Vanilla wafer cake


1 pound (7 cups) vanilla wafer cookies, broken into rough pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.

Process 1/2 of cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs, about 1 minute. Transfer crumbs to a bowl. Repeat with remaining cookies. Stir in salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping down bowl and beaters as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low and add 1/3 of cookie crumbs followed by 1/4 cup milk. Repeat with half of remaining cookie crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup milk, and finish with remaining cookie crumbs. Fold in coconut and pecans.

Give batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and gently tap pan on counter to settle batter. Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes. Run a small knife around edge of the cake, then remove the sides of pan. Cool cake on a wire rack to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours, before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Shared by Cynthia Stilley, San Marino, Calif. From “Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers: Old-Fashioned, Home-Cooked Recipes Too Good to Forget,” by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen.