Let's Dough This: Easter Lemon and Coconut Cake

What better time to try an Easter Lemon & Coconut Cake than on Easter weekend?!?

While this cake is probably my least favorite bake thus far, it was still a fun one to create! 

This is a longer, multi-step recipe, so grab yourself a cup of coffee (or beverage of your choice) and cozy in for this read! 

For the Lemon Sponge

Ingredients

  • 4 medium eggs at room temperature
  • Roughly 240 grams* unsalted butter, softened 
  • Roughly 240 grams* sugar
  • Roughly 240 grams* self-raising flour 
  • Finely grated zest of 2 medium, unwaxed lemons 
  • 2 tablespoons milk at room temperature

*For the butter, sugar, and flour, you'll be using the same weight as the weight of the 4 eggs in their shell, so weights vary

Tools Needed

  • 2 8-inch round sandwich tins, greased with butter and lined on the bottom with a circle of parchment 
  • Kitchen scale 
  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer 
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small bowl

To Make the Sponge

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
  2. Weigh your 4 eggs (in their shells) on your kitchen scale. Use this weight to determine how much butter, sugar, and flour you'll need. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer, beat the butter and lemon zest until creamy
  4. Gradually add the sugar, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until all the sugar is added and the mixture is light and fluffy
  5. In a small bowl, break the eggs and mix with a fork 
  6. Add the eggs to the butter mixture one or two spoonfuls at at time, beating well between each addition 
  7. With the last 2 or 3 additions, mix in a tablespoon of the flour with the eggs to prevent curdling 
  8. Sift the rest of the flour into the bowl 
  9. Add the milk 
  10. Gently fold it all together with a metal spoon until there are no streaks of flour and the batter is well combined 
  11. Divide batter evenly between your 2 prepared pans and bake for 25-28 minutes. The sponges will be well-risen and golden brown when done, and they'll feel springy to the touch
  12. Cool in the pan for a few minutes so the edges can firm up
  13. Run a butter knife around the inside of each pan to loosen the sponges before turning them onto wire racks to cool
  14. Leave to cool completely 

For The Lemon Curd

Ingredients

  • 70 grams unsalted butter, diced 
  • 125 grams sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 3 medium, unwaxed lemons 
  • 100 ml lemon juice 
  • 2 medium eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature

Tools Needed

  • Heatproof bowl
  • Pan of simmering water 
  • Wooden spoon
  • Small bowl
  • Sieve or strainer 

To Make the Lemon Curd

  1. Add the butter, sugar and lemon zest to a heatproof bowl and set over a an of simmering water 
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved 
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat 
  4. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks until well-mixed 
  5. Pour the eggs through a strainer into the lemon mixture and thoroughly combine
  6. Return the bowl to the pan of simmering water and stir the mixture until it's thick and shiny
  7. The curd is ready when you can drag your finger over the curd on the spoon and make a path 
  8. Let cool completely. You can store this in an airtight container as needed. 

For the Meringue Icing

Since the icing sets quickly, do this step ONLY when you've already assembled the cake and you're able to ice it immediately. 

Ingredients

  • 3 medium egg whites at room temperature
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons water 

Tools

  • Heatproof bowl
  • Pan of simmering water
  • Electric handheld mixer 

To Make the Meringue Icing

  1. Add your eggs whites to a large, heatproof bowl and whisk for a couple seconds, until they're slightly frothy 
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar, and water to the bowl
  3. Whisk for about 10 seconds to combine 
  4. Set the bowl over the water and whisk on full-speed for exactly 7 minutes 
  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on full-speed for another 7 minutes

To Assemble the Cake

Gather your sponges, lemon curd, and icing, as well as 150 grams of unsweetened desiccated coconut flakes or long-shred desiccated coconut. 

  1. Put one sponge upside down onto a cake stand or wire rack
  2. Spread the lemon curd over the top of the sponge 
  3. Add the 2nd sponge, right-side up, on top
  4. Quickly ice the cake using an offset palette knife to cover the top and sides  
  5. Add the coconut to the top an sides, pressing the flakes into the cake 

This cake takes a couple hours to firm up, but it's best eaten that day or the next day as the icing tends to soak into the sponge after 2 days 

Tips for this Recipe

  1. Use twice as much icing as you think you'll need on the cake. My sponge completely soaked up the icing within 2 days and this recipe makes more than enough icing. 
  2. Place pieces of parchment paper around the edges of the cake as you ice and decorate it. This keeps the cake stand clean and allows for quick clean-up 
  3. The cake and lemon curd can be made the day before, if needed. Store the lemon curd in the fridge. 

I hope y'all enjoyed this recipe! I loved the icing from this recipe and the cake had a good lemon flavor to it. The cake was a little dry, but otherwise it was another good bake! 

If you try this, let me know in the comments below or tag @TheLittlePinkBakery on Instagram and use the hashtag #LetsDoughThis so I can see what you made! Stay tuned next week for a quick and easy Coffeecake Muffin recipe for muffins that my husband says are "amazing!" (He rarely uses that word for my practice bakes, so ya'll will want to try this one).