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“Another great find in the All*You magazine from March 2009. When I read this recipe and looked at the photo in the magazine I immediagely thought of the movie Pollyanna! The woman who did all the baking for the house always made a coconut cake that looked heavenly. This is what I think of when I work on this cake - it does take a bit of effort with the frosting especially but it is well worth every minute in the end. The coconut for this cake is not in the actual cake but part of the frosting. Don't waste money on purchase cake flour - use this recipe Cake Flour Substitute and make your own. I hope you enjoy it!”
1 cake

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To make cake: Preheat oven to 350F and prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by buttering them. Cut two circles of parchment paper and place in the bottom of the cake pans. Butter paper and sprinkle pans with flour. Turn and shake pans to coat surface evenly and tap out excess flour.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly until well incorporated.
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix/sift cake flour, baking powder and salt together.
  5. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk in 3 additions. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest.
  6. In a separate clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the 4 egg whites with a pinch of salt until medium-firm peaks form, but don't allow whites to become dry.
  7. Fold about a third of the whites into batter to lighten, then fold in the remaining whites (don't use an electric mixer for this part).
  8. Divide batter between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean - about 30 minutes.
  9. Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
  10. To make frosting: Combine sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring only until sugar dissolves. Cook syrup until it reaches a soft-ball stage 234F on a candy thermometer. Cool slightly.
  11. In a clean, dry bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the 2 egg whites until frothy. With beaters running, slowing pour in the warm syrup. Beat in vanilla and continue beating until cool and thickened.
  12. To assemble cake: Arrange one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread top evening with about 1/2 cup frosting. Pat about 1/2 cup of shredded coconut over this layer. Set second layer on top. Spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Gently pat the remaining shredded coconut onto the frosting and around the sides and sprinkle generously over the top.

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