My mom doesn’t really love desserts. Only three things come to mind when I think of sweets that she enjoys: rocky road clusters, Mallow Cups (chocolate cups filled with coconut and marshmallow), and anything citrus, particularly those gummy fruit slices. For her birthday, I wanted to make a cake that reflected at least one of her favorite sweet treats. She is a huge Paula Deen fan, so when I found this coconut cake, I just knew she would love it! Rather than keep it straight up coconut, I added some orange zest for a refreshing blast of citrus. The flavors were fantastic and the texture was similar to pound cake. Unlike Paula’s recipe which is three layers, I only made this a two layer cake, but I think three thin layers would be great. The filling is especially delicious and moistens the cake to perfection. My mom (and everyone else) really enjoyed this cake!
Orange Coconut Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and orange zest and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. (While cake is baking, prepare filling.) Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks.
Stir together sugar, sour cream, milk, and coconut in a bowl until well blended. Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1-inch apart until entire cake has been poked. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer.
Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top and sides of cakes with additional coconut. Decorate with mandarin orange segments.