1 (15 1/4-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
3 cups sugar $
5 large eggs $
1/2 cup lemon-lime soft drink* $
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (6-ounce) package frozen flaked coconut, thawed
Garnish: fresh mint sprig
Grease bottom and sides of 3 (9-inch) round cakepans; line bottoms with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper.
Drain pineapple, reserving 3/4 cup juice. Remove 1/4 cup reserved juice for Cream Cheese Frosting, and reserve crushed pineapple for Pineapple Filling.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Combine 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice and soft drink. Add flour to butter mixture alternately with juice mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in extracts. Pour into prepared cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans immediately; cool on wire racks.
Spread 3/4 cup Pineapple Filling between cake layers and remaining filling on top of cake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake; pipe border around top, if desired. Sprinkle with coconut. Garnish, if desired.
*For lemon-lime soft drink, we used 7-Up. Its specific level of carbonation makes the layers rise beautifully.