Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut Cake

This dreamy Lemon Coconut Cake is frosted with a decadent Vanilla Buttercream and topped with a tangy Lemon Curd Filling.

Lemon Coconut Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) can cream of coconut
  • ½ cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Vanilla Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Lemon Curd Filling (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • Garnish: fresh lemon slices
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk together cream of coconut, buttermilk, and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Spread batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  5. Place one cake layer on a serving platter, and pipe a thin layer of Vanilla Buttercream around edge of cake. Spread 1 cup Lemon Curd Filing onto cake layer inside buttercream border. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining Vanilla Buttercream on top and sides of cake. Spread remaining Lemon Curd Filling on top of cake. Press coconut onto sides of cake. Garnish with lemon, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Vanilla Buttercream
Makes 5 cups
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (2-pound) bag confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 to 9 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape bowl. Beat in milk 1 tablespoon at a time until a spreadable consistency is reached; beat in vanilla. Use immediately.

Lemon Curd Filling
Makes 2 cups
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and softened
  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in lemon juice until cornstarch is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is hot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly add one-fourth of hot lemon mixture to yolks. Whisk egg mixture into lemon mixture, and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter a few pieces at a time until melted and smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until thickened and cold, about 4 hours, or for up to 3 days.

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