Last weekend, I attended a family reunion in South Carolina.  I made this cake before I left Nashville; then made the frosting the night before the reunion at my Grandmother Jackson’s house, in honor of my late Grandmother Harmon.  Several family members have asked for this recipe, as well as other Facebook Savor followers, so I am reposting!  I hope you will enjoy this cake as much as my family and I do!


My Old Fashioned Version for the Cake: (which is a 1-2-3-4 cake with a couple of my additions, being the pudding, water and coconut extract).

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding (sifted with flour)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Beat butter until creamy.  Add sugar, slowly, and beat until well incorporated and creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  

Sift flour and pudding together.  Slowly add flour mixture and milk/water mixture, alternately, starting and ending with the flour.  (If your batter is not too dry, you may not need all of the water).  

Divide batter into three greased and floured 9” pans.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (or until done).  Remove from pans and invert on cake plate; poke holes with the handle of a wooden spoon into each layer, and spread filling on every layer of the warm cake.  (The filling will ooze into the cake as it sits).

For the Filling

  • 1 bag of shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups sugar

Mix coconut, sour cream and sugar together.  While the cake is still warm, invert the bottom layer onto a cake round, and then poke holes with the handle of a wooden spoon into the cake.  Spread one third of the filling onto the bottom layer.  Repeat with the other layers, poking holes all the way through each layer, allowing the filling to “ooze” all through the layers.  After adding to the top layer, place in a cake container, and refrigerate for at least three days; I like to make this one week in advance.  Frost with “Southern Boiled Frosting” on the day you are going to serve the cake and top with more coconut.


  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract 

Mix cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, vegetable oil, milk and coconut extract together.  Grease and flour three 9-inch pans and measure the exact amount of batter into each pan.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350.  Proceed with directions above.


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Extra Coconut for topping

Place all ingredients (except vanilla and coconut extracts) in a large glass bowl or in the top pan of a double boiler.  Beat for 2 minutes, and then place over boiling water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not come into direct contact with the boiling water.  Beat for 15 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.  Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and coconut extract, and beat until the frosting consistency is reached.  Spread on sides and top of coconut cake.  Add leftover coconut to sides and top.  Enjoy!