2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 eggs, separated
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups fresh grated coconut – or unsweeetened already grated
1 lemon, zested, about 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 recipe Icing below
Ingredients for Icing
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour 3 (8-inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar with 1/2 cup of the butter. With the mixer running, add the oil and incorporate thoroughly. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each yolk. Sift the flour and baking soda together. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the egg mixture. Mix thoroughly. Fold in 2 cups of the coconut. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the center of each cake is set.
For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).
To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.