Step One: Combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cream cheese in a medium bowl.
Step Two: Beat the ingredients until light and creamy (about three minutes.) Be careful not to over beat, or the icing will be too runny.
Step Three: Set the nuts aside. They will be used at the end.
Step Four: Cover and refrigerate the icing.
Note: Do not add nuts to the icing. It will make the icing very difficult to spread.
Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step Two: Evenly spray 3 (9 inch) round cake pans with the cooking spray.
Step Three: Dust the pans with flour, and then shake off excess flour.
Step Four: Set the pans aside.
Step Five: In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter. Use an electric mixer to beat on medium speed; until it is an even creamy consistency.
Step Six: Separate egg yolks and whites. Reserve the egg whites for use in a moment.
Step Seven: Add one egg yolk and beat the mixture well. Add another egg yolk and beat the mixture well. You will only use two of the egg yolks.
Step Eight: In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda.
Step Nine: Add the 1/4 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and mix well.
Step Ten: Add 1/4 of the buttermilk, and mix well.
Step Eleven: Continue to alternate flour and buttermilk, until all of it is used.
Step Twelve: Stir in the vanilla, coconut, and almond extracts.
Step Thirteen: Stir in the pecans and coconut.
Step Fourteen: Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites on high speed, until a stiff peak forms. Be careful not to over beat.
Step Fifteen: Gently fold egg whites into batter.
Step Sixteen: Pour batter into pans.
Step Seventeen: Bake for 23 minutes.
Step Eighteen: Let the pans cool for 10 minutes. Then, gently remove cake from pans.
Icing The Cake:
Step One: Line a plate or cake dish with wax paper. You can use one of the pans to trace a circle for the exact size.
Step Two: Place one layer on the plate, and ice with ¼ of the icing. Repeat with each layer.
Step Three: Use the final 1/4 of the icing to ice the sides of the cake.
Step Four: Sprinkle the pecans on the top of the cake and along the sides. You can use a piece of wax paper to press the pecans into the icing.