Coconut Lemon Cakes

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Happy new year everybody! Ash here from SmashCakes, and I am bringing you a delightfully sweet and tangy dessert to welcome in the new year.

These cakes are, by no means, your average coconut cakes. The original title read more like “Lemon Coconut Cakes with Lemon Curd and Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting.” Wow! Talk about a flavorful title!

Now, I should tell you, I love lemon. In fact, it is one of my favorite flavors to use in my baking, and it pairs perfectly with the natural sweetness of coconut. I use both thread and dessicated coconut in this recipe because I love the texture they both offer. These cakes are topped with a light cream cheese frosting, which I stumbled across a while back. It’s different from traditional cream cheese frosting as you fold in whipped cream at the end, but with this recipe, you still get a lovely cream cheese flavor. It is such a light and versatile frosting that we’ve even been eating the leftovers on apple pie!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as a great way to kick off the new year!

Lemon and Coconut Cakes

Adapted from: Little and Fridays

You’ll Need:

For the Cakes:

  • 300g unsalted butter
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 ½ cups caster sugar
  • 7 eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups flour, sifted
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups thread coconut
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

For the Lemon Syrup:

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest


For the Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees (150C). Line two 6-hole Texas muffin trays or two 9-inch (23cm) cake tins.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat butter, lemon zest, and sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Remember to scrape down the sides of the mixer regularly.
  • Add the sour cream and mix to combine.
  • Sift flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and mix on low speed. Do not overmix!
  • Using a spatula, fold in the coconut.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins. Bake for 30-35 minutes for small cakes and 55 minutes for larger.

For the Lemon Syrup:

  • To make the lemon syrup, place all the ingredients into a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and stir until a syrup forms.

Pour the hot syrup over cakes while hot. Let the cakes cool completely in their tins before turning onto a rack.

Lemon Curd:

You’ll Need:

  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (approx 2-3 lemons)
  • 55g butter, cut into small squares and at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (approx. 1 lemon)


  • Heat a saucepan with 2 cups of water. While the water is heating up, get a large stainless steel bowl, place the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice into the bowl, and then whisk until combined.
  • Once the water is simmering, place the bowl over the saucepan. Cook, stirring consistently until the mixture becomes thick like sour cream, 167 degrees (75 C). This step should take about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl and turn off the heat. Attach the bowl to your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  • Turn the mixer on to medium speed and slowly add the butter piece by piece until all the butter is melted and whisked throughout. This can also be done by hand.
  • Add the lemon zest.
  • Pour the lemon curd into a glass jar, and place the lid on immediately. This will stop a skin from forming on top of the curd.
  • Leave to cool on the bench top. When cool place in the refrigerator.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

You’ll Need:

  • 250 grams of cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream


  • Pour the cream into the bowl of your stand mixer, and mix on high until stiff peaks form. Once peaks have formed, pour the cream into a clean bowl and wash your stand mixing bowl.
  • Place the remaining ingredients into your stand mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Using a spatula, fold in the cream.


  • Cut the cakes in half (horizontally), spread a tablespoon of lemon curd on the bottom half of the cake, and follow with a tablespoon of frosting. Place the top of the cake onto the filling. Using a knife, spread a tablespoon of frosting on the top of the cake, making sure to create a ‘well’ for the lemon curd to sit in. Place a teaspoon of lemon curd on top.

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    1. Charlotte

      Hi there, Yum I made these today and are fab!!!! But I just wanted to know do they need to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese icing having cream in it?


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