16tbspunsalted butter2 sticks, at room temperature
1teaspoonpure lemon extract
1cupvegetable shorteningnot butter flavored
4 1/2cupspowdered sugarsifted
1 1/2teaspoonsclear vanilla
1drop green food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Butter three 9 inch round cake pans (these come in the Checkerboard Pan Set) and line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper. Place the checkerboard cake insert into one of the pans and set aside.
Making the Cake:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites.
Put the sugar and lemon zest into your mixer's bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter, and working with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one-third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Separate the batter evenly into three separate bowls. To add paste food coloring, take a small amount (smaller than a pea, it doesn't take much!) and whisk it into the white batter. Repeat for the other two batches. I used pink, purple, and green.
Starting with the pan that has the checkerboard insert, fill the center hole halfway with pink batter. Fill the center ring halfway with green and the outer ring halfway with purple. Carefully loosen the insert's "legs" from the side of the pan and lift the insert straight up into the air. Rinse and dry the insert and place it into the next pan.
In keeping with your pattern flow (pink, green, purple, etc) fill the center hole halfway with green, the second ring with purple, and the outer ring with pink. For the last pan, continuing the pattern, purple in the center, then pink, then green.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, checking after 25, or until the cakes are springy to the touch- a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)
To Make the Frosting:
Beat shortening and extracts until creamy, about 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Slowly add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, then 2 tablespoons of milk, 2 more cups of powdered sugar, then the remaining milk and any additional powdered sugar that may be needed.
Put 1/3 of the frosting into a separate bowl and tint it with a small amount of yellow paste food coloring. Frost in between the layers yellow and the sides and top of cake white.
Mix coconut with one drop of green food coloring. Place tinted coconut on top of the cake and add a few jelly beans. Decorate the outside bottom edge of the cake with jelly beans.
This is a double batch cake due to it having three layers. You WILL have batter left over. Divide the remaining batter among 12 cupcakes and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.