2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 large egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large egg whites, room temperature
lemon rind -- optional

For cream cheese icing
1 tablespoon butter(light chilled)
8 ounces Neufchatel cheese(chilled)
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions to cook:

Preparing the icing.

step1 Beat butter and cheese at high speed of a mixer until light and fluffy. 
step2 Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended (do not over beat). 
step3 No cover and place in refrigerator until chilled.

Preparing the cake.

step1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
step2 NOw coat the bottom of three 9" round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans), and line bottoms of pans with wax                 paper.
step3 Coat wax paper with cooking spray. Dust with flour and set aside.
step4 Take the cream sugar and butter in a large bowl. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
step5 Now sift together flour and baking soda. 
step6 Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in pecans and extracts.
step7 Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (do not over beat). Fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pans. 
step8 Bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes. Let cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Turn onto wire racks. Peel off wax paper now allow it to             cool completely.
step9 Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread with 1/3 cup Cream Cheese Icing, top with another cake layer. Repeat with 1/3 cup icing and                       remaining layer, ending with cake layer. 
Step10 Now spread remaining icing over sides and top of cake. Garnish with lemon rind, if desired.

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