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Moist & Tender Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

This is a tender, moist white cake filled with zesty fresh lemon curd and covered with fluffy cooked meringue icing.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time28 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings


  • Hand mixer, double boiler


  • cup pure cane sugar
  • 4 eggs See Notes
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening I use Crisco
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cup cake flour See Notes
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cooked 7-minute frosting

  • 1 cup pure cane sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup white Karo syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • Lemon Curd Filling See Notes


Coconut Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. Place a parchment circle in the bottom of each, if desired.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. I put mine through a large mesh strainer, no need for a fancy sifter.
  • On medium-high speed, beat the sugar with the shortening until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Unlike butter recipes, the shortening won’t get light during this step, but 2 minutes is sufficient to incorporate air into the mixture (which is the whole point of creaming). Scrape the bottom and sides of bowl.
  • On low speed, add the whole eggs, one at a time, until just blended in. 
  • Add the vanilla.
  • On medium-low speed, add ⅓ of the flour mixture, then ½ of the milk. Add another ⅓ of the flour, then the remaining half of the milk. Finish with the remaining ⅓ of the flour mixture. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Beat the batter for 2 minutes on medium speed and put into cake pans. Weigh pans for accuracy, if desired.
  • Wrap pans with dampened strips of fabric (or "Evenbake Strips") if desired, and bake for 28-33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
  • Set on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.

Cooked 7-Minute Frosting

  • Place all ingredients into the top of a double boiler. Yes, that's right - dump it all in.
  • Place over (but not touching) simmering water and beat on high speed for exactly 7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and immediately assemble the cake.

Assemble and decorate

  • Place one layer upside down on cake plate. You should be looking at the bottom of the layer.
  • With pastry bag and Ateco tube #1A (or a ziploc bag with a corner cut out), pipe a "dam" of frosting around the outer edge of the bottom layer.
  • Fill center with lemon curd or filling of choice.
  • Place second layer on top, right side up, and frost the sides of the cake.
  • Frost the top.
  • Apply coconut to sides and top of cake.


  1. White cakes typically call for only egg whites, but this cake uses whole eggs. This adds to the moisture content, ensuring a moist, tender crumb.
  2. I strongly recommend the use of cake flour. You can find it in the baking section of your grocery store. If you don't want to buy it, you may make an excellent substitute using the instructions in the post above.
  3. You may use any purchased lemon curd for the filling; however, my  Magic Lemon Curd has a brighter flavor than store bought and makes enough to have plenty left over.
  4. Filling variations:
    • Fill with 1 1/2  Cup frosting (there will be enough) and lay sliced bananas on top
    • Mix chopped, drained, patted dry maraschino cherries in 1 1/2 Cups of the frosting. Use with or without sliced bananas on top.
  5. This cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for 3-5 days.