Super Lemony Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut

This is a fairly easy recipe for a great Spring time dessert. I created this recipe Easter 2014 because every lemon cake recipe I’ve ever used was never lemony enough. Trust me, if you like that tart lemony bite, this cake has it. How? I use lemon oil!! Lemon oil is approximately $10 for 0.5 ounce and goes rancid rather quickly, so it is best to refrigerate it upon opening. This is a great recipe for cupcakes too. I simply sliced the tops off horizontally, topped with curd, replaced the top and frosted. Makes 24 standard sized cupcakes, 1 3 layer 9 in round cake, or 1/2 sheet cake. By the way, this cake recipe is amazingly moist!! Simply remove the lemon ingredients and you have a great yellow cake recipe. 

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes, Triple Chocolate Sheet Cake (recipe coming soon), hot crossed buns, homemade peanut butter eggs, etc.

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes, Triple Chocolate Sheet Cake (recipe coming soon), hot crossed buns with cinnamon butter, homemade peanut butter eggs, etc.

Ingredients for Basic Moist (Lemon) Yellow Cake*

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup milk in a 2 cup measuring cup, add enough vegetable oil to bring milk level to 1 1/3 cups

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter softened

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs room temperature

1/2 teaspoon lemon oil (use an eye dropper)

2 teaspoons lemon powder

2 teaspoons ground lemon zest

2 drops lemon food coloring

*Simply omit the lemon oil, lemon powder, ground lemon zest, AND yellow food coloring  for a very moist basic yellow cake

Lemon Oil, Ground Lemon Zest, and Lemon Powder

Lemon Oil, Ground Lemon Zest, and Lemon Powder

Ingredients for Lemon Curd Filling

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest OR 1 tablespoon ground lemon zest

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 teaspoons corn starch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon salted butter

Ingredients for Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

2 tablespoons ground lemon zest/finely shredded lemon zest

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1/2 cup softened salted butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon powder

1/2 teaspoon lemon oil

5 cups confectionery sugar

Ingredients for Coconut  Coating

3 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Optional- 3 drops food coloring of your choice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Prepare three (3) 9 x 1.5-inch round pans OR 1/2 sheet pan by either spraying with cooking spray or cutting wax paper to fit bottom of pans (spray pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper)

In large mixing bowl combine cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well incorporated.

Add the milk/oil mixture and butter to dry ingredients. Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes. While beating add vanilla (and lemon oil, lemon powder, and ground lemon zest if making a lemon cake).

Add eggs one at a time and continue beating on medium an additional 2-3 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.

          While cake is baking make lemon curd. In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat add water, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice,corn starch, and salt. Whisk ingredients until well incorporated. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. Reduce temperature to low and remove pan from heat. Stir in butter and cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. FYI the curd will be a pale yellow color. If you desire a more intense yellow color then add a drop or two of yellow food coloring.

Cool cake on wire rack for 15-20 minutes or until cool.

For frosting, mix cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Once well blended add confectionery sugar one cup at a time, adding next cup once the previous cup is completely incorporated. Add lemon zest, powder, and oil. Mix/blend an additional minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

When ready to assemble, place curd between cake layers. Frost cake. Immediately, mix coconut and food coloring. Pat coconut evenly over cake while icing is still wet. Cover/store cake appropriately.

Shredded Sweetened Coconut

Colored Coconut