This Lemon Coconut Cake is layered with sweet coconut cake and tangy lemon curd to pack a little citrus punch. It’s a festive six inch cake recipe perfect for any small gathering.
Lemon? Coconut? I’m a big fan of both and it’s a commonly found classic combo. I’ve made coconut cake before along with so many lemon desserts like lemon pound cake and lemon cheesecake bars just to name a few. But this is my first lemon coconut combo recipe!
The cake is made with shredded coconut and cake flour for a lighter tender texture. It’s not overly sweet and pairs really well with the tart lemon curd filling. I frosted it with my favorite cream cheese frosting and then covered the whole thing with yummy toasted coconut!
Unlike my coconut cake recipe, the coconut flavor here comes entirely from the shredded coconut. It’s one ingredient and it’s easy to find so you don’t need coconut cream or any coconut extract.
I did add a touch of almond extract because I happen to have some and I like the flavor but you can skip it if you like.
For the filling, if you have a favorite lemon curd recipe, go ahead and make that, otherwise you can always use store bought.
And my favorite part of course is that it's a small cake. I'm a big fan of six inch cakes and many of the cake recipes on this site are that size. Small cakes make a nice treat when it's just your family or if you are having just a few people over.
Recipe Success Tips:
Prepare Ingredients: Take out your ingredients ahead of time so they come to room temperature. This will allow them to mix well and create a better cake crumb and smoother frosting. Also, be sure to prepare your cake pans properly. If you are not sure, I have a whole post on how to prepare a cake pan.
Toasting Coconut: I toasted my coconut in a large non-stick pan on a low to medium flame. By constantly stirring and moving the coconut around, you can get the flakes evenly browned. Alternatively, you can also toast coconut flakes in the oven by baking them on a large sheet pan at 350F for about 5-10 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on it.
Slicing and Serving: Refrigerate the cake before serving. This will help the filling and frosting to set so you can cut it without everything sliding out. In other words, your cake slices will be neater!
For the Cake:
- 1 ¼ cup cake flour
- ½ Tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- ⅜ cup milk
- ½ cup shredded, sweetened coconut
For the frosting and Filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- ½ cup lemon curd
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare two six inch pans by brushing with melted butter and then lining the bottom with parchment. Dust with flour.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and almond extract. Add the egg whites and beat until incorporated.
- On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with ading the milk. Begin and end with flour. Fold in the coconut with a spatula.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake!
- Remove the cakes from the pan by inverting the pan over a cooling rack. Cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Begin with a low speed at first and then increase to medium speed.
- Add the salt and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add the sugar and beat at a slow speed until the sugar is incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Increase the speed and mix until smooth and combined.
- Adjust the consistency by either adding either confectioner's sugar for a thicker consistency or a milk (a teaspoon at a time) for a thinner consistency.
- If you have a piping bag, place all the frosting in the bag and pipe a border around the edge of the first layer. Fill the inside with ¼ cup of lemon curd. (The border of frosting will help hold the lemon curd.) Spread more frosting over the curd by piping concentric rings over the curd.
- Place the second layer on top and repeat with lemon curd and frosting. Add the remaining frosting to cover the rest of the cake.
- Using your hand, gently press the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake and spread over the top.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes or more and then serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 267mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 4g
This nutrition information is only an approximate provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. Information comes from Nutritionix, an automated nutrition calculator.