clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Grey surface with frosted coconut sheet cake, loose shredded coconut and confetti

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.


Units Scale

For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose or cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup shredded dry coconut, unsweetened

For the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 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 8x11-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.


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.


  • Serving Size: 1/12
  • Calories: 389
  • Sugar: 27 g
  • Sodium: 147.2 mg
  • Fat: 22.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.1 g
  • Protein: 5.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 97.5 mg

Keywords: coconut lemon cake