Mrs. G. Carl of Laurel requested a recipe for a coconut cake "like the one I had at the fall festival of the St. Nicholas Greek Church on South Ponca Street." Added Carl: "Much food was brought in by many, and I would be so pleased if this lady who made the coconut cake would send in the recipe. It was an unusually light cake and was moist."
Jan Saari of Fort Bragg, Calif., responded, "This is the best coconut cake recipe ever. Rumors have it that Barbara Larsen originally made this recipe. She and her husband, Jim, owned and ran the gourmet restaurant called The Restaurant in Fort Bragg, Calif. When this coconut cake was on the menu, customers always indulged. I am sure you will enjoy it. "
Carolyn Hawke of Farmville, N.C., is seeking a recipe for a jellyroll that she once made for her six children and lost. "It was in the '60s, and I found the recipe in a small booklet that came with my blender. The batter was made in the blender and poured into a jellyroll pan.
"Then when it was baked and cooled on a sugar-coated tea towel, I put jelly on it, rolled it up and my children would eat every bit when they came home from school. One of my sons is asking for it again, and I'd love to find this recipe."
Doloris Gurrola of Merced, Calif., is seeking a recipe for a spinach Marie, "which I can't find anywhere, even though I collect cookbooks. I've eaten it at Home Town Buffet many times, but they won't give out the recipe."
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.
If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.
Larsen's Coconut Cake
Serves 12 to 16
1 package Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 package 4-serving-size Jell-O brand instant vanilla pudding
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups angel-flake coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Blend cake mix, pudding mix, water, eggs and oil. Beat 2 minutes. Stir in coconut and nuts. Pour into three buttered and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove. Cool completely on wire racks and ice.
4 tablespoons butter (divided use)
2 cups angel-flake coconut (divided use)
8 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Add coconut and stir until lightly browned. Spread on paper towels. Cream remaining 2 tablespoons butter with cream cheese and add milk gradually. Beat in sugar and blend in vanilla. Add 1 3/4 cups coconut. Ice cake, and on top sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup coconut.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The finished cake is beautiful to look at and incredibly moist inside. It must be the pudding mix that gives it its rich texture, and the inclusion of the coconut adds textural interest and robust coconut flavor.
"It would make a great birthday cake for a coconut fan, and to give it more of a `tropical' feel, you could substitute chopped macadamia nuts for the walnuts or pecans. Be a little sparing with the icing between the layers, as the quantity of icing is a little skimpy for the whole cake."