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Individual Lemon-Coconut Cakes

We adapted this recipe from Mamma Agata's Hidden Treasure Cooking School, on Italy's Amalfi Coast, and her cookbook, Simple and Genuine.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 12

Photography: John Kernick

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2016


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/3 cups Italian-style "00" flour (available at, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon, plus 1/4 cup fresh juice (from 1 to 2 more lemons)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (from a 5-ounce can)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

  2. With a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar and lemon zest; beat until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with coconut cream, beating until just combined.

  3. Divide batter evenly among cups (a scant 1/4 cup each); tap on counter and smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a tester inserted in middles comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

  5. Transfer cakes in pan to a wire rack; let cool 30 minutes. Loosen edges with offset spatula; turn cakes out onto rack. Let cool completely. As they cool, gradually brush lemon syrup over cakes, letting it be absorbed before brushing more.

  6. Whisk together confectioners' sugar and 3 tablespoons lemon juice until smooth and pourable. (If consistency is too thick, gradually add remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice.)

  7. Dip bottoms of cakes in glaze. Return to rack until set, about 10 minutes.

  8. Top cake with whipped cream; garnish with coconut just before serving.

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