A truly memorable way to feed a crowd, this dessert alternates between moist coconut cake and rich coconut-lemon curd on the inside and is covered with coconut buttercream frosting and shredded coconut on the outside. Homemade candied Meyer lemon slices and fresh mint decorate the top.

Martha Stewart Living, March 2018


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

35 mins
2 hrs 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 7-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Bake coconut on a baking sheet until dry but not golden, about 10 minutes; let cool completely.

  • Whisk milk into eggs, then whisk in vanilla. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-low speed 30 seconds. Continue beating while gradually adding butter and coconut oil until mixture is crumbly, about 3 minutes. Slowly add half of milk mixture; increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly add remaining milk mixture, scraping down bowl as needed. Beat until incorporated, 30 seconds.

  • Divide batter between prepared pans; tap pans on counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes, then turn out of pans, remove parchment, and let cool completely, top-sides up, on racks. For easy splitting, refrigerate 1 hour.

  • Trim tops of cakes flat. Split each cake horizontally into two equal layers. Place a cake layer on a cake plate. Spread 2/3 cup curd evenly over it; top with a second cake layer. Repeat, spreading 2/3 cup curd between each layer. Finish with a cake layer, bottom-side up. Refrigerate cake, wrapped in plastic, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  • Spread 1 cup buttercream over top and sides of cake evenly to create a crumb coat. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Spread remaining 3 cups buttercream over top and sides. Coat sides with coconut. Garnish with candied lemon and mint. Cake can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic, up to 5 days; return to room temperature before serving.