Featured in The Folk School Cookbook this lovely cake is perfect for Easter, May Day, or Mother’s Day, a wedding or baby shower or a spring birthday. It’s both beautiful and scrumptious and tastes like the very epitome of spring. If, for no other reason, you want to simply make it to mark the season, share it proudly and lovingly with friends and family.

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Grease three 9 x 1½-inch round cake pans. Cut parchment circles that fit the bottom of the pans, and spray parchment with oil.

Sift together on another piece of parchment or waxed paper:
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Stir together in a mixing bowl:
1 cup egg whites (from approximately 8 eggs), beaten lightly
1 cup buttermilk or coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In another, larger mixing bowl cream together  with electric mixer:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar

This will take about 3–5 minutes of whipping on high speed. The creamed mixture should be light and fluffy.

To the creamed mixture, add alternately the dry and wet ingredients in three parts beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Like this: 1/3 of the dry with ½ the wet and repeat, end with 1/3 the dry.

Beat until smooth. Make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed.

Divide the batter between the cake pans. 

Bake 25–30 minutes or until centers spring back when pressed lightly with fingertip. 
Cool 5 minutes in pans, then remove and cool completely.
Serves 8–10.

Note: Successful cake baking depends mainly on having all ingredients measured carefully and at room temperature. Take your ingredients out of the refrigerator several hours before mixing the batter. Egg whites separate more easily when cold, but they whip better when room temperature.

Lemon Curd

Makes about 1½ cups

Whisk together in a medium bowl:
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks (or use a total of 6 egg yolks)

Add gradually in a steady stream:
¾ cup sugar

In a heavy saucepan, melt over low heat:
½ cup butter (1 stick)

Whisk the melted butter in a gentle stream into the sugar and eggs and then return to the saucepan.

Stir in:
juice of 3 lemons
zest of 2 lemons

Cook gently over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. 

Allow to cool and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

Choose a white frosting to prepare for the cake (see below).

Cover the first cake layer with 1/2 of the lemon curd.

Place the second layer over the first and cover with the remaining lemon curd. 

Top with the third layer and cover with desired frosting.

Coat the frosting with 11/2 cups shredded coconut, gently patting onto
sides and top of cake.

White Frostings for Coconut Cake

Following are three different frostings for the White Coconut Cake depending on how sweet or rich you want the finished product to be. Feel free to experiment with these frostings on other cakes as well.

Tangy Whipped Cream Frosting

In a cold mixing bowl whip together with an electric beater until foamy:
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup cultured buttermilk*

Continue to beat while adding:
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip until soft peaks form. Too much whipping will make butter.

*Buttermilk helps to stabilize the cream, keeping it from separating but the cake should not be
frosted until shortly before serving time and must be refrigerated after frosting. This is the lightest
frosting of the three.

Seven-Minute Frosting (fat-free)

Use a saucepan containing 2 inches water and a stainless steel bowl to create a double boiler.
In the bowl combine:
5 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1⅓ cup sugar

Bring water to a boil in bottom pan, then turn heat down so that the water is at a high simmer. 

Add to the sugar and water in the bowl:
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Beat at low speed with whisk or portable electric mixer until temperature is 160˚F on instant-read thermometer. This will pasturize the raw egg whites. Continue beating with high speed for 7 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together:
8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened

Add while continuing to blend:
2–3 cups confectioners sugar, depending on your taste
2 teaspoons vanilla

Allow to chill to spreadable consistency.

Click here to download the recipes shared in today’s blog post or pick up your own copy of The Folk School Cookbook here, on our Facebook page, or at the Folk School Craft Shop, Malaprops in Asheville, Highland Books in Brevard, Curiosity Shop in Murphy, Highlander Gallery in Brasstown, and City Lights in Sylva.

John C. Campbell Folk School
About John C. Campbell Folk School

The Folk School transforms lives, bringing people together in a nurturing environment for experiences in learning and community life that spark self-discovery. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.