Orange Coconut Cake

Kitty Wells Orange Coconut Cake recipe, makes an old fashioned cake with a luscious old fashion boiled frosting of orange zest and coconut.

The Queen Of Country Music, Kitty Wells, said her mother taught her how to make this cake when she was very young. She married in 1937 and this cake was her husband, Johnny Wright's, who was also a country music legend, favorite.


Kitty Wells Orange Coconut Cake

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest*
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Cream shortening. Gradually add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold in extracts and orange zest. Mix well.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold into batter alternating with buttermilk, starting and ending with flour.

Scrape down sides and mix on medium speed 30 second to 1 minute just until mixed well.

Pour into two greased and floured 8" cake pans and bake in pre-heated oven 350F. for 25-30 minutes until cake tests done in the center.

Remove from oven and let rest 2 or 3 minutes. Revert cake onto a cooling wire rack. Remove cake pan and peel paper.

Cool thoroughly before frosting.

Orange Coconut Cake Frosting

  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1/2 cup unbeaten egg whites (about 3 medium eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest*
  • 8 oz. flaked coconut


Combine sugar, water, and cream of tarter in a medium saucepan.

Cook and stir on low heat until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking without stirring until mixture reaches 260F on a thermometer or until a little mixture dropped in cold water forms a hard ball. Remove from heat.

In your mixer bowl beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks but not dry.

Slowly pour hot syrup over egg whites, beating constantly until all syrup is gone and frosting is just stiff enough to spread.

Fold in vanilla extract and orange zest. Frost between cake layers, on sides and top.

Sprinkle coconut on top and sides of cake.

*Orange Zest is outer orange layer of peeling that is grated. Takes about 3-4 oranges to get the 3 tablespoons called for in this recipe.

Use the leftover orange fruit for salads.


NOTE: I adapted the above frosting to reduce sugar content.


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