Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut Cake - This classic layer cake features a tangy lemon filling between layers of tender white cake and a rich coconut-cream cheese frosting. Online reviewers proclaim the cake "divine" and "one of the best cakes they've ever eaten."

Summary: This classic layer cake features a tangy lemon filling between layers of tender white cake and a rich coconut-cream cheese frosting. Online reviewers proclaim the cake “divine” and “one of the best cakes they’ve ever eaten.”

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Cake



  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Lemon Filling (see below)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut


  1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Beat egg whites at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining beaten egg whites just until blended. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  4. Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  5. Spread Lemon Filling between layers. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and spread Lemon on top. Garnish, if desired.

Lemon Filling adapted from Ina Garten – makes 3 cups

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

4 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter

Remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith.

Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar. Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice, salt and cornstarch. Mix until combined. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.


Toasted Coconut

shredded or flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spread coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet. (cover with parchment paper)

Place coconut in oven. Check after about 2 minutes. Continue checking every minute until the coconut is the desired color. We like ours toasted on the edges, but still white in the middle.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool.




Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Recipe adapted from Myrecipes


  1. I am making this for Easter. I love lemon in all forms and this not only sounds and looks wonderful but appeals to my baking gene

  2. I’m making this right now and am confused about the lemon filling. It calls for a cup of boiling water, but doesn’t explain how to use it in the directions. Please help ASAP!

    Happy Easter!

    • Sorry about having the boiling water in the ingredients. We got 2 different posts mixed up. We fixed it up, and there is no need for it.

  3. I made this cake to take to a potluck. It was delicious. Everyone raved about it. I will definitely make it again. Who doesn’t like getting compliments? Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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