Lemon Coconut Cake

Don't you just love to combo of the tanginess of lemon and the sweet, island goodness of coconut? This lemon coconut cake is a great dessert idea for spring and summer, because it's rich in flavor, yet light in texture. I have made it twice, for Easter and for Mother's Day. I would love to say it turned out perfect both times, but that would be wrong. The "lemon filling" that goes with the cake was too liquidy both times. I was able to use it, but a very small amount. I have a different solution for you, which I will describe soon. But overall, this cake was a HUGE success!
To start this cake, you need to make the actual cake part! Here are the ingredients you will need:
2.5 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then prepare two 8- or 9- inch round baking pans. I like to make SURE the cake will come out, so my process is: baking spray on the bottom, wax paper to cover the bottom, another layer of baking spray on the bottom and sides, flour on bottom and sides. This ensures I get all of my cake out of the pans every time!
Combine dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, and salt. If you do not have cake flour, here is a super easy substitution.

For every cup of all-purpose flour, you will need to replace 2 Tblsp of the flour with 2 Tblsp of cornstarch. So, start by putting the cornstarch in the measuring cup. Then, fill the rest of the cup up with flour. Voila! Cake flour is born!
Make sure the dry ingredients are combined well. Set aside.
Next, use an electric mixer to cream the butter.

Then, add in the sugar, and beat until fluffy.

Separate the eggs, so the whites are together in one bowl (set aside for later), and then beat each yolk one at a time into the butter and sugar mixture.

Beat in the lemon zest, juice, and the vanilla.
Then, mix in the flour mixture and the sour cream, alternating in thirds.

Then, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into the batter, until just combined.

Divide batter equally into each cake pan, and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

 When cake is done, let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then finish cooling on drying racks.

While the cake is cooling, make the lemon curd!!
And this is where my recipe fell to pieces. The recipe that this cake was based off of had a lemon filling that turned out way too liquidy for me both times I made it. So, instead of having you fail too, I'm going to give you a lemon curd recipe that is my go-to, and that I've made, and that is delicious!! And, of course, I go to Martha Stewart! Here is her recipe for delish lemon curd!

While the lemon curd is setting up, make the lemon coconut frosting!
I am someone who learned very young the base of a great frosting, and then I just add the flavors I need to make it perfect! So basically, I started with three sticks of butter, and added in about six cups of powdered sugar. Once that mixture is smooth, you get to have fun with it! Add about a teaspoon of vanilla, 3-5 Tbsp lemon juice, and a couple tsp of lemon zest. Again, it is really just to your taste! Finish up with a cup or so of sweetened coconut flakes. Once everything is combined, tweak the frosting to get it how you like it. Add more powdered sugar if it is too liquidy, add some milk or more butter if it is too dry, etc. It should be able to be spread, but thick enough to stay on the cake. I know this part is very vague, but once you get going, you'll be able to do it! Feel free to email or comment with any questions you may have.

Lastly, we need to assemble the cake! Start by setting one cake layer upside down on the serving plate.
Spread the lemon curd over the top of the layer. If your curd is too liquidy, pipe some frosting around the edges of the first layer to hold the curd in.
 Top the cake with the second layer right side up, on top of the lemon curd.
 Frost the cake. I start on the sides, and then do the top. Use a cup of warm water to clean your spatula and spread the frosting easier.
 Smooth out the frosting all around the cake.
 Decorate as you like! The first time I made the cake, I covered it in coconut flakes. This time, I piped around the edge, and piped an E in the center for our last name.
DIG IN...err, or pop it in the fridge for a couple hours before serving, if possible. This way it will stay nice and set up when cutting it!!
This recipe has been adapted from Redbook. If you have any questions, leave a comment or shoot me an email! Enjoy this new recipe with your family and friends!!
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Allie Elliott

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