Makes 8 to 12 servings. Recipe attributed to Gladys Presley, Elvis Presley’s mother, is from “Fit for a King: The Elvis Presley Cookbook” by Elizabeth McKeon, Ralph Gevirtz and Julie Bandy (Rutledge Hill Press, 1992).
12?3 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1?3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
1?3 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup milk
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups grated coconut
1. Line the bottom of two 8-inch layer pans with waxed paper. Lightly grease the paper and sides of the pan. Have all of the ingredients at room temperature.
2. Into a bowl sift the cake flour. Add the sugar, salt and baking powder, and resift 3 times.
3. Add the shortening and coconut milk, and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
4. Add the milk, egg whites and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes more. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently to keep the batter smooth.
5. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Remove it to cool thoroughly. Top with coconut, and stack the layers.