Moist coconut filled layers of cake are stuffed with a sweet and tangy lemon curd, then coated with a light and fluffy coconut buttercream frosting and topped with a delightful pile of toasted coconut. This Coconut Lemon Layer Cake is basically everything you love about Spring, wrapped up in cake form.
You guys, I am not even going to tell you how many times I tried and tested this recipe until I got it just right.
Let’s just say that I have been eating delicious coconut cake fails for over a week. When it comes to cake fails, they’re still undeniably delicious, so it was hard to resist.
But when I tasted this cake, it was like the heavens parted and I knew instantly it was everything I was hoping it would be.
The cake was moist and thick, yet still light and airy in texture. I used a boxed white cake mix but infused the cake with three types of coconut. I substituted the water for coconut milk, enhanced the flavor with a teaspoon of coconut extract and then plumped it up with a handful of shredded coconut.
You’ll want to make sure to bake the cake slightly longer than a normal box cake, due to the heaviness of the coconut milk. But the end results are simply stunning.
Several years ago I had a friend who made the most amazing coconut cake. The flavors were so rich and nutty, and I simply had to have the recipe.
She refused to give me the recipe. lil turd!
That moment right there was one of the main reasons I decided to start this blog and share recipes with everyone. I believe that if you have something good, you should share it.
Anyways, so that middle part?
The bright and cheery lemon curd? Yeah, it is downright delicious when paired with that coconut cake.
I used a store bought lemon curd, but you could also use a homemade recipe if you prefer. Either way, just don’t skimp on it. The stuff is addictive.
The last two components of the cake are the frosting and the toasted coconut topping.
That frosting you guys… I could eat it all by itself. It’s a classic buttercream frosting but I switched out vanilla extract for coconut extract and instead of whipping in heavy cream, I added full fat coconut milk. It’s light, fluffy and filled to the brim with that nutty coconut flavor.
Lastly – the toasted coconut! I tried toasting coconut in the oven for the first time with this cake and I will probably never go back to toasting it in the skillet. It was so quick and easy, and made for a perfectly golden brown batch of toasted coconut.
Just don’t forget to share the recipe with others and spread the joy!
Get on it!
Coconut Lemon Layer Cake
For the Cake:
- 1 box of white cake mix, plus the egg whites and oil required for baking
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut, divided
- 20 oz. lemon curd
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tbsp full fat coconut milk
- chocolate eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8 inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Combine the cake mix, coconut milk, egg whites and oil in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on low for 30 seconds, then medium for 2 minutes. Add the coconut extract and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut to the batter, stir to combine. Divide mixture between the two pans (batter will be thick), and spread evenly. Bake for 30 to 33 minutes, or until cake springs bake when gently pushed. Let cool for 15 minutes in pan before placing on wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile spread the remaining 1 cup of shredded coconut on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once cake is cool cut each layer in half (I froze my layers to make them easier to cut). Spread 1/3 of the lemon curd on each layer, then top with the last layer of cake.
To make the Frosting:
- Combine the butter and pinch of salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy. Add the coconut extract and powdered sugar, then start the mixer on low speed until the butter mixture absorbs the sugar. Add two tbsp of coconut milk and turn the speed up to medium/high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes. If the frosting needs to be thinner, add more coconut milk and continue beating until combined.
- Frost the layered cake and then top with the toasted coconut and optional toppings if desired.