Special equipment: 3 (8-inch) round cake pans, or 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, floured and greased
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the cake, whip the egg whites until stiff, but not dry in an electric mixer. Set the whites aside.
Switch to the paddle attachment. In a clean bowl cream the butter with the shortening, and sugar until fluffy. Add the yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
Sift the flour and baking soda together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat in the coconut and pecans. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Do not overbake or cake will become too dry. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a rack. Cool completely.
To make the frosting: Cream the cream cheese with the butter in an electric mixer. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. To achieve the spreading consistency you desire, add milk to thin, as needed. Add the vanilla and beat in 1 cup of coconut and the chopped nuts. Frost the cake and sprinkle the toasted coconut and pecans.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Kristen Dalbora, copyright 2004