This is a dramatic and beautiful dessert. I make this when I am invited over to someone's house for a special meal. I take Hersheys Chocolate in a Squeeze bottle and decorate it well just before serving. I also decorate the pedestal just a bit with icing to make it look extra pretty. The Torte is divine. I never have any leftovers. Enjoy!
Make vanilla cake mix according to directions. Instead of using whole eggs, I like to lighten it up by using 3 egg whites. I pour batter into 2 (two )greased and floured fluted-edge cake pans and bake as directed. Allow to cool. While oven is on, but after you have removed cake, take a baking sheet and spray with vegetable oil and spread 1 Cup of the coconut on it. It will stick together so make sure you spread it out. Put into oven and just as it starts to turn brown on the edges, pull it out and let cool. On another sheet, spray and spread out 3/4 C Pecans and bake for about 10 minutes, just to release flavor. Remove and cool.
While cake is baking I make a buttercream frosting. Use a large bowl for this. Put into bowl crisco and butter. Add 1/2 bag powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Mix and add a tad of milk to bring frosting together. Mix thoroughly. If you think you will need more icing, add more powdered sugar and add milk again as needed. Refrigerate mixture.
Remove frosting mixture from fridge 1/2 hr before you are ready to frost cake, and let stand at room temperature. In the mean time, take your baked coconut and mix in a bowl with another 1/4 C coconut that has not been baked, stir together well. In another bowl, take your baked pecans and add another 1/4 C pecans to it and mix together. Turn out your cakes.
Now we are ready to assemble the cake and decorate. Take a cake pedestal and put about a Tablespoon of frosting in the middle to hold down your cake, then put down your first layer of cake. Add some frosting to the top of it and spread.Do not frost the sides. Add half the mixture of pecans on the top, then add 1/2 the mixture of coconut on top of that. Put your second layer on top of the first one. Do not push down on it. Add frosting to the second layer and spread out. Repeat with pecans and coconut. If you have a few pecans left, stick them around the middle layers where frosting oozes out. Right before serving you can take some Hershey's Syrup and drizzle over top of cake in a back and forth motion. The picture does not show this, because I do it right before serving. Add a dab of whipped cream and enjoy!