Cut Lemon coconut sheet cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles

Lemon Coconut Sheet Cake

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


The wonderful synergy of coconut and lemon in a spongy, flavorful and easy-to-make Sheet Cake. Covered with the much-loved lemon cream cheese frosting, it is a perfect everyday cake.



For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, at room t°
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room t°
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice), at room t°
  • 3/4 cup (50g) shredded dry coconut, unsweetened

For the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup (100g) cream cheese, at room t°
  • 1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter, at room t°
  • About 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven at 350°F/180°C.
  2. Butter or spray a 8×11-inch sheet pan and line the bottom and two sides with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter with sugar until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add extracts and lemon zest.
  6. Sift flour with baking powder and salt and add in 3 parts alternating with the buttermilk in 2 parts, beginning and ending with flour.
  7. Add coconut. Mix well but don’t overbeat.
  8. Pour into the cake pan, smooth top and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese with butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add sugar until you have a thick consistency. You will use more or less depending on your personal preference of a more or less firm frosting.
  3. Add lemon zest and mix.
  4. Adjust powdered sugar if you want a thicker frosting.
  5. Keep refrigerated.


Tips & tricks for making this recipe:

  • Pan sizes: depending on what pan you use will result in a shorter (if using a larger pan) or taller cake (if using a smaller pan). Adjust the amount of frosting depending on the height of your cake. This cake can also be made in layers or cupcakes.
  • Flavorings: don’t underestimate the power of a little vanilla flavoring, no matter what the flavor of the cake is. I find that it enhances other flavors (like a pinch of salt does), especially lemon. Adding some coconut and/or lemon flavoring if you have can work well too.
  • Buttermilk: it makes the crumb more tender. Homemade buttermilk is easily made at home by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of milk.
  • Keeping: this cake can be frozen, well wrapped and without the frosting, for a month. And the cream cheese frosting too. Have both ready in the fridge and assemble it the day you want to eat it. Bring it to room t° before eating, it tastes better in my opinion.
  • Frosting: I favor the lemon frosting in this recipe, but a layer of dulce de leche is fabulous! Buy dulce de leche online here. This frosting lasts for weeks in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.

Keywords: coconut lemon cake, coconut sheet cake