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Coconut cake takes top prize at Ag Expo

August 07, 2000

Coconut cake takes top prize at Ag Expo

photos: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer


Mollie SpencerMollie Spencer transformed an everyday yellow cake recipe into a grand champion by adding coconut and pecans.

Mollie's Coconut Cake won top prize during the Washington County Ag Expo Saturday, Aug. 5, at Washington County Agricultural Education Center in Sharpsburg. And Hagerstown resident Karl Pile paid top dollar - $110 - for it that night at the 4-H/FFA cake auction.

Mollie entered a cake using the same recipe last year, but "it didn't really work out," she said. She also entered pound cakes this year and last.

The yellow cake that is the basis for Mollie's coconut creation came from a cookbook she bought from her aunt, Susie Bowman of Mount Airy, Md. It was Mollie's idea to liven it up with coconut and pecans.

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The senior at Boonsboro High School said she's been baking "ever since I've been in 4-H," which she joined at age 8. A member of the Sharpsburg 4-H Club, she is the daughter of Bill and Sandy Spencer of Keedysville.

With all that experience, she doesn't need any help from Mom or anyone else when it comes to picking recipes to make for the cake competition at Ag Expo.

"I pick them all myself," said Mollie, 17.

This year, she picked a winner.

Meg H. Partington, Staff Writer


Coconut CakeMollie Spencer's Coconut Cake

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter or margarine. Add sugar gradually, creaming until light. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.

Sift dry ingredients. Add butter mixture alternately with milk, beating after each addition. Beat one minute.

Stir in coconut and pecans.

Bake in two greased and lightly floured 9-inch-round pans for 30 to 35 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in skillet. Add coconut, and stir constantly over low heat until golden brown.

Spread coconut mixture on absorbent paper, such as paper towel, to cool.

Cream 2 tablespoons butter or margarine with cream cheese. Add milk and sugar alternately, beating well. Add vanilla. Stir in 1 3/4 cups coconut.

Frost cake.

Sprinkle top with remaining coconut.

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