1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed sweetened coconut
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large whole eggs, plus 4 large eggs whites
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
Seven Minute Frosting (Recipe to follow)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, then dust with flour and tap out excess. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Pulse 1 cup coconut in a food processor until finely chopped; stir coconut into flour mixture.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add whole eggs, whites , and vanilla; beat until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with coconut milk and starting with the flour; beat until combined after each addition.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of cakes to loosen and turn out cakes onto rack. Let cool completely, top side up.
Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to level, if desired. Transfer one layer to a serving platter and spread top with 1 1/2 cups frosting. Place another cake layer on top. Using an offset spatula, spread remaining frosting over entire cake, swirling to completely cover. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup coconut.
Makes 8-10 servings.
Seven Minute Frosting
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
6 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, cook 1 1/2 cups sugar, the corn syrup, and water over medium heat, stirring constantlly, until sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes. Raise heat; bring to a boil without stirring, washing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystals from forming. Continue cooking until a candy thermometer registers 230, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Reduce speed to medium-low. When syrup has reached 230, remove from heat; with mixer on low, carefully pour syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl. Continue beating on medium speed until frosting is completely cool, thick and shiny, about 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.
Makes about 8 cups.