Coconut Chiffon Cake

This dreamy cake is a masterpiece.


  • 2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Shortening
  • 1 (8-oz.) container mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 1 (6-oz.) package frozen grated coconut, thawed
  • 1 ½ (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bars, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sweetened flaked coconut


    1. Prepare Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together sifted cake flour and next 3 ingredients in bowl of an electric stand mixer. Make a well in center of flour mixture; add oil, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and ¾ cup water. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.
    2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of egg whites into batter; fold remaining whites into batter. Spoon batter into 4 greased (with shortening) and floured 8-inch round shiny cake pans (about 2 cups batter in each pan).
    3. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 14 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Do not overbake--cakes will be a very pale golden color.) Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
    4. Prepare Filling: Stir together mascarpone cheese, ½ cup powdered sugar, and 1 Tbsp. vanilla in a large bowl just until blended.
    5. Beat ¾ cup cream at low speed with an electric mixer until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until well blended. Add thawed grated coconut, and stir just until blended. Spread mixture between cake layers (about 1 ⅓ cups per layer). Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 12 hours.
    6. Prepare White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: Microwave chopped white chocolate and 2 Tbsp. whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 to 1 ½ minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Cool completely (about 20 minutes).
    7. Beat 1 cup softened butter and 2 cups powdered sugar at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add white chocolate mixture, 2 tsp. vanilla, and remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, and beat at high speed 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. Cover top and sides of cake with 3 cups flaked coconut, gently pressing coconut into frosting.