clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Lemon Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Kaity Farrell
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This moist and flavorful lemon coconut cake with fluffy lemon cream cheese frosting is perfect for spring celebrations like Easter and Mother’s Day.




  • 113 g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) softened butter
  • 198 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 118 g (1/2 cup) coconut milk (full-fat canned or homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 9 g lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 21o g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • optional for more coconut flavor: 85 g (3 oz. or about 1 cup loosely packed) flaked coconut (can use unsweetened or sweetened as you prefer)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 227 g (8 oz.) softened full fat brick-style cream cheese
  • 113 g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) softened butter
  • 9 g lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 266g (2 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy


  • flaked coconut (toasted or untoasted)
  • edible flowers and leaves such violas and red clover (other spring season varieties include pansies, primroses and wild violets)
  • mini chocolate egg candies


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F/175˚C. Grease two 6-inch cake pans or one 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom of each pan with a parchment paper circle.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Crack the eggs into a small bowl or measuring cup first before adding them to the butter-sugar mixture to avoid adding any eggshell fragments. Add the cracked eggs and beat them into the mixture for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Mix in the milk, vinegar, lemon zest and vanilla for about 1 minute. The mixture will look curdled at this point.
  5. Add the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix until just combined for about 30 seconds.
  6. If adding flaked coconut fold it into the batter now.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and smooth it out with an offset spatula.
  8. Bake the cakes at 350˚F/175˚C for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean.
  9. Transfer the cakes to the cooling rack and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the cakes from the pans. Invert the cake pans onto the cooling rack and lift off the pans then peel away the parchment paper lining. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting them.
  10. To make the frosting whip the softened cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy for about 3 minutes.
  11. Mix in the lemon zest, salt, and vanilla extract.
  12. Add the powdered sugar and mix in on low to start then increase the speed and whip until the mixture is light and fluffy for about 5 minutes.
  13. Chill the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting the cake.
  14. Slice the cooled caked in half to create 4 layers if you want or leave them for a 2-layer cake.
  15. To assemble the cake add a dab of the frosting to the cake plate or serving plate to hold the first layer in place. Spread about 1/2 cup of the frosting onto the first layer for a 4-layer cake or 1 cup of frosting for a 2-layer cake.
  16. Stack the next layer of cake and repeat for all the layers.
  17. Spread a thin layer of the frosting over the sides and top of the cake for the crumb coat. Then refrigerate the cake and the remaining frosting for 30 minutes.
  18. Frost the side and top of the cake with the remaining frosting, smoothing it out with an offset spatula.
  19. Decorate the side and top of the cake however you like with edible flowers and leaves. Add a flaked coconut bird's nest to the top of the cake and place the mini eggs in the center of it.
  20. Refrigerate the cake until you are ready to serve it that day.


  • Leftover cake can be wrapped and refrigerated and used within 1 week.
  • The cake batter can be made dairy-free by swapping butter and milk with equal amounts of plant butter and plant milk of your choice. For dairy-free frosting, you can use a vegan buttercream like the one in this recipe.
  • When using edible flowers or foraging for edibles always make sure to identify the plant correctly and confirm it is edible. Do not use flowers from nurseries unless you know they have not been sprayed or given growth retardant, which is sadly common for potted annuals.
  • This recipe can be doubled to make an 8 or 9-inch 2 or 4 layer cake. For a 2-layer cake divide the batter evenly between the two pans. For a 4-layer cake do the same thing but cut the cakes in half to make 4 layers. The frosting recipe should be enough for a 2-layer cake but double it for a 4-layer cake.
  • Tip for slicing cakes into 2 layers: Score the cut line at the halfway point of the cake around the entire circumference with a serrated knife about 1/4" deep. Now you have a guide for the knife to follow as you cut through the cake.
  • To toast the coconut bake it on a sheet pan in the oven at 350˚F/175˚C stirring it frequently until it just starts to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon coconut cake, easter cake, spring cake, lemon cake, coconut cake, spring