1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat ½ cup butter and ½ cup shortening at medium speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups sugar, a little at a time, beating well as sugar is added.
3. Add 5 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla, and beat well.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Stir together.
5. Add flour mixture to the cake batter, alternately with 1 cup buttermilk, beating on low speed of mixer after each addition, until all of the flour mixture and buttermilk are mixed into the batter. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.
6. Beat 5 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.
7. Pour cake batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
9. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Loosen with a knife and remove cake layers from pans and allow to cool on wire racks or flat surfaces (such as trays or shallow baking pans).
10. When cool, spread Perfect Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
11. Garnish top of cake with pecan halves and chopped pecans, if desired.
12. Cut into slices and serve.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful cake! Happy Easter, with love!—Betty