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Author Notes: Coconut cake has always been a special occasion dessert for me, and with ambrosia, it's a fixture on my holiday table, along with pumpkin and lemon icebox pies. I'd never been aware of the ambrosia element until I moved to Memphis as a college student, but it adds wonderfully to the cake. It is the wonderfully simple frosting that makes this cake. Should be made at least three days in advance, and can be frozen for up to two weeks. —Kayb
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup shredded fresh, or fresh-frozen, coconut
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Blend the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla
- Sift flour with baking powder. Add to butter/sugar mixture alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition.
- Fold in beaten egg whites.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree oven, in three greased, floured cake pans, for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes on clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- Mix sour cream, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 1/2 cups coconut; reserve about 2/3 cup. Spread remainder between layers of cake, after cake has completely cooled. (You can make more filling and cut the layers in half horizontally to make a coconut torte --it gets wonderfully moist that way.)
- Combine cream and 1/3 cup sugar and whip until stiff; fold in reserved filling. Frost outside of cake. Sprinkle with reserved coconut. Refrigerate or freeze.
- 2 cups mandarin orange segments
- 2 cups pineapple, cut in small pieces (tidbit size)
- 1 cup grated fresh, or fresh-frozen, coconut
- Take about 6 of the orange segments and press them through a sieve to extract juice in a bowl. Add remaining segments, pineapple and coconut. Stir. Serve with coconut cake.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert
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