The ultimate coconut cake

  (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: Years ago the L.A. Times published a recipe for a wonderful six-layer coconut cake with lemon filling.

F. Kaneshiro

Los Angeles

Dear F.: This is quite spectacular on a cake stand. Assemble the cake with the filling before you make the frosting, otherwise the frosting will dry out as it sits.

Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Servings: 14 to 16

Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

3 cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

4 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flake coconut, for garnish

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans.

2. Cream the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until very light, 2 to 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until pale and thick. Add to the butter mixture, blending well.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the coconut milk, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and beat to thoroughly combine.