Emily’s Coconut Cake


1 cup grated coconut
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Note: milk can be increased if mixture is too thick.


1. Whisk or sift together the flour, soda and cream of tartar. Set aside.
2. Beat the sugar with the butter until fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs.
4. Mix in the flour alternating with the milk.
5. Fold in the coconut.
6. Transfer the batter into an 8 inch wax paper lined cake pan. Smooth over top.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350deg F (170deg C) preheated oven.
8. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out to a cooling rack to cool completely.
9. Dust with powdered sugar and decorate with fresh edible flowers if desired.

Note:: For a lighter cake you could separate the eggs and fold in the beaten whites in the end.  If batter is too thick you can add 1/4 cup more milk.

Emily Dickinson’s own handwritten recipe for Coconut Cake

Emily Dickinson

Spring comes on the World –
I sight the Aprils
Hueless to me until thou come
As, till the Bee
Blossoms stand negative,
Touched to conditions
By a Hum.

Emily Dickinson (c.1865)