Baking a tasty coconut cake is a sure way to wiggle into someone's heart, and this recipe is the perfect place to start. If you use freshly grated coconut for your cake, it will add additional flavor and crunch. You can also use coconut milk instead of cow's milk. An old baking trick involves allowing all the ingredients to sit until they reach room temperature or about 70 degrees. This not only helps to soften the butter, but it allows the eggs to warm up a bit.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, add the butter. Using the electric mixer, cream until the butter is soft. Slowly add the sugar while mixing continuously. Separate the eggs, putting the egg yolks into one small bowl and the egg whites in another. Add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix. Slowly blend in the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time until mixed. After each half cup of flour, add a little bit of milk. Add the coconut. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Fold them into the cake mixture.
Grease the pans with shortening. Pour the cake batter into each pan and bake for about 50 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, it is finished. Cool on wire racks. When the cakes are completely cooled, turn out of the pans. Ice both layers with buttercream frosting, whipped cream or jam. Sprinkle coconut flakes on the top. Keep in a sealed container and refrigerate unused portions. This is sure to be the tastiest coconut cake you and your loved ones will ever enjoy!