1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk--see how-to below)
1 cup chocolate syrup (we used Hershey's)
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)Preheat oven 350-degrees.
Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan.
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Stir together flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and salt. Alternately add with buttermilk (or sour milk) to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
(***To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup***)
Measure 2 cups of the batter in small bowl; stir in chocolate syrup and remaining 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Add coconut, if desired, to remaining vanilla batter, pour into prepared pan. Pour chocolate batter over vanilla batter in pan. Do not mix.
Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely; glaze or frost with your favorite glaze or frosting, as desired.