All it takes is for the weather to hit 75 in Florida, and I’m officially thinking all things coconut. As my birthday approaches, I’m dreaming up what I’m going to bake for myself. This year, Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd is on the menu. I’ve been making my own birthday cake since culinary school, and though I don’t have many birthday traditions, that is one of them. My Gaga didn’t believe in store bought cakes on birthdays either. I miss her so much around this time of year. With Mother’s Day coming, and her birthday, it just gets really “tight” for me emotionally because holidays (of any kind) were always a big deal for her. This Coconut Cake made me think of her, and I thought my lemon peel roses were a nice touch on top. She loved fresh flowers, and yellow is my favorite color. It makes me happy when skies are grey!! Also, you never garnish a food with something that isn’t in the food.<— Just a little bougie tip I learned in culinary school, that I’m sharing on the house. 😉 SO lemon cake filled with lemon curd, gets lemon roses…even if she’s all dressed up in coconut.
- 1 1/2c. Sugar
- 1/2c. Vegetable Shortening
- 1tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs
- 2c. Flour
- 2tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2tsp. Salt
- 1tsp. Lemon Zest
- 1 1/4c. Milk
- Fresh Juice of Four Lemon
- 6 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1tsp. Lemon Zest
- 1 Egg
- 6 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 2 sticks of Unsalted Butter
- 2c. Powdered Sugar
- 1/2tsp. Vanilla Extract, or Coconut Extract
- 7oz or 13oz bag of shredded Coconut
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a bowl, cream shortening and sugar together until mixed well. Add vanilla, and beat in one egg at a time.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and zest.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the sugar mixture until smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. (2- 8in pans, or 3- 6 in pans)
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until done.
For the curd:
- While the cake is baking heat lemon juice, zest, 1/2 of the sugar, and bring to a boil.
- In a glass bowl, whisk egg and sugar until mixed.
- Pour a little of the boiling lemon juice into the egg mixture and whisk quickly. You’re tempering the egg. If you don’t do this quickly, you’ll have scrambled eggs so be careful.
- Add mixture back to pan with lemon juice and stir quickly for one minute. You will see the curd thickening but it should still be smooth. Remove from heat.
- Add the butter one tablespoon at a time continue to stir. Transfer to a clean bowl and sit the bowlon ice to allow it to cool. Set aside to fill the cake.
For the Buttercream:
- In a bowl, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until well mixed and smooth
- Pipe buttercream on cupcakes. Garnish with a lime and paper straws.
Assembling the Cake
- When the curd and the cake layers have completely cooled, use a small cake spatula, or spoon to spread a thin layer of lemon curd on each cake layer (except for the top layer).
- Using a piping bag, or sturdy ziploc bag, pipe a circle of buttercream around the perimeter of each cake layer.
- Stack your cake layers on top of each other.
- Generously frost your cake on all sides and the top. If it’s a thin layer, that’s okay. But you want there to be enough for the coconut to stick to it.
- Coat sides and top of cake with shredded coconut to your desired thickness. Some people like it REALLY coco-nutty.
- Garnish with lemon roses and enjoy!
LEARN HOW TO MAKE THE LEMON ROSES HERE: