Where can I find it? Recipe for Rich’s coconut cake

070313 - CONYERS, GA -- The famous Rich's coconut cake, made by Carl Dendy , wih help from local baker Angie Mosier , in Dendy's kitchen at his home in Conyers.  Story about one of the most requested recipes in Atlanta, the coconut cake made at the Rich's bakery that closed more than 20 years ago.  (CHARLOTTE B. TEAGLE / AJC Staff).
Caption
070313 - CONYERS, GA -- The famous Rich's coconut cake, made by Carl Dendy , wih help from local baker Angie Mosier , in Dendy's kitchen at his home in Conyers. Story about one of the most requested recipes in Atlanta, the coconut cake made at the Rich's bakery that closed more than 20 years ago. (CHARLOTTE B. TEAGLE / AJC Staff).

Credit: Charlotte B. Teagle

Credit: Charlotte B. Teagle

Here’s the recipe for Rich’s coconut cake that was featured just over a decade ago in an AJC piece written by Jim Auchmutey

Q: I would like to find a coconut cake that I had growing up in the ’60s. My mother bought it at Rich’s at Greenbriar Mall. It’s the best I’ve ever had. Is there a recipe? G. Chastain, Douglasville

A: Yes, there's a recipe for Rich's Bakeshop coconut cake, and that's good news for the many fans who continue to harbor fond memories of this Atlanta culinary icon. While there are several floating about, the original Rich's recipe featured shortening and powdered milk. Here's the recipe for Rich's coconut cake that was featured just over a decade ago in an AJC piece written by Jim Auchmutey. The proportions were modified to suit home bakers. Make sure to read the recipe completely before you begin. The cake makes 16 servings.

Rich’s Bakeshop Icing

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons powdered milk

1/2 cup water (for dissolving milk powder)

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the vegetable shortening, vanilla and salt and cream together until incorporated. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until it forms a very thick consistency. Dissolve the powdered milk in the water and gradually add, just 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, until the icing is a nice, spreadable consistency.

Rich’s Bakeshop Yellow Cake

Makes three thin 9-inch layers or two thicker 9-inch layers.

Rich’s prepared a three-layer cake with two layers of coconut filling. If you don’t have three pans of the same size, two works fine.

Shortening and flour for pans

2 1/4 cups cake flour or White Lily all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon powdered milk

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup liquid milk (low-fat or whole)

3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pans by lightly greasing with shortening, then dusting with flour. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir the powdered milk into the water and mix until dissolved. Combine the liquid milk with the powdered milk/water mixture and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add about half the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated, and then half the milk mixture, again beating until just incorporated. Repeat this step, adding the remaining flour with the remaining liquid, and beat until just smooth (about 1 minute). Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowls once or twice during the mixing. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake in preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on how many cake pans you use and how full they are. The cake is done when it springs back when lightly pressed near the center with your finger. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Rich’s Bakeshop Coconut Filling and Cake Assembly

2 pounds frozen unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

In a large bowl, thaw the frozen coconut. Set aside. Take 1-and-1/2 cups of the coconut and place in a smaller bowl. Combine the water and sugar and pour over this smaller bowl of coconut. This should be very moist but not soupy. Place one layer of the yellow cake on a cake plate and spread with icing. Spoon the moistened coconut over that. Place the next layer on top and spread with icing, spooning the moistened coconut over it. Continue this process until all your layers are filled; however, don’t put the moist filling on the very top of the last layer, as it will be iced. Next, cover the entire cake with the icing. Make sure to use a thick coating of icing on the cake to eliminate any of the cake showing through. Take handfuls of the dry, thawed coconut and press the flakes into the icing. You may want to put a tray underneath to catch any coconut that falls. Continue pressing dry, flaky coconut all over the cake until it is completely covered. Chill for about one hour to set (it helps the coconut to stay) before serving.

Q: I’m sensitive to a lot of household cleaners, especially glass cleaners with ammonia. I’d like to find a glass cleaner called Whip-It that’s supposed to be plant-based. The manager at the store I shop in has never heard of it. Is this something you could find? Thank you. Maggie Anderson, email

A: Whip-It Power glass cleaner boasts an earth-friendly formula that's non-toxic and biodegradable, and made without alcohol, ammonia, dye, and it's VOC-free. Made in the USA, Whip-It features a light verbena scent. You can find the window spray at Bed Bath And Beyond, 1 Buckhead Loop, Atlanta, 404-869-0457. Whip-It Power glass cleaner sells for $3.99 for a 32-ounce spray bottle.