Skip to content

Coconut Cake with Lemon Custard

February 10, 2014

I received a birthday cake request for a cake with coconut. It took us quite a few weeks to actually meet up and celebrate so this cake eventually turned into a Superbowl party cake. Which was definitely reason to celebrate as the Seahawks won. My friend Bill said that this was one of my best cakes. He then continued to say he must have eaten 30 or so different cakes of mine. It got me thinking to how many cakes I’ve made over the years and I can tell you in which birthday year usually what type of cake I made. Wish I would have started this blog a long time ago to document them all, but I guess better late than never… Back to this cake. I really like the lemon custard in this recipe. The cake itself could have been a bit moister and fluffier, but still tasted pretty darn good. I suggest making the custard a day or two ahead of time to let chill and firm up. And after using another new extract in this recipe (coconut), I think I am hooked on them since I loved the almond extract in my recent Almond Torte.

Modifications for next time would be adding 1 tsp of coconut extract and maybe 4 oz of coconut flake into the cake mixture as well.

Coconut Cake

Difficulty: Medium (due to custard)
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 min
Total Time: 2 hours 40 min
Yield: 12-16 servings
Taste: Very Good


3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1 tbs finely shredded lemon zest (outer yellow skin of lemon)
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
4 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces

6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar, divided
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 tsp coconut extract

2 cups sweetened shredded or flaked coconut (can use unsweetened dried coconut), can toast coconut if desired


1) In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thickened. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Watch carefully as it will go from runny to thick very quickly.

2) Remove from heat immediately and if there are lumps pour through a fine strainer.

3) Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool.

4) The lemon custard will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate until cold. I learned from making the custard from my Boston Cream Pie that if you place saran wrap over the top of the custard it will prevent a skin from forming. The lemon custard can be made several days (up to a week) in advance.

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and dust with flour.

2) Separate the eggs while they are still cold separate. Placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

3) In a medium mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4) In bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

5) With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

6) In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and stir lightly to combine. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.

7) Divide the batter evenly into the two prepared pans, smoothing the surface with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center.

8) Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. To prevent splitting, reinvert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

1) In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and extract; beat until smooth.

1) With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. Place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with about 1/3 of the lemon curd and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of coconut.

2) Continue with the next layers, stacking and filling with the lemon curd and coconut.

3) Frost the top and sides of the cake with frosting and then sprinkle with about 1 cup of coconut. Cover and refrigerate the cake until serving time.

Coconut Cake Slice

Source: Cake recipe from with modified frosting recipe


From → Dessert

One Comment

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Lemon Blueberry Cake | Elements of Wood

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: