Aunt Jean’s Coconut Pecan Pound Cake
The irony of this post is astounding. Growing up, I hated coconut and therefore, hated this cake. The recipe has been in my family for years starting with my wonderful Aunt Jean whose memory lives on in this cake and other wonderful recipes. I’ve written before about my family of great bakers and she was one of them. My palate has matured significantly and in addition to now loving coconut, I’ve grown to love other childhood food hates like tomatoes!
I made the Coconut Pecan Poundcake for my mother’s birthday – it’s one of her favorites. This was my first attempt and I wanted to get a little fancy and switch from the traditional bundt to layer cake. I did and the differences were minor: shorter baking time and more frosting(!)…how could that be a bad thing? I also invested in better round cake pans which was another difference for the better. Having the right tools for the job is so important and the layers were more evenly baked and also, since the pans are a bit deeper than cheaper versions, the layers themselves are a bit higher and even in shape. This came into play when I decided to cut each layer in half to make four layers. I was going for drama and presentation and boy did it ever work (see photo!!). Not only was the cake tower higher, I bought really long, skinny candles so yeah, it was a really BIG surprise and a cake fit for a celebration!
Aunt Jean’s Coconut Pecan Pound Cake
Makes 1 bundt or 2, 9″ round layers
Ingredients – Cake
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 Cup Crisco (shortening)
- 3 Cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 Cups flour
- 1 Cup milk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Cup (or 7 oz. bag) sweetened coconut plus extra to sprinkle on top of the frosted cake
- 1 1/2 Cups pecans, chopped plus extra to sprinkle on top of the frosted cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan or 2, 9″ round cake pans. In a large mixing bowl or bowl of standing mixer, cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour, milk, baking powder and vanilla extract and mix well. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Bake bundt for 1 hour and 25 minutes or layer cakes for 1 hour or until each are light golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean after inserted into the middle of the cake. Let cake cool for at least 25 minutes before removing from the pan(s).
Ingredients – Frosting for bundt
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 Cups confectioners sugar
Ingredients – Frosting for 2, 9″ layers
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 Cups confectioners sugar or 1, 2 lb. bag
Cream the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Add the confectioners sugar a little at a time – to avoid the huge sugar cloud! Mix until smooth and frost the cooled bundt cake. Sprinkle the top with coconut and chopped pecans.
Layer Cake Assembly
Cool the cakes completely before cutting and frosting. Place a plate over the cake pan(s) and turn over so the cake is out of the pan and onto the plate. I like the way this looks with the sides not frosted, so for that spread frosting on top of the first, bottom layer (already on a plate) and top with the second layer. Spread frosting on the top and sprinkle with coconut and chopped pecans. If you want to go for the tower, cut each of the 2 layers in 1/2 through the center for 4 layers total. Use the process above to stack and frost the tops – beautiful!