Old Fashioned Coconut Cake

My mom recently celebrated her birthday, and because our family is so large (with two more babies on the way!) we all had to find some time to celebrate with her.  She stopped by our place for a quick little afternoon tea party, and the kids could not have been more excited.  I love love love my kids’ enthusiasm for birthdays.  Such a fun shift in the normal routine!

They all happily shared the task of making Granmary’s day special.  Evie made a banner and hung it adorably askew on the bannister:

Thanks to Ben’s watchful eye, Mack created a Spiderman themed banner for Granmary. He was so proud to write the letters all by himself!

Little Vivian kept a close eye on the coconut cake we made for Granmary. I prepared it a day ahead, so for 24 hours it taunted and tortured her from it’s perch in the refrigerator.  She wanted just a tiny lick!

The original recipe for this coconut cake comes from a southern woman named Millie who worked at a furniture factory for 42 years.  I was given the recipe by a sales rep for that factory many years ago, and this was the first time I made it. I tweaked Millie’s recipe to suit my tastes (I don’t like margarine!) and because some of her ingredients just don’t exist where I shop (frozen coconut, for example).  It is a wonderful old fashioned recipe, and I’m happy to have it in my files!

Coconut Cake

2 sticks butter

2 1/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 3/4 cups self rising flour

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two round cake pans.

Cream butter and sugar until flufffy.  Add one egg at a time, beating after each until fluffy.  Add half of the flour, followed by half of the milk, then the remaining flour and then remaining milk.  Stir in vanilla.

Pour into cake pans.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool completely (overnight if possible).

Prepare filling:

1 large can crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved

16 oz sour cream

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Mix sugar and sour cream.  Add pineapple and coconut and stir well to combine.

Prepare the cake:

Carefully slice each cake lengthwise, creating four layers.  Put the first layer on a cake plate and brush with reserved pineapple juice. Spoon on some filling and spread.  Repeat with each layer. Put some of the filling on the top of the cake.


Beat 1 pint of whipping cream with four tablespoons of sugar until light and fluffy.  Frost the cake with the homemade whipped cream. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.

Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.  Best if made a couple days ahead of the party!

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