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Alice Crans’s Coconut Cake


The “coconut cake to die for,” as somebody called it.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Crisco, or butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package vanilla pudding
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup Caro Syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites stiffly beaten
  • fresh grated coconut (or commercial sweetened coconut)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
  3. Cream together the sugar and butter; add the eggs and combine; then stir in the milk and the vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and combine thoroughly.
  5. Divide the dough between the pans and bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on racks.

In the meantime, prepare the vanilla pudding filling according to package directions. Beat in the egg yolks, allow to cook through over low heat.


  1. Beat the egg whites and leave them in the electric mixer bowl.
  2. Combine syrup and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat when it reaches 238F.
  3. Slowly pour the hot syrup onto the beaten egg whites while keeping the mixing machine at low speed. Be sure to pour the syrup between the rim of the bowl and the beater to prevent spatters. Mix until all syrup is completely incorporated.
  4. When the cake layers are cooled, place one on a cake platter, top with the pudding filling and place the second cake layer on top of it.
  5. Ice carefully all around with the frosting and sprinkle heavily with the coconut.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!