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Lemon Cake with Coconut Frosting

4 Reviews

This moist lemon cake with coconut frosting  has a tangy hint of lemon and creamy, extra fluffy coconut frosting. The perfect easy cake recipe with a fun flavor combo.

A slice of lemon cake with fluffy coconut frosting topped with toasted coconut.

It’s absolutely no secret that I love lemon desserts. I’ve already shared some of my favorite lemon recipes here on Oh Sweet Basil – like this lemon poppy seed cake recipe and these lemon cheesecake squares. But I wanted to try a new lemon cake recipe.

Something a little different. But still filled with that tangy, bright, lemon flavor.

And that’s exactly how the idea for this lemon cake with coconut frosting came about. The lemon cake is moist, buttery, and filled with delicious fresh lemon flavor. Then the coconut buttercream is sweet, fluffy, and completely addictive. The tanginess of the lemon compliments the sweet coconut perfectly, and I think the flavors are perfect for spring and summer.

Moist lemon sheet cake frosted with coconut buttercream

Or whenever you’re in a sunshine-y mood.

Lemon Cake Recipe

The lemon cake is moist, tender, and filled with real lemon flavor. Here’s my main tips for making this lemon cake:

  • Make sure to use real butter softened to room temperature. Real butter gives the cake so much flavor and ensures that it doesn’t taste oily.
  • We’re using 3 eggs for tenderness.
  • Lemon zest and lemon juice from real lemons. You’ll need about 2 medium to large lemons total. Make sure to zest them first then squeeze the juice (they’re hard to zest after you’ve squeezed the juice out.

Tip for a Soft Cake

  • Then using buttermilk gives the cake the softest texture. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (in addition to what you’re using in the recipe) to a measuring cup, then fill with milk (1% fat or higher) to the 3/4 cup line. Give it a stir and let it sit for 5 minutes to sour.
  • And last but not least – having room temperature ingredients helps the cake mix together evenly without over mixing the batter. Over mixing can lead to a dry cake.

Lemon coconut cake - moist lemon cake with fluffy, creamy coconut buttercream.


Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Oh man – is this coconut frosting ever delicious. It’s super fluffy, deliciously sweet, and filled with coconut.

  1. First beat the butter until no lumps remain.
  2. Then mix in the coconut milk. Make sure to give your coconut milk a good shake first so that you don’t just get the water-y part or the thick, creamy part. Make sure to use coconut milk and not coconut water. Coconut cream works too, it’ll just be extra creamy and rich in flavor.
  3. Then mix in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time until you get the desired sweetness.

Creamy, fluffy coconut buttercream frosting is the perfec flavor combo with moist lemon cake.

Then I topped the cake with toasted coconut. To toast coconut, preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Spread flaked coconut onto a cookie sheet (sweetened or unsweetened), and bake for 5-10 minutes. Just make sure to watch it closely because it can go from toasted to burnt pretty quickly.

This lemon cake with coconut frosting is the perfect recipe if you love lemon, or coconut, or are just looking for a delicious cake recipe that taste fresh and fun.

Moist, tender lemon cake with coconut frosting.

Lemon Cake with Coconut Frosting

Lemon coconut cake - moist lemon cake with fluffy, creamy coconut buttercream.

Lemon Cake with Coconut Frosting

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 18 pieces
This moist lemon cake with coconut frosting  has a tangy hint of lemon and creamy, extra fluffy coconut frosting. The perfect easy cake recipe with a fun flavor combo.  


Lemon Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice use 1/4 cup for a lighter lemon flavor

Coconut Frosting

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4-5 tablespoons coconut milk mix well before measuring
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract optional
  • 3 - 3.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut


Lemon Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Mix in the vanilla, then the eggs 1 at a time.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix about 1/2 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, followed by about 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture and buttermilk, turning off the mixture and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Gently fold in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 27-33 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool fully. (You can speed up this process by placing the cake in the fridge.

Coconut Frosting

  • Beat the butter until fluffy. Then beat in 4 tablespoons coconut milk, and optional coconut extract.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time until the desired sweetness is reached, adding a little more coconut milk as necessary.
  • Frost the cooled cake and decorate with coconut.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Cake with Coconut Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
Calories 445 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 69mg23%
Sodium 88mg4%
Potassium 102mg3%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 58g64%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 529IU11%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A slice of lemon cake with fluffy coconut frosting topped with toasted coconut.

White Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

If you love coconut – then take your coconut cream pie to the next level and make this white chocolate coconut cream pie. white chocolate coconut cream pie

Lime Coconut Cupcakes

If you love the combo of citrus and coconut – then be sure to try these lime coconut cupcakes. Moist coconut cupcakes with fluffy lime buttercream. These cupcakes have the perfect tropical flavor. The coconut cupcakes are bursting with coconut, then the frosting is so creamy with a delicious hint of lime!

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment


  • This cake looks so fluffy and delicious! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Reply
    • You’re going to love it!!

      • Reply
  • Hey!!! is there any other ways to make frosting without butter or frosting??? I love this recipe but someone I know won’t eat it because it’s coconut. 

    • Reply
    • You can top it with any kind of frosting you want. Just use regular milk and a different flavor extract.

      • Reply

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