Nigeria was a British protectorate from 1901 until its independence in 1954, which affected many aspects of Nigerian life, including cuisine. Nigerian cakes are rooted in English cooking, and, indeed, European cooking. They include sponge cakes, chocolate cakes and fruit cakes, as well as a butter cake that is very similar to pound cake. Banana is an important crop in Nigeria, and is used in Nigerian cooking, as is coconut. It makes sense, then, that banana cake and coconut cake are popular with Nigerians.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour one 8-inch round baking pan.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
Cut the butter in cubes and blend it into the flour mixture with your fingers until the flour and butter resemble cornmeal.
Stir in the sugar, coconut, milk and coconut extract to make a soft batter that needs to be spooned into the cake pan, rather than poured.
Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until it is done. The cake is done if a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs adhering to the toothpick. If the toothpick comes out of the cake with batter clinging to it, cook it for another five minutes and test it again.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the cake pan. Decorate it with whipped cream, frosting or just powdered sugar.
Flavor the cake with lemon zest or vanilla if you don't have coconut extract.