A birthday cake with lit candles

Let Us Eat Cake!

What do Pat Benatar, George Foreman and I, your humble columnist, have in common? We share the same birthday.

A birthday cake with lit candles

photo credit: veryval

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I only know this because someone gave me a 797-page book titled simply, The Portable Book of Birthdays. Good thing too, or I’d never have known that Pat, George and I have socially savvy personalities and a keen ability to promote our ideas and to get what we want. We are intelligent, easily irritable and need constant emotional stimulation, too.

While the book doesn’t mention our favorite birthday cake, I feel confident in speaking for the three of us when I say that without a doubt it is coconut cake. But not just any coconut cake. It has to be 3-Day Coconut Cake that is so delicious it will knock your socks off no matter when you were born. But first a small explanation.

The recipe that follows calls for “frozen coconut.” As many times as I have made this cake (I wonder if Pat and George make their own birthday cakes) I have yet to find such a thing where I live in California. I’ve looked everywhere, asked store managers and anyone else who might be handy. No where to be found. I do understand, however, that frozen coconut is readily available in other parts of the country in the grocery frozen food case. Someone suggested recently that I try an Indian market and I will do that as soon as I, well, locate an Indian market. In the past I have tried fresh coconut with excellent results, but it was a real pain to crack, pry, smash, break, drain, peel and grate. So, I will continue to use Angel’s grated sweetened coconut that comes in a bag and can be found in the baking aisle of any food market.

3-Day Coconut Cake

  • 1 package white cake mix
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 12 ounces frozen coconut (thawed and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

The night before you make this cake, blend together the sour cream, coconut and sugar. Separate 1 cup of mixture and place in a separate bowl. Refrigerate both portions.

Prepare cake mix as per instructions on the back of the box, in two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. Let cool. Using a serrated knife, split both layers in half horizontally, to end up with four layers.

Place one layer on the plate of a cake stand or cake saver that has a top. Spread all but the reserved 1 cup of coconut mixture between the layers.

Mix Cool Whip together with the reserved 1 cup coconut mixture. Frost sides and top of cake with this mixture. Cover the cake and place in the refrigerator.

Do not remove or eat for THREE DAYS. Do not even peek. The longer this cake sits in the refrigerator, the better it gets however it is not humanly possible to wait longer than three days. Store in refrigerator down to the last delicious crumb.

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8 replies
  1. Jeanette says:

    India Sweets & Spices is a local Indian grocery store/vegetarian restaurant. There are several locations. Here is a link. http://www.indiasweetsandspices.us/

  2. SuperByteMan says:

    Do you have a variation of this recipe meant for people who are more likely to leave out the cake. I know I could just mix up all the other ingredients, but they I’d be eating frosting (which doesn’t bother me), but if you had a rich pudding like version of this recipe, I’d love to see it (AND TRY IT).

  3. DianaB says:

    Bob’s Red Mill Shredded Coconut Unsweetened, 12-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4)

    I found this on Amazon for $10.76 if it helps at all :)) (Sorry for the caps, I just copied and pasted.)

  4. DianaB says:

    I was sort of lost on the instructions for a minute but figured it out. Grated coconut in the bag is usually sweetened. If it comes unsweetened, then I would add the one cup of sugar. Otherwise I am thinking it might be too sweet but there is A LOT of sour cream. I don’t know about frozen coconut at all. I assume it comes shredded. I will have to look for that.

    The cake is beautiful and that cake plate is staggeringly gorgeous.

    And, are you serious about letting it sit in the frig for three days? In my house that would be a frig in the garage or something where no one would see it. And with chocolate cake. Oh, my!

  5. valjo says:

    My Aunt Eloise made this cake for years. She would make it when she knew we were coming to West Virginia to visit. It quickly became my husband’s favorite cake. I can find frozen coconut at one of our local stores in the St. Louis area. It is a finer shred than the Angel coconut and not as sweet. I have also made this cake with a chocolate cake mix and it is delicious as well!

  6. Hnywst says:

    I have been making this cake since Mary first posted this recipe years ago. It is fabulous and coconut lovers rave. I make it for my coconut loving boss on his birthday. Not that I’m looking for brownie points, but….just sayin’!

  7. Jane says:

    I think I’ll try this recipe! Have always baked my mother’s Missouri Coconut Cake for my one daughter who loves coconut cake but this does look intriguing. One of my aunts used to grate fresh coconut and I recall that it really was delicious, but I’ve always used the kind in the bags.


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