long-ago adapted from gourmet.com
For cake layers
2 1/3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, beaten lightly
a 28-ounce can crushed pineapple in unsweetened juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
a rounded 1/4 cup sugar
2 2/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut (a 7-ounce bag), toasted golden
Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottoms of 2 buttered 9- by2-inch round cake pans with rounds of wax paper. Dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.
Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a glass measuring cup stir together milk and vanilla. In a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed cream butter 1 minute and add sugar in a steady stream, beating until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition, until pale and fluffy. Stir in flour mixture in 4 batches alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture and stirring after each addition until batter is smooth.
Divide batter between pans, smoothing tops, and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of each pan and invert cake layers onto racks. Remove wax paper carefully and cool cake layers completely. Cake layers may be made 5 days ahead and frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil. Thaw cake layers in refrigerator 1 day before proceeding with recipe.