This light coconut cake is packed with intense flavors from three kinds of coconut: Coconut milk, coconut extract and shredded coconut. The lemon curd filing and rich cream cheese frosting make this cake even more special. This is a cake you’ll want to make for a festive holidays or to celebrate someone special. Set your Spring Table (like Easter Sunday or Mother’s Day) with this beauty and get ready for the compliments.
I adore coconut. Coconut cream pie, coconut cake, coconut milk anything. This cake recipe is based off a very old Southern Living recipe I have been making for years. I now add coconut milk instead of regular milk to amp up the coconut flavor.
The lemon curd is the Old Seelbach House sauce ( before it was a Hilton Hotel) used in many of their cakes and desserts. It’s good enough to eat alone or spread it on a croissant, over plain pound cake or toast. Stir the sauce in you tea or try it shaken in your vodka for a fun cocktail. The frosting is from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She makes a fool proof cream cheese frosting that is so creamy and delicious.
Make up batches of the curd for a wonderful hoilday gifts.
Read the Lemon curd instructions carefully. This sauce requires a bit of patience. Lots of whisking. I call it a halftime recipe because it takes about 15 minutes for the sauce to thicken over the double broiler. It’ll be done by the third quarter. We’re big into football in my house. Hope you understand the reference.
Enjoy baking this lovely cake. It makes a wonderful birthday cake or a lovely cake for a big holiday meal like Easter Brunch, Mother’s Day or Christmas.
It takes “kind of all day” to make the is cake, so enjoy the process and relax. It’s a beautiful cake- just bake with love- the most important ingredient of all.
Enjoy and Happy Baking!
Triple Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd filling
- Lemon Curd
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces (8 TBSP)
8 TBSP fresh lemon juice
zest from two large lemons
Lemon Curd- total time 20 minutes
- In a medium bowl, beat 4 large eggs until well combined and frothy.
- Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of 2 inches of simmering water. Do not allow the water to come to a rolling boil. In the bowl, melt the 8 TBSP butter and 1 cup sugar until the sugar crystals have dissolves. A silicone spatula helps with the mixing.
- Add to the melted sugar and butter mixture the lemon zest and 8 TBSP juice . Very slowly ladle a small amount of the lemon sugar and butter mixture into the eggs whisking well. Do this several times whisking slowly so that the eggs do not curdle. Pour all of the now tempered eggs back into the bowl over the simmering water. Whisk continuously for up to 15 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Ladle the lemon curd into a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid and store in the frige for up to 3 weeks.
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup canned coconut milk at room temperature
1 tsp coconut extract
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
6 egg whites at room temperature
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 TBSP lemon zest
1 cup flaked coconut- finely chopped
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter gradually adding in sugar and beat until well combined and sugar granules have dissolved. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the the butter and sugar mixture to the flour alternating with the coconut milk. Gently stir in coconut extract and lemon juice and lemon zest and chopped coconut flakes. Mix so that the batter is well combined.
- Beat room temperature egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer at high speed until foamy. Add in Cream of tartar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. With care, fold egg white mixture into the flour mixture one third at a time.
- Grease and flour 3- 9″ cake pans. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then release cakes from pans and cool completely on wire racks until time to assemble the cake. You can freeze these cakes up to three months before frosting.
Coconut Cream cheese Buttercream –
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz block of cream cheese, room temperature
5 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 TBSP canned full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut- for decorating the cake
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium until well combined. Add in confectioner’s sugar, coconut milk, vanilla and salt on low speed and increase to high after the sugar is fully incorporated. Beat for 2-3 minutes more.
- You can add in more sugar or milk to adjust the spreading consistancy if needed.
To assemble the cake:
- With a large serated knife, trim off any domes on the cakes so that you have a flat surface for your frosting and fillings.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment under the cake to protect the cake stand from icing. Pour the lemon curd onto the bottom layer of the cake leaving a 1 inch gap around the cake. Top with second layer and more lemon curd. You may have leftover curd.
- Top the cake with the third layer and secure the cake with long bamboo skewers if needed to keep the cake straight. Frost the cake using an offset spatula with a thin crumb coat of the icing. Chill for 10 minutes. Then frost the sides and top with the coconut cream cheese frosting all over. Sprinkle with flaked sweetened coconut. Top with lemon peels or sliced lemons or if serving at Christmas, decorate with ground up peppermint candies around the edge.
- Remove the parchment strips and chill the cake. This cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving.
Chef’s Notes- Look for canned coconut milk inthe International/Asian section of your grocery store. Shake the can well before using.
Cake flour is key to a fluffy cake.
Always have your ingredients at room temperature before baking.