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1. Let egg whites stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans; set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add buttermilk, shortening, and vanilla; beat on low until combined. Beat on medium 2 minutes more, scraping bowl. Add egg whites; beat 2 minutes more. (Batter will appear curdled.)
3. Spread in pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched and wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
4. Prepare Buttercream Frosting. Place layer flat side down on plate; spread top with some of the frosting. Stack second layer flat side down; frost top and sides. Sprinkle coconut. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Makes 16 servings.
1. In 4-quart mixing bowl beat butter on medium until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar to combine. Beat in buttermilk or milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough additional powdered sugar to make of spreading consistency.