture by hand until just mixed together. Do not over stir.
Put all of this mixture on top of one of the cooled cake layers and spread evenly over the cake. Should be the same thickness as the cake layer.
Place the remaining cake layer on top of the other layer with the filling.
In the cleaned bowl of your stand mixer (or you can mix this with a hand mixer in a different bowl) cream 1 stick of butter and 1 package of cream cheese together until well mixed. Add Powder Sugar 1 cup at a time until it is incorporated well. Stopping to scrap bowl often. Adding 1 tablespoon of milk at a time and mixing (using no more than 3 tablespoons of milk.) (The consistency should be the same as a can of store bought icing.) Ice your cake.
Once your cake is iced press the shredded coconut on the sides of the cake and sprinkle liberally on the top. Cake will need to be stored in the refrigerator due to the cream cheese.