Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut Cake
Lemon Coconut Cake
This image courtesy of favesouthernrecipes.com

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 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  1. 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

  1. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally so that you have four layers.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Subscribe to Our Free Newsletter

Free recipes, giveaways, exclusive partner offers, and more straight to your inbox!

Leave a Comment

I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Wow, this looks fantastic. I've never used lemon curd in a cake before, but I've always wanted to. This looks like a great recipe for trying it out!

I haven't made this yet but sounds delicious! I never buy whole milk. Do you have to use it or will skim milk Work just as well?

Hi clett62 2299368, You can use skim milk instead of whole, but be careful not to overmix the cake batter. The extra fat in whole milk helps to make the cake tender, so you will be missing that little bit of fat. But skim milk should work just fine!

Awesome cake! My husband was pleasantly surprised! He loved his birthday cake as did everyone else. Just the right amount of tartness from the lemon curd. My 12 year grandson requested I make this cake for his next birthday too. I've never made homemade lemon curd before....will deffinently make it for other uses too. I was surprised with the frosting for this cake also.....as I don't usually like vegetable shortening in frosting because it leaves a greasey feeling in my mouth, but the combination of butter and shortening together made a difference. Big hit over all.....will be making this cake again! I tried to upload a picture of the cake but it kept saying failed, try again. Just take my word for it, it was a beautiful cake! LOL!

I'm so glad it was a hit!

My husbands birthday is in 2 days and his favorite birthday cake is a simple coconut cake....white cake, vanilla frosting and lathered all over with coconut. And his favorite cookie is any cheap brand of lemon sandwich cookies. So I am going to make this lemon coconut cake for his birthday cake instead this year....it looks so sweet and luscious! He always cuts the first piece, so he'll be in for a surprise! I'll post back and let you know how it goes!

I hope he likes it! Also feel free to upload a picture of the finished product when you're done.


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In Create Account
Close Window