Lemon Coconut Cake

It’s my wonderful Mama’s birthday today! She is 71 years young and still quite the pistol. My hubby, younger brother and I celebrated with her last night and it was a lot of fun. It wouldn’t have been much of a birthday celebration without a decadent cake, so I devised the most amazing lemon coconut cake! Lemon with coconut is one of her favorite combinations in the world so it was perfect.

The batter for the lemon coconut cake was a simple yellow cake batter. I flavored it lightly with lemon zest and coconut oil. The key to making the cake light and airy though was adding just a bit of white vinegar. The vinegar reacted with the baking powder to make the cake even fluffier and lighter!
The batter for the lemon coconut cake was a simple yellow cake batter. I flavored it lightly with lemon zest and coconut extract. The key to making the cake light and airy though was adding just a bit of white vinegar. The vinegar reacted with the baking powder to make the cake even fluffier and lighter!
I made sure to line my two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper and then sprayed them really well with cooking spray. It would have been a disaster if the cakes stuck to the pan so I made extra sure that it didn't happen!
I lined my two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper and then sprayed them really well with cooking spray. It would have been a disaster if the cakes stuck to the pan so I made extra sure that it didn’t happen!
I decided to make a Swiss meringue buttercream for the lemon coconut cake. It was airier, shinier and more easily spreadable than regular buttercream! I added a little bit of rum to deepen the flavor and complement the coconut!
I decided to make a Swiss meringue buttercream for the lemon coconut cake. It was airier, shinier and more easily spreadable than regular buttercream. Whipping up the lightly cooked egg whites and sugar was the key before mixing in more butter than I care to admit. Birthdays only come once a year! Lastly I added a bit of rum to deepen the flavor and complement the coconut.
Homemade Lemon Curd
A few days before, I whipped up a batch of my homemade lemon curd for the filling of the cake. It was fast and easy to do but store bought would have worked in a pinch! It was perfect to cut through the delicate cake and rich buttercream.
Once I frosted the lemon coconut cake, I just topped it with shredded coconut, lemon zest and chopped hazelnuts for some crunch. It was so pretty I could cry!
Once I frosted the cake, I just topped it with shredded coconut, lemon zest and chopped hazelnuts for some crunch. It was so pretty I could cry!
D'aww, mama and sibling love. We all sang (badly) to the birthday girl and had her make a wish. Then I could finally dig into that lemon coconut cake! Oh my goodness, it was perfection. The cake was delicate with the smooth and tangy lemon curd and rich buttercream. It was a hit! Hope you all enjoy this treat as much as my family did. xoxo
D’aww, mama and sibling love. We all sang (badly) to the birthday girl and had her make a wish. Then we could finally dig into the yumminess! Oh my goodness, it was perfection. The cake was delicate with the smooth and tangy lemon curd and rich buttercream. It was a hit! Hope you all enjoy this treat as much as my family did. xoxo
Lemon Coconut Cake
Lemon Coconut Cake
5 from 5 votes
Lemon Coconut Cake
Lemon Coconut Cake
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins
 

This lemon coconut cake is a decadent showstopper with a luscious lemon curd filling and rum flavored Swiss meringue buttercream!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake, Lemon Coconut Cake
Servings: 1 cake
Calories: 764 kcal
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
FOR THE CAKE
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 whole egg yolk
  • 1 whole lemon zested
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter softened to room temperature
FOR THE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
  • 4 whole egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum
FOR ASSEMBLING THE CAKE
  • 1 cup lemon curd either store bought, or see my homemade recipe
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 whole lemon zested
Instructions
  1. First, make the cake layers. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and line two 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Then spray the pans well with cooking spray. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk them together to aerate them. Combine the milk, eggs, egg yolk, lemon zest, coconut extract and distilled white vinegar in another bowl and whisk that all together until smooth. Set up a stand mixer and combine the sugar and butter in its bowl. Beat them together thoroughly until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the wet ingredients. Let each of them get fully incorporated before adding the next 1/3 of the dry ingredients and remaining wet ingredients. Finish with the dry ingredients just until a lovely cake batter forms. Divide the batter evenly among the two prepared cake pans and bake the cake layers for about 30 minutes. The cakes will be slightly sticky when they come out but a toothpick should come out pretty cleanly when inserted in the center. Let the cakes cool for 30 minutes before turning them out onto large plates to finish cooling completely.
  2. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the Swiss meringue buttercream. You will need to wash out the stand mixer bowl and paddle attachment first. Then it's meringue time! Set a small pot filled halfway with water on the stove and bring it to a gentle simmer. Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heat proof bowl and set the bowl over the simmering water. Whisk the mixture until the egg whites warm up and the sugar dissolves. It will be pale white, thick and smooth and should take just a minute or two. Transfer the mixture to the stand mixer bowl and use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fluffy. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat in the softened butter 1/2 a stick at a time. It will become a luscious, thick buttercream. Finally, beat in the rum thoroughly. Set the frosting aside until you are ready to assemble the cake.
  3. When the cake layers are completely cool, assemble the cake. Place the first layer on a pretty cake plate with the flat side down, then spread the lemon curd in a thick layer on it. Place the second layer on top with the flat side up. Frost the cake on top and all around the sides with an offset spatula and smooth it out as best you can. There is plenty of buttercream to work with in case of any needed patch jobs. Sprinkle the shredded coconut, chopped hazelnuts and lemon zest on top to decorate it. Then set it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it! Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Coconut Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 764 Calories from Fat 529
% Daily Value*
Fat 58.8g90%
Saturated Fat 34.9g218%
Cholesterol 248mg83%
Sodium 527mg23%
Potassium 191mg5%
Carbohydrates 62.8g21%
Fiber 1.1g5%
Sugar 57.3g64%
Protein 6.5g13%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Lemon Coconut Cake
Lemon Coconut Cake

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22 thoughts on “Lemon Coconut Cake”

  1. What a beautiful cake and beautiful celebration. My mother’s birthday is this month as well! Haha, actually, so are a lot of relatives (my mom, mother-in-law, two of my brothers and my grandfather). It must be a great month to be born!

  2. I love anything that combines my two favorite flavors . . . lemon and coconut. This one sounds perfect for a summer gathering. The vinegar was a shocking addition but has me curious to try.

  3. What a cute family photo. Thank you for sharing. I’m always looking for new dessert recipes, so this is a keeper. Bookmarking now!

  4. What a pretty cake! I love lemon anything. I love the flavor of coconut, but I’m weird about the texture of it. I only like fresh coconut…I might try this and grate my own fresh coconut.

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