Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grease and flour 3 9” round baking pans.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy and almost white in appearance.
Add in the sugar and beat again.
Add the egg yolks only to the creamed butter. Beat 2 minutes.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter alternately with the buttermilk. Start with the flour mixture and end with the flour mixture. Beat between each addition.
Beat until the mixture is smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Mix in the vanilla, 1 ½ cups of walnuts and coconut.
Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a small bowl until they are stiff and can hold peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
Divide the cake batter evenly between the 3 pans.
Bake for 27-30 minutes or until the cakes test done.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting:
Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes.
With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, until it is thoroughly mixed.
Add the vanilla and beat the frosting on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Assemble the cake:
Make sure the cakes are level. Cut off any domed parts.
Place one cake layer on the plate.
Frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting.
Place the second layer on top, then frost as you did the first.
Place the third layer on top and frost the top of the cake.
Frost the sides of the cake, putting on as much frosting as you’d like. We chose to make a “naked” cake. You can add more frosting if you’d like.
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.*