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Friday, February 24, 2012

Additional Information for Old Fashioned Southern Coconut Cake

This recipe for the Queen of Southern cakes has been in my family for more than 100 years. It was always among the many delicious home made dishes on the tables at Thomas/Hodges family reunions. My grandmother always made it for me on my birthday, and as I will be 69 years old tomorrow, I wanted to share it on my blog. Maybe one of you awesome cooks out there will make one for me! I thought this recipe was lost forever, but my cousin and her mother still make it, and were kind enough to share it with me. Thank you Billie and littlecousin!

1 C. butter
2 C. sugar
3 C. all-purpose flour (White Lily or Martha White)
4 eggs (room temp.)
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ C. whole milk

Cream together: butter and eggs, adding eggs 1 at a time. Alternately add flour and milk, starting and ending with flour. (You might not need all of the milk). Makes 3 layers. Bake at 325* for 20-30 minutes. Do not overcook.

Coconut Icing Servings: Icing for 3 layers
1 ½ C. sugar
½ C. milk
½ stick butter
¾ C. coconut milk
2 C fresh grated coconut (approximately)
Additional coconut milk

Mix all ingredients, except coconut, together in large sauce pan. Bring to boil and cook about 1-2 min. Let cool a bit. Spoon some coconut milk on layers, then spoon icing on layers, adding fresh grated coconut on each layer. Let cake stand in cold room overnight to soak, wrap in foil paper and refrigerate.

NOTE: I just received a message from someone who made this cake.  She said her icing was too thin, but it really is more akin to a glaze than a frosting.  You have to spoon it on the layers over and over until it sets.  This recipe is more than 100 years old, and it has always been written this way, so it didn't occur to me to add any further instruction.  I do apologize for the error.  My cousin told me today that this cake is entered in her church auction every year, and it always sets off a bidding war between two well-to-do gentlemen in particular.  This year, this cake sold for $500.00!  My grandmother and her kinswomen would love that!


  1. Wow, Patsy! I love coconut cake & this one sounds amazing! Thank you for sparing me the $500 expense! I'll let you know when I make it.

    Wishing you ever happiness on your birhtday! xoxo

    1. Hi Susan, so glad you dropped in today! The short ribs on you blog sound delish!

    2. This sounds absolutely wonderful! Enjoy your birthday, Patsy!:)

    3. Thank you kindly, Nellie! :)

  2. Happy Birthday Patsy! I hope that you have a very special Birthday week end. I would sure bake you that wonderful Coconut Cake if you lived closer. Blow out all the candles and make a good wish!
    Miz Helen

    1. Hey Miz Helen! I originally posted this in November before my 69th birthday. I re-posted it today to make sure everyone had the proper instructions for making the icing. I 'll bet you could make this cake taste even better! xo Patsy

  3. What a gorgeous looking cake! I hope you had a wonderful birthday and thank you for visiting my blog.

    1. Many thanks for the compliment, Corina...and thanks for stopping by!

  4. Patsy, I hope you had a wonderful day. My favorite cake is also Coconut. My grandmother and then mother made it for my birthday. I'm the only person in my family who likes coconut cake so for my birthday, I take myself to lunch to this wonderful Italian Restaurant 30 miles east of Atlanta where they have the best coconut cake. I savor every bite till the next year.
    Pam Rauber

    1. Nice to "see" you Pam! I would love to know the name and location of this restaurant, so I can get some cake the next time I come home. My cousin makes them for me these days...she has it down to a science. Hmmmm...maybe I will whine a bit and have her make one for me when I come home this spring! :)

    2. In Conyers, Michelangelo Italian Restaurant.
      951 Railroad St NW
      Conyers, GA 30012
      (770) 929-0828

      My favorite Italian Restaurant. I've always had great service each time I've been there.

    3. Thanks, Pam! We come home in April for the Masters, and spend time visiting friends and family in the Atlanta area. I will put this on my list of places to go!

    4. This looks incredible. My sister-in-law absolutely adores coconut so maybe I'll make this for her birthday in a few months. Thank you for sharing it!

  5. Hi Patsi, i just love your blog, well done,
    does the "c" stands for cup?
    Best regards

  6. Hi Patsy! I ran across this recipe on Pinterest today and instantly knew it was either the same or "almost" the same recipe I remember growing up! My Mother made an old fashioned, from scratch Coconut Cake ..only once a year, at Christmas! I remember her baking the coconuts and then drilling a hole in them to drain the coconut milk and then soaking the layers. She sometimes would spread a layer of caramel between the layers instead of the usual fillin! It was Absolutely Delicious... I remember one slice on a plate felt "heavy" - it was just so moist! ... My Mother passed away in 1980. I was 24. 24 and too stupid to realize before she passed away, that Someday I would regret not taking the time to pick her brain as to how she made that coconut cake or that sweet potato pie. Through the years I've asked family members - but no one seems to have her recipe for coconut cake!! Thank You Patty for taking the time to post your most treasured recipes for all of us to enjoy and maybe take a little walk down memory lane!!!!

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