This lemon coconut cake can be made as a single layer or in layers, the frosted and then coated with coconut frosting You will start with a cake and pastry flour in a bowl, in addition to the flour, sift in sugar with baking powder and salt. Into the dry mixture, add three-quarters of a cup of unsalted butter that is cut into pieces. Zest in a whole lemon then with the paddle attachment, work in the butter until you cannot see large chunks of butter in the mixture.

For the wet ingredients, in a jar, add one cup of buttermilk, to that add lemon juice, 4 eggs, two teaspoons of vanilla, and two tablespoons of vegetable oil which will help keep your cake moist for days. Give the wet ingredients a good mix then add to the dry ingredients starting at low speed and increases the speed as they start to mix. If you have a large pan, you can add this batter at once but if your pans are small, you can do this in two pans and you will fill each pan with the batter about halfway full.

Bake this cake in 350 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Test with a skewer at the centre and if it comes out clean the cakes are ready. For the coconut glaze or filling, you will start with whipping cream into a saucepot, to that added sugar and lemon zest. To thicken the mixture, you will add cornstarch then two cups of sweetened flaked coconuts then bring the mixture to a full simmer over medium heat while continuously stirring it. Add in three eggs while continuously stirring it so the eggs don’t get coked in the mixture. Transfer the mixture into a bowl, then to cool it down and add more richness, add in butter and whisk that in until it completely melts.

Add a splash of vanilla and if you want to add coconut intensity add half a teaspoon of coconut extract then give it a final whisk and let it cool down. There are two ways you can make this cake, the first if you are making it as a single layer cake, you will let the cake cool then pour ontop the coconut glaze.

If you are making it as a layer cake, you will need buttercream which you will layer the cake with before glazing the cake, either way, you are going to enjoy this cake. This is quite a substantial cake and with this recipe, you can feed a crowd, let the cake chill for a few hours if you made it as a layer cake ten serve it. This is the ultimate of lemon cakes with a combination of flavours and soft texture. Enjoy.



  • 2 ½ cups (325 g) cake & pastry flour
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (9 g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2.5 g) salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup (175 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract

Lemon Coconut Filling;

  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup (30 g) cornstarch
  • 2 cups (100 g) sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) coconut extract (optional)

Buttercream and Assembly;

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups (260 g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ cups (340 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (150 g) sweetened flaked or shredded coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and dust the sides of the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl (if using electric beaters) or into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  3. Add the lemon zest and stir in. Add the butter and cut in on medium-low speed until the flour is crumbly and no pieces of butter are visible about 2 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, lemon juice, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add this all at once to the flour and mix first on low speed until combined and then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute until lighter in colour.
  5. Divide the batter between the two pans and spread to level. Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the entre of a cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes for 30 minutes on a rack in their tins, then turn out to cool completely.

For the filling;

  1. Measure the cream, sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch and coconut in a saucepan and whisk this together. Have the egg yolks in a small dish and have the butter in another dish on hand.
  2. Bring the cream mixture up to a full simmer over medium heat while whisking, about 5 minutes. Ladle a spoonful of the cream into the egg yolks while whisking and then add this back into the pot, and continue to cook for about 4 minutes while whisking, to cook the eggs.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Whisk in the vanilla and coconut extract (if using) and transfer to a bowl to cool. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before using.

For the buttercream;

  1. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a metal bowl placed over a pot of gently simmering water, until the mixture has doubled in volume and holds a ribbon on the surface when the whisk is lifted.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the icing sugar – this will cool the sabayon.
  3. Using electric beaters or in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the sabayon one minute to cool it further and then add the soft butter a few pieces at a time, until the buttercream is smooth. Whip in the vanilla. Use the buttercream at room temperature

To assemble the cake;

  1. Slice each cake layer in half horizontally. Place one cake layer onto a platter or cake stand. Spoon some of the buttercreams into a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe a ring around the outside edge of the cake.
  2. Spoon a third of the chilled coconut filling inside this ring, spreading evenly. Top this with another cake layer and repeat two more times.
  3. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream and coat the entire cake with coconut. Chill the cake until ready to serve.