Decadent coconut flakes…sweet vanilla buttercream…tart lemon curd. One slice of this Lemon Coconut Cake will whisk you away to a warm Caribbean island!
So last summer, my wife and I were wandering through the garden center at a local store. Doesn’t it seem like every weekend in the summer involves a project and a trip to the home improvement store? But, hey, I’m not complaining. I love being outdoors in the summer. As we were heading up to the registers, we noticed a bunch of miniature lemon trees (I guess they were kinda like lemon bushes?) on the clearance rack. Huh? Lemons? I thought they only grew in warmer climates, and upstate New York is most certainly not a warmer climate! The bushes were small-ish and potted, so we decided, “What the heck? Let’s give it a shot!”
We stuck that lemon bush (along with it’s 6 mini lemons) on our back porch where it got a ton of afternoon sunlight. That was one happy tree! It grew quite well, and those lemons (which were green when they were small) slowly started turning yellow. Some sort of creature…I suspect a squirrel…stole 3 of our lemons, but we still ended up with 3 lemons from that little bush. (On a side note, I would’ve loved to see the look at that squirrel’s face when he bit into that lemon.)
We brought the bush indoors once the weather started turning, and we watched the lemons continue to grow bigger and bigger indoors. Finally, we picked our first lemon a few weeks back, and it was one of the best lemons I’ve ever tasted! We’ve been saving the last lemon on the tree for something really special, and after much debate I finally settled on making a batch of fresh lemon curd. I had big plans for that lemon curd!
We were hit with snowstorm after snowstorm this winter in upstate New York, and all I could think about lately was sitting on a warm beach somewhere. I’m not even that much of a beach guy…but I would’ve traded all of those snow mounds outside for sand dunes in a heartbeat!
Partially inspired by my longing for a warmer climate, I decided to whip up this Lemon Coconut Cake. The cake itself is lightly flavored with coconut, and I pressed Unsweetened Coconut Flakes all around the outside of the cake. Then the aforementioned lemon curd got spread onto the top. This cake was magical! While it didn’t whisk me away to the Caribbean like I had hoped, it did help me forget about all of the snow outside…at least momentarily!
I used Unsweetened Coconut Flakes from Bob’s Red Mill to make this cake. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked, but unsweetened coconut flakes can be kinda tricky to find. I prefer to use the unsweetened version whenever possible as sweetened coconut flakes can change the flavor profile of your recipe. In this case, the unsweetened coconut flakes were perfect! The large flakes are packed with coconut flavor, and they look awesome when pressed into the side of this cake. The tasty coconut flakes combined with the sweet vanilla buttercream and the tart lemon curd produce a perfectly balanced cake. Just close your eyes when eating a big slice of this Lemon Coconut Cake, and you just might find yourself drifting away to a warm Caribbean island somewhere! Enjoy!
P.S. I just noticed that our little lemon bush now has it’s first bud of the year. I didn’t realize that it would bud indoors, but I’ll take it! That little bud doesn’t know it, but it’s destined to become lemon curd on the top of another Lemon Coconut Cake next winter!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.