Lemon Coconut Cake

You can make much more than a pitcher of lemonade. Lemon goes equally well with sweet as it does savory. Using lemon in appetizers keeps them light and fresh. Lemon adds brightness to vegetables, and puts just the right amount of kick in chicken and fish. Switching gears and incorporating sugar with lemon creates dreamy desserts. There’s so many ways to use this citrus fruit, so the next time life gives you lemons, ask for an extra bag.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Filling:

  • 1 10-ounce jar lemon curd

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • Cream or half-and-half as necessary
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut,
  • enough to cover top of cake


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans, lining with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt onto parchment paper and set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in lemon juice and lemon zest. Add flour mixture in alternating amounts with the buttermilk.

In separate bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Carefully fold into the cake batter.

Divide mixture evenly between cake pans. Bake 25-28 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool for 3 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.

While cakes cool, make the frosting. In bowl of mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Blend in lemon zest and lemon juice, then add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Add cream or half-and-half if necessary to make of spreading consistency.

To assemble cake: Invert one cake layer onto cake plate. Pipe or frost a small border of frosting around the perimeter of the cake. Spread lemon curd over first layer, completely filling to the edges of the frosting. Top with second cake layer.

Frost top and sides with the remaining frosting. Press flaked coconut over top. Refrigerate until serving time.