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The Butterfly Garden's Toasted Coconut Cake

White layer cake:
18.25 oz. package white cake mix (do not use one with "pudding-in-the-mix")
3 3.4 oz. packages vanilla instant pudding mix
1/4 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/3 C. flaked coconut
1 C. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Coconut cream-cheese frosting:
4 T. butter, divided
2 1/2 C, flaked coconut
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
16 oz. package powdered sugar
2 t. milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract

To make the cake: Heat oven to 350F. Grease and dust with flour 2 round, 9-inch cake pans.

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil and eggs with 1 1/3 cups water; beat just until combined, using an electric mixer's medium speed (about 2 minutes). Stir in coconut and nuts, if using.

Spoon batter into cake pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove layers from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet; stir in coconut. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until coconut begins to tan and edges are golden brown (about eight minutes). Set aside.

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cream cheese; beat with an electric mixer until no lumps remain and mixture is smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in 2 cups of the toasted coconut (reserve 1/2 cup for garnish).

To assemble: Place a cooled cake layer on cake plate. Spread with frosting; repeat with remaining layer. Frost sides of cake. Sprinkle reserved toasted coconut on top.

Serves 12 to 16.

    
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