Hello, friend. I’m squeaking this recipe in right before western Easter, in hopes that if you’re scrambling for a last-minute bright + springy treat, this coconut lemon curd cake could be the hail Mary (no pun intended) that you’re searching for. It’s got a rich crumb thanks to the coconut flour, lots of moisture thanks to the coconut milk and butter, and a bright zip due to the lemons both inside the cake batter *and* in the lemon curd generously lathered on top. There’s also candied lemon slices as an extra lemon-y treat for garnish (and for a bit of fancy showiness), but they’re completely optional and the cake will still taste delightfully lemony without them if you want to keep things simple.

Coconut Lemon Curd Cake

Now, earlier I mentioned “western” easter, and this is because as someone who was raised (mildly) Greek orthodox, eastern orthodox religions have a different calendar than Catholic/Protestant faiths, so my family’s easter won’t be for a few more weeks (it’s the Gregorian vs Julian calendar, if you feel inclined to get scholarly about it). Since Greek easter usually falls later than western easter, this meant that our easter baskets as kids were wonderfully extravagant since my mother always got them 50% off (we even got those giant peanut-butter filled eggs from Sees candies. It was great.) And this year, Greek easter falls on May 5th, which is also Cinco de Mayo. The last time this happened, Jeremy and I threw a huge “Greek-o de Mayo” celebration since Jeremy is half Hispanic and I’m half Greek, and we roasted an entire lamb in the backyard the old Greek way. We’d never made a whole lamb before, and severely under-estimated the amount of food that would yield. Even with our 30+ party guests, we had a mind-boggling amount of lamb leftover afterwards. Which we froze, and proceeded to eat our way through until the next Easter came around. It put me off lamb for a few years, after that.

Coconut Lemon Curd Cake

But we’ve since matured and learned from the mistakes of our youth, so I think we’re going to try our hand at another Greek-o de Mayo celebration this year, but with just one leg of lamb this time, and lots of tacos. So you can expect an updated leg of lamb recipe on the blog around that time, and perhaps some spanikopita, too! But for now, I’m sharing this wonderfully bright + zippy coconut lemon curd cake that I promised you in my last post a couple weeks back. And I really do hope you find time to give it a go—Jeremy and I ate the whole thing ourselves within a week’s time, so we can attest to it’s flavor appeal. Also, you will have some coconut flour leftover afterwards. I love using this instead of breadcrumbs in many recipes that call for them. It gives otherwise savory recipes a little tropical flare that can be SO tasty! And it’s also great in any other baked goods you want to give a little coconut flavor to, as well. Enjoy, dear reader, and have a lovely holiday weekend!

Coconut Lemon Curd Cake

Coconut Lemon Curd Cake

This cake can be baked with the linked Charlotte cake pan mold, or a single standard 8-inch cake pan. The Charlotte cake pan can be found here: https://www.nordicware.com/products/charlotte-cake-pan/

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coconut
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 1 hour
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

Lemon Curd

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into individual tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut Lemon Curd Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon fiori di sicilia extract can substitute w/vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • ¼ cup finely grated coconut optional garnish

Candied Lemon Twists (Optional Garnish)

  • 3 small lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Lemon Curd

  1. Place 1 or 2 inches of water in the bottom of a double boiler. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and place the upper pot on top. Add the lemon juice, egg yolks, and sugar and stir with a whisk to combine. Continue gently stirring as the mixture cooks (this will prevent the egg yolks from curdling and keep the nice smooth silky texture of the curd). Eventually the mixture will thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, (it will take about 10 minutes or so depending on the heat of your stovetop).
  2. Remove the upper pot of the double boiler from the heat, and add the butter pieces and stir until they're melted.
  3. Then add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and stir until combined. Transfer to a jar and allow to cool to room temperature while you bake the cake. After using the curd to decorate the cake, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.

Coconut Lemon Curd Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If using the nordic ware Charlotte cake pan pictured in this post (https://www.nordicware.com/products/charlotte-cake-pan/) , spray it with cooking spray and lightly dust with the coconut flour and set aside. If using a normal 8-inch cake pan, grease the pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and set it aside.

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, and coconut flour until combined (first a crumbly mixture will form, then it will start sticking together almost like a thick sugary paste), for about 2 minutes at medium speed.

  4. Add the fiori di sicilia extract, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is well-incorporated before adding the next one.

  5. While mixing at low speed, add half the flour mixture, mix for 10 seconds, then add the coconut milk and mix for 10 seconds, pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and then add the remaining half of the flour mixture and mix until *just* combined. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan.

  6. Place in the oven and bake until the edges and top become kissed with gold and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Bake time will be more towards the 40-minute mark if you use the Charlotte pan, and more towards the 30-minute mark if you use a standard 8-inch cake pan.

  7. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes before inverting the pan to unmold the cake. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature, then spread the desired amount of lemon curd on top of the cake (refrigerate any excess lemon curd in an airtight container and use as you wish. It’s great on buttered toast!). Sprinkle with the shredded coconut, garnish with the candied lemon twists (optional), and serve alongside the excess lemon curd for extra dipping.

  8. Can be made a day ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight until serving.

Candied Lemon Twists (Optional Garnish)

  1. Slice the lemons as instructed in this video to allow for twisting later on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYjfNosujSk (this will allow you to create the twist shape later on). Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add the sliced lemons (it's okay if they overlap) and reduce heat to low.
  2. Simmer for 1 hour, spooning off and discarding any foam that forms on top, and gently flipping the slices every 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully use tongs to remove the slices and place them on a wire rack to cool, with a paper towel or a baking sheet underneath to catch any dripping syrup. Once they're warm and no longer super hot, form the twist shape and place them back on the rack to continue cooling and firming up. Once cooled, place on top of the lemon curd in the center of the cake.

Coconut Lemon Curd Cake

Lemon Cake Slice

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