For Cake: Make cake according to package directions and add the coconut extract. Bake in two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans making sure to tap the pan on the counter to even out the batter and bring air bubbles to the surface for even height in baking. when cake is done let cool 10 minutes and remove from pans. When completely cool use a serrated knife and cut each in half to make a total of 4 circles.
For Coconut filling: put cream and packaged pudding in heavy sauce pan and cook on medium heat stirring constantly till it is thick and starts to bubble. While still hot stir in the butter and coconut. Put it into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and chill over night or for at least 6 hours.
For syrup: put sugar and water into a sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. When all sugar is melted take off of the heat and let cool completely.
For the icing:.
beat the butter and cream cheese till creamy. Add in the vanilla and sugar till of a good spreading consistancy. If you choose to use the vanilla bean process it in a blender or small food processor till it is in little bits.
Toasting the coconut:.
place the coconut on a baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven. watch it closely and stir it every so often. take it out when it is golden and let it cool.
To assemble the cake;.
place one circle on your cake plate, drizzle or spray the top of the cake with the syrup. You will do this with each layer. You want it just moistened not soaked. Divide your filling into thirds and you will smooth out this filling between three layers of the cake. After you have done this with the three layers you will place the fourth circle on top and ice the cake as usual on top and the sides. Lastly take the toasted coconut and carefully stick it to the sides and top of your cake. If you will not eat the cake right away i suggest placing it in the fridge.