This recipe for Lemon Coconut Cake offers a delicious spin on traditional Southern coconut cake. Homemade white cake is layered with lemon curd and buttercream frosting for four beautiful layers. The bright, tart lemon curd perfectly complements the sweetness of the buttercream frosting and coconut. This gorgeous layer cake requires some work, but the finished product is definitely worth the effort. This coconut cake recipe is a show-stopping dessert that is great for special occasions and holidays.
For more of our favorite cake recipes, check out our collection of 31 Traditional Southern Cake Recipes
- For the cake:
- 3/4 cup cup unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 cups prepared or homemade lemon curd
- 1 1/2 (7-ounce) packages sweetened, flaked coconut
To Make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the milk, egg whites, and vanilla. In a third bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately to the butter and sugar, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between two prepared 9-inch round cake pans. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes before transferring from the cake pans to wire cooling racks. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
To Make the Buttercream Frosting
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening together. Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until combined. Add in milk and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. If necessary, add in additional milk one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Reserve 3/4 cup of the buttercream and combine with 3/4 cup shredded coconut.
To Assemble the Cake
Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally so that you have four layers.
Place the first layer of cake on a platter or cake stand. Spread one cup of lemon curd on the bottom layer, leaving a 1/4-border. Top with the second layer of cake. Spread the reserved buttercream and coconut mixture on the second layer, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with third layer of cake. Spread one cup of lemon curd on the third layer, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with the last layer of cake. Transfer to the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set up.
After the cake has chilled for 20 minutes, make a crumb coat on the cake by frosting the cake with a small amount of frosting. You should be able to see crumbs and cake through this thin layer of icing. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, or until the crumb coat is dry.
After 30 minutes, frost the cake with the remaining buttercream. Once frosted, decorate the top and sides of the cake with the remaining coconut so that the cake is completely covered. Store finished cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
If you're interested in more printable recipes, check out our free, downloadable eCookbook, Heavenly Southern Desserts: 9 Easy Cake Recipes
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