Lemon Cream Coconut Cake

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Lemon Cream Coconut Cake
Lemon and coconut are an all-time classic flavor combination. This moist and sweet four layer cake is filled a fresh lemon curd and coconut filling which provides just the right amount tart contrast taste. A delectable mascarpone frosting that tastes like a rich whipped cream covers the outside of the cake. And of course the finishing touch to any coconut cake is the fluffy layer of pure white coconut dressing the entire cake.
Recipe type: Butter Layer Cake, Coconut, Lemon
Serves: 10 to 12
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Recipe Notes
Ingredients
Batter:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
Lemon Curd with Coconut:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (about 3 lemons)
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
Mascarpone Frosting:
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Garnish:
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust with flour.
Batter:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the coconut milk and vanilla extract together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the coconut milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and coconut milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended. Gently fold the coconut into the batter.
  6. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a small offset spatula or the back of a large spoon. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Lemon Curd with Coconut:
  1. In a medium heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and egg yolks. Cook and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until butter is melted and mixture is thickened, about 7 to 10 minutes, or registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Do not allow mixture to boil or the egg yolks will curdle. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Immediately pour the hot mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to strain out the lemon zest pieces and any bits of egg that may have curdled. Stir in the coconut. Let cool, then pour into an airtight container and refrigerate to chill. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Tip: Lemon curd with coconut can be made the day before and refrigerated until ready to use.
Mascarpone Frosting:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and whipping cream; use an electric mixer and beat together until mixture is smooth. Add vanilla; beat 2 to 4 minutes or until frosting is thick and fluffy.
  2. Mascarpone frosting should be used immediately, or refrigerate until needed.
Assembly:
  1. Using a long serrated kitchen knife, split each cake into 2 horizontal layers. Tip: Cut one of the cake layers so that the bottom half is thicker than the top half, and use the thicker bottom half as the 1st layer to provide a good base to support the upper layers.
  2. Place the thicker bottom half of the layers on a cake plate. Using an offset spatula spread about ⅓ of the Lemon Curd with Coconut over the layer. Repeat with the next two layers. Place the last cake layer on top. Cover the sides and top of the cake with the Mascarpone Frosting. Spread the frosting as smooth as possible over the top and sides.Lemon Cream Coconut Cake
Garnish:
  1. Gently press coconut around the sides and over top of the cake.
  2. Refrigerate the cake at least 30 minutes before serving to firm the frosting before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.