Lemon Coconut Cake for Recipe Friday

This cake recipe is not an original, but it is special at our house. It comes from the essential baking cookbook by Murdoch Books, and it has become my son’s signature cake. He has made it at least 5 times, most recently for our anniversary.

I am generally not a big fan of cake. I usually prefer cheesecake or cookies. But this cake is so delicious. Its lemony sweetness and moist texture have made it a big hit with everyone who has had the pleasure of eating a piece. (I’ve had 3 pieces just this week, but thankfully my son took half of it to share with friends on the first day of school).

I still remember the first time my son made this cake. The recipes in this cookbook are geared towards countries where metric measurement and Celsius temperatures are the norm. He didn’t read carefully enough and set the oven at the first temperature indicated, which was 180° – at that time he was not experienced enough of a baker to know that most cakes bake at 350°. Once we figured out why it was setting up and turned the temperature up, it turned out just fine. In fact, I think that first cake was moister than any of the ones he has made since.

Anyway, if you are looking for an elegant but delicious cake for a party or potluck, I highly recommend this one. But be prepared to not bring home any leftovers!


Lemon Coconut Cake


1 ½ cups self-rising flour
½ cup coconut
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 cup caster or baker’s sugar (very fine sugar)
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup milk

For coconut icing:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup coconut
½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
¼ cup lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8 inch spring form pan (or a regular round cake pan). Line the bottom with baking paper.

Sift flour into a large bowl and add the coconut, lemon rind, sugar, butter, eggs and milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Pour into the cake pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.

Leave the cake in the pan for 5 minutes before releasing the spring form side of the pan, or turning out of the cake pan, and setting on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the coconut icing, combine the powdered sugar and coconut in a bowl, then add the lemon rind and enough lemon juice to make a stiff but spreadable icing. Spread the icing over the cold cake.

Note about the coconut: The original recipe calls for desiccated coconut, which I think is unsweetened, but we can never find it and have always used sweetened angel flake coconut.

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12 Responses

    • Angela, It would be great for a church event. If you just make it at home the temptation to eat it all will be strong! I was very glad my son decided to take some to school on Wed to share with friends. 😉 Peace, Linda

  1. Thanks, Linda,

    Cake looks yum,! Coconut ranks high on the list of things liked much in this house…. I just may… 😉

    Blessings much,

    • Ann, You have to like lemon, too, because it may not seem like it from the ingredients, but the lemon flavor is very strong. I absolutely love the lemon and coconut combination. Let me know if you try it. 🙂 Peace, Linda

      • Lemon may be the only fruit that’s always in this house. I think it’s safe to say lemon lives here 🙂

        I even take it in my water … I could work around the sugar (honey sub maybe ) but I’m getting the feeling I’m doing this for Thanksgiving 😉
        I’m making a note to self to come back and share the findings.
        Passing it on to my sisters too 🙂


    • Rufus, Thanks for stopping by. This is one cake that makes me wish I could hand out samples for every comment! Alas, WordPress has yet to offer a “share sample” widget. Wouldn’t that be cool, though? Peace, Linda

  2. Wow–that cake looks so delicious.

    I wasn’t sure where to comment on the Pantoum. It is also lovely. A great effort that works well.

  3. This sounds and looks delicious! As the temps begin to cool some, it is putting me in the baking mood. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this one with us!
    God bless you and your sweet family!

    • Deb, We are finally getting some hot temperatures. Been over 90 all week and into next week, though it is supposed to cool down to the 70s at the end of next week. It was hot on Tuesday when my son baked this, but he didn’t seem to mind. Hope you get a chance to make this! Peace, Linda

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