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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Pappy’s Southern Coconut Cake and 7 Minute Frosting

Sep 27, 2018 11:00AM ● By Lana Granfors

What's Cookin'

October 2018
Story by Lana Granfors
Photo by Betsy Walton

The recipe this month is from the Mazzotta family. It was a cake that James’ grandmother, Pappy – the name James used for her – would make for special family events and weddings.  As a matter of fact, Pappy made this cake for a very special wedding – Marlon Brando’s. It is a family treasure and James has great memories of this cake. He prefers using fresh-grated coconut over store bought. Enjoy!



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DEC: Holiday Favorites - Due October 1

Pappy’s Southern Coconut Cake and 7 Minute Frosting

Serves 8 - 10

White Buttermilk Cake Ingredients:

3 cups cake flour

1 T baking powder

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

2 cups granulated sugar

2 tsp. clear vanilla extract

1⁄4-1⁄2 tsp. almond extract

6 large egg whites

1 1⁄2 cups whole buttermilk

Coconut Cream Filling Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk

2 T sweetened condensed milk

1 6-oz. package coconut
(or a fresh coconut, grated)

7 Minute Frosting Ingredients:

3 cups granulated sugar

2⁄3 cup water

4 egg whites

1⁄2 tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 T vanilla extract

Cake Directions:

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour four 6-inch round cake pans. 

STEP 2: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. 

STEP 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, vanilla and almond flavorings. Beat for 5 minutes until creamy. Add egg whites. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until fluffy. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. After all the ingredients have been added, increase the mixer speed and beat for 1 minute longer.

STEP 4: Spread the batter into the pans. Shake the pans a few times to remove the air bubbles. Place into the oven and bake for 35-38 minutes. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. 

Filling Directions:

STEP 1: After removing the cake from the oven, use a toothpick to poke holes in the hot cakes.

STEP 2: In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. Slowly spoon over the hot cake, spreading the coconut milk mixture into the holes as you go. 

STEP 3: Wrap the cakes, in the pans, in wet cheesecloth and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Frosting Directions:

STEP 1: Fill a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low to maintain a steady simmer.

STEP 2: Place the sugar, water, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large, heatproof mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer on medium-low speed for 30 seconds to combine.

STEP 3: Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and beat on high speed for 7 minutes, or until stiff and glossy.

STEP 4: Remove the bowl from the heat, add the vanilla, and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Use the frosting immediately, as it will start to set and be difficult to spread. Cakes or cupcakes frosted with this should be served within 12 hours of frosting, or stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 days.

Finishing the Cake Directions:

STEP 1: Remove the cakes from the pans and add frosting while sprinkling coconut on each layer. 

STEP 2: Add 4 wood dowels to secure the cake.

STEP 3: Finish frosting the outside of the cake and add coconut flakes to sides and top. You can use already sweetened coconut flakes to make the process easier.