I didn’t want to post this recipe until I had a chance to talk to Aunt Regina again about it. A few of these old recipes from her collection have called for ingredients in ways that you don’t often see anymore. This one called for a “can of coconut.” I searched on the web for some understanding, since you can still get coconut in a can. But I wanted a better understanding from her. We went out for a visit today and enjoyed barbecue from Bodacious. I got her Mailbug to 10-digit default dialing and Michael changed out eight lightbulbs. Then we sat in the parlor and I played sing-along songs on the old upright piano and Michael got her talking about her shadow box of trinkets from three trips to Israel.
She told me that canned coconut was moist, and that was important to this recipe. And, it was about the size of a Coke can. So, about 1 cup of fresh grated coconut should do. (I’d substitute butter for the shortening and skip the butter flavoring.)
By the way, she has another coconut cake recipe that takes a cue from a tres leches cake and couldn’t be simpler. Bake a yellow cake. When it’s still hot, poke holes all over. Pour over a can of coconut cream and a can of sweetened condensed milk and then top it with coconut flakes.