Lemon Coconut Cake Recipe: How to Make It Perfectly Every Time

Lemon Coconut Cake: A Tropical Delight in Every Bite

Essential Ingredients for Your Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut Cake is a delightful fusion of two exquisite flavors that blend seamlessly to create a dessert that is both refreshing and indulgent. Known for its light texture and vibrant flavors, this cake has become a favorite among dessert enthusiasts. The combination of zesty lemon and tropical coconut not only tantalizes the taste buds but also provides a perfect dessert for any season.

For fans of Chocolate Chip Cookies, our Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies offers more ideas that are perfect for every occasion.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Perfect Coconut Lemon Cake

Before you start baking, it’s essential to have all your ingredients ready. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cake:
    • 3 cups of cake flour
    • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
    • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    • Optional: 1 teaspoon coconut extract
    • 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • Lemon Curd and Frosting:
    • 1 and 1/2 cups homemade lemon curd
    • 8 ounces full-fat brick cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons coconut milk or heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Pinch of salt
    • Toasted coconut and lemon slices for garnish

Preparing Your Cake

  1. Make the Lemon Curd: Start by preparing a full batch of homemade lemon curd and let it cool while you proceed with the cake. Homemade curd offers a freshness that can’t be matched by store-bought versions, making it a pivotal component of this recipe.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Combine Milks: In a small bowl, mix the coconut milk and buttermilk. This blend is crucial for the moistness of the cake. More details on the importance of these milks can be found on Southern Living’s Coconut Cake Collection.
  4. Cream Butter and Sugars: In a separate bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and coconut extracts.
  5. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures: Alternately add dry ingredients and milk mixture to the creamed butter, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Fold in the shredded coconut last.
  6. Bake: Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake at 350°F for about 22-25 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

Mastering the Art of Lemon Coconut Cake Baking Techniques

Achieving the perfect Lemon Coconut Cake requires attention to detail. The use of cake flour is non-negotiable as it ensures a soft and light crumb. Coconut milk adds to the tropical flavor and enhances the moisture of the cake, which is complemented by the tanginess of the buttermilk. Each ingredient plays a significant role, and variations can lead to changes in texture and taste.

Frosting and Filling

The frosting for this cake is as important as the cake itself. First, the coconut cream cheese frosting is made by blending cream cheese and butter until smooth. Next, you add confectioners’ sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Consequently, the frosting should be light yet robust enough to support the layers of the cake and lemon curd. Additionally, it provides a delightful contrast to the tangy lemon curd, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dessert.

Decoration and Presentation

  • Frosting the Cake: Apply a thin layer of frosting on the first layer, add a layer of lemon curd, and repeat with the next layer. Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
  • Adding Garnishes: Sprinkle toasted coconut over the top and decorate with lemon slices for a visually appealing presentation.

how to make lemon coconut cake ?

Decorating your Lemon Coconut Cake not only enhances its visual appeal but also elevates the overall eating experience. Here’s a streamlined guide to elegantly decorate this tropical dessert:

Ingredients Needed for Decoration

  • Toasted coconut flakes
  • Thin lemon slices
  • Edible flowers (optional)
  • Powdered sugar (optional for dusting)

Simple Decoration Steps

  1. Toast and Cool Coconut Flakes:
    • Toast the shredded coconut until golden, let it cool before use.
  2. Apply Frosting:
    • Apply a thin crumb coat of coconut cream cheese frosting, chill for 30 minutes, then add the final layer smoothly.
  3. Add Coconut and Lemon:
    • Press the toasted coconut flakes onto the sides of the cake and arrange lemon slices in a circular pattern on the top.
  4. Embellish with Edible Flowers:
    • If using, place edible flowers around the lemon slices for added color.
  5. Dust with Powdered Sugar:
    • Lightly dust the top with powdered sugar for a sweet, snow-like effect.
  6. Chill Before Serving:
    • Refrigerate the decorated cake for at least an hour to help set the decorations.

Additional Tips

  • Choose a simple color theme that complements the lemon and coconut flavors.
  • Use an elegant serving platter to enhance the cake’s presentation.
  • Decorate the cake on the day of serving to ensure freshness.

This streamlined approach will make your Lemon Coconut Cake a visually appealing and irresistible centerpiece for any event.


  • Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour?
    • It’s recommended to use cake flour for a lighter texture. However, if necessary, you can make a substitute by mixing all-purpose flour with cornstarch.
  • How long can I store this cake?
    • The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for longer storage.

Additional Tips and Tricks

To ensure your Lemon Coconut Cake is a success, use ingredients at room temperature and measure your ingredients accurately. More baking tips can be learned from Sally’s Baking Addiction Baking Tips.

Variations of Lemon Coconut Cake

Exploring variations can enhance your baking repertoire. For instance, adding pistachios or experimenting with different types of frosting can give a new twist to the traditional recipe. Creative ideas can be found on LideyLikes for more inspiration.


Lemon Coconut Cake is a wonderful recipe that combines the zest of lemon and the exotic taste of coconut into a single delightful dessert. Perfect for any occasion, this cake promises to be a hit among all who try it. Happy baking, and don’t forget to share your experiences with this tropical treat!

Leave a Comment