Nan's Yummy (Happy Birthday Corrine!!) Coconut Cake

October 11, 1984.
Grant was in his second year of school at the University of Utah. We lived on 6th and M, with a view of the SLC cemetery. I was p.g. as we called it back then, with our first child.
After about 12 hours of labor, Corrine was born. Too much epidural, too early. Our baby was born without a heartbeat and not breathing...she was rushed to a table out of my sight, where CPR was performed on her tiny 6 lb 13 oz body. Miracles occurred, and several days later, on the snowiest day -to that day, in Utah history (22 inches), we bundled her up and took her home.
I still remember being overwhelmed at the thought of being a mom. What was I thinking? I had no idea how to take care of a baby, let alone raise a child. I felt like an imposter. First reality check, my milk coming in...
I seriously had no idea this was going to happen. My mom didn't nurse me or my brother (yeah, that's what's wrong with me) so she didn't have a clue in this department. Neither did I.
Can you say ENGOURGED?

Corrine's neck was so long and floppy,
we had to hold her head up for about 6 months.
Like my BIG 80's hair?? Attractive, I know.
This is what people looked like before PHOTOSHOP.

Corrine was our only child for almost six years. She went to Grant's graduation from the U, and then again when he graduated from law school.

U of U 1986

She lived through daycare and babysitters, while I worked and Grant went to school. She spent lots of hours with Grant while he studied. Corriney remembers our days of apartment living, and then later the promise of getting her first bike at age 6, if she would tolerate house hunting for our first house in Seattle. She's our only child who remembers my dad, and how much he loved being a grandfather. She escaped with Grandpa at 5 AM in his big gold truck to his restaurant, where he would order up pie for breakfast.

Twin black eyes. Don't ask.

When I was about 9 months pregnant with Brookie- Grant, Corrine and I all came down with a horrible stomach flu. We were all in the bathroom for two days, living in our pj's. As we knelt down to say a family prayer after surviving the first night, Corrine prayed we would
"All get better, and that Dad (Grant) would have the strength to pull the baby out, when it was time for 'it' to be born." Where did she get the idea he was delivering the baby?? We all had a big laugh.

1990 first house

Corrine has grown up to be a kind, generous, beautiful, talented and loving daughter. For 26 years now, she has been a blessing in our family.
Happy Birthday, Corriney! Keep looking up. We love you more than you will ever know.

Brookie and Corriney
My two fave girls...

Oh, PS. My dear friend Nan made this cake the other night, and I liked it so much, I made it (along with some super chocolaty brownies bc she loves chocolate) for Corrine's birthday. One word: yum. Yes, it's a doctored up cake mix recipe. Now, you know how I feel about mixes...so you know I wouldn't share it unless it was really yummy. I've tried from scratch coconut cakes, namely Bf Contessa's Coconut Cake. It's delish, but too heavy for me. Nan's cake has great flavor, is moist and not too rich. And did I mention simple? This one goes in the ser simple category. You're going to love it.

Nan's Yummy Coconut Cake
Nan Bruske

1 white cake mix
1 small package instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 eggs
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine eggs, sour cream, vanilla, water and coconut milk until blended well. Add cake mix and pudding. Mix till smooth.
our into two well greased and floured 9 inch round pans. Sprinkle a little coconut on top of cakes, if desired. bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Invert onto cooling rack.

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk, canned or half and half

Blend butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and milk until desired consistency. If desired add half of a 7 oz package of coconut. Combine well, spread on cooled cake. Sprinkle remaining coconut on top and sides of cake.
Decorate with fresh raspberries and blueberries if desired.
Chill until serving. Remove about 30 minutes before serving for best results.
Store covered in refrigerator.

-You may use coconut pudding in place of the vanilla pudding.
-I think this cake would be wonderful with a custard filling instead of the frosting.
-If you like the look of toasted coconut, place coconut on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Top cake with toasted coconut.
-I think this cake is better the second day.


  1. Such a beautiful story, how blessed we are with children. All the work is worth it for sure, thanks for sharing and your daughters are breathtaking.

  2. Wow I can't believe our kids are this old. Great story and pics. I love Coconut Cake and usually have one for my B-Day. We will definitely be trying this one.

  3. I too have a 26 year old daughter; our oldest. Time flies too fast. (And I had the same hair, only yours is much prettier). I know what you mean about Ina' cake. Love the flavor, hate the heft of it. I will for sure give this one a try.

  4. the cake is sounding pretty wicked, with the cake mix,sour cream, pudding and coconut cream! Anyways, happy birthday Corrine!

  5. Looks beautiful and what a delicious birthday treat.
    Sue :-)

  6. My sister bought a (white) cake for my niece's birthday but she got mad because it wasn't chocolate so she made the no fail chocolate bundt (Can you tell who is the princess in the family? :) as 2 layers and it was a hit with all the ppl at the party! They were all asking for the recipe and so we started talking about your blog and decided that this one is next!! Thanks, LOVE coconut

  7. How do iI print your recipe? Do you have print friendly?

    1. Hi Gayle
      Right under the title of thd recipe is a "print recipe" option. Hit that and you can easily print!

  8. I am making this cake today! I had to go to 3 different stores to get all the ingredients here in Shanghai. The pudding I found is printed only in German, so I'm not sure if it's instant or not. :-( Wish me luck!

  9. Just made this cake today for Valentine's Day. Toasted some coconut for sprinkling on top as you suggested, and substituted a Pineapple Cake Mix because it looked good! Had to make it is a bundt cake. It turned out so well! Thank you for the recipe.

  10. Made this cake today for a church fundraiser for the youth. It earned $180! Cake looked amazing and tasted super good! Thank you!

  11. Do you have a recipe that you love if you were to do the custard in the middle?

    1. There is another coconut cake on a bountiful kitchen that has a pineapple filling it is delicious look in the index or use the search bar. Or you picks use this and make a vanilla custard filling!


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