Christmas Coconut Cake

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Coconut cake was a favorite Christmas dessert that my mother baked every year when I was growing up.  I know that coconut is loved by some and hated by some, but it is one of my favorites.  I will eat any food (except red meat) if it has coconut on it or in it.  I decided to follow my mother’s tradition and bake a coconut cake this year.  Mike and I are spending Christmas with my parents, and I will freeze the cake so I can take it there for our long weekend.  Christmas will be a very quiet and low key day.  Daddy is 95, and Mother is 92, and they still live in their home.  Thankfully, my brother lives near, and his help makes it possible for them to still live independently.  Daddy has been in and out of the hospital this fall, and we are glad he will be home with us.  You can use any yellow cake mix for this cake, but I like to bake and cook from scratch.  I found the cake recipe on, and the frosting recipe is an oldie that has been in my recipe file since we were newlyweds.

Coconut cake - The 2 Seasons

Christmas Coconut Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans, but this is optional)
  • Seven Minute Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just to combine. Finally, stir in vanilla. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost and enjoy.
  4. Note - I baked the batter in two eight-inch round cake pans for about 28 to 30 minutes.
  6. Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. After the cake is frosted, I sprinkle the coconut on the top and sides.
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Another option is to also sprinkle some crushed red and white mints to the top.  They are a great addition.  Enjoy this recipe, friends.

Take care.