Triple-Layer Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
5 eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
3 egg whites

2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 1/2 to 9 cups powdered sugar
3 cups flaked sweetened coconut, divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted, divided*


1 Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 3 (9×2-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper; spray parchment with cooking spray. Sprinkle with flour, tapping out excess.

2 Whisk flour and baking soda in medium bowl. Beat sugar and 1 cup butter in large bowl at medium speed 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in 1 cup coconut.

3 Beat egg whites in large bowl at medium-high speed 2 to 3 minutes or until stiff but not dry peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the egg whites into cake batter to lighten mixture; gently fold in remaining egg whites. Spoon batter into pans.

4 Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; remove parchment. Carefully turn topside up; cool completely.

5 Beat cream cheese, 1 cup butter and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed 3 minutes or until soft and fluffy. At low speed, beat in 7 1/2 cups powdered sugar, adding additional powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time to achieve desired consistency. Stir in 1 cup of the coconut.

6 Place 1 cake layer on serving platter; spread top with 1 1/2 cups of the icing. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the pecans. Repeat with second cake layer. Top with third cake layer; frost top and sides with remaining icing. Press remaining 2 cups coconut over top and sides of cake. (Cake can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

16 servings

TIP *To toast pecans, place on baking sheet; bake at 350ºF. for 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly darker in color. Cool.


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