Coconut Cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:


    or more Servings.

Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

One of my earliest recollections was watching my mother or one of the servants tediously grating coconut in large quantities, sometimes for ice cream, sometimes for a curried dish, but more often than not for coconut cake, which was one of Kathleen Craig Claiborne’s great specialties. It was a personal favorite of mine and generally appeared on Sundays or on special holidays.


The Cake

  • cups sifted cake flour
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, if desired
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • cup solid vegetable shortening
  • cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

The Coconut Frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch layer cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of wax paper. Lightly butter the paper. Set the pans aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  • Add the shortening and start beating vigorously. While beating, add ¾ cup milk. Beat 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, the remaining ½ cup milk, and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes longer.
  • Pour equal amounts of the batter into the prepared pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove the pans to a rack and let stand 5 minutes. Unmold the cakes. Remove the wax paper.
  • Spread the top of the first layer with frosting and coat generously with grated coconut. Place the second layer on top of the first. Frost the top and aides of the cake, and coat with the remaining coconut.