Coconut Lime Cake

Sometimes you make cakes to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or some other special event. Sometimes, you just need cake..with a tropical flare. If that’s the state of mind you’re in, no worries—I’ve got you covered. Let me present this adorable little Coconut Lime Cake for your pleasure. It comes together easily and has a tender, buttery crumb, plus the outstanding combination of toasted coconut and lime which shines through and through. I’ll totally understand if you stop reading this now and head to the store for supplies! No hard feelings—there’s cake at stake.


If you’re still here, let’s talk about how summery the lime coconut vibe is. There’s just something so light and happy and beachy about it, right?. Like the way even a whiff of your favorite suntan lotion instantly transports you to sun-kissed, lazy, sandy days. Hmmm…a piece (or two) of this cake while actually at the beach? Heaven!


What I especially love is how the lime perfectly balances out the sweetness of the coconut. It’s there in the cake in a subtle sort of way and really shines through in the glaze. This is definitely the time to go for fresh limes—the bottled stuff just won’t give you what you’re looking for here and you also need the zest, so fresh limes it is.


Every bite is full of tangy, sticky sweetness and totally hits the bliss point. And it’s versatile too.

Great as a simple little Saturday night dessert and maybe even better as an indulgent little brunch treat.

No matter when you eat it, It’s hard to stop at just one slice!


And the beauty part is that the whole thing comes together easily , one of the absolute musts for everyday cakes.


Yup, no matter what you’ve got going on this weekend, this coconut lime confection is bound to make things better! As if you really needed an excuse!


Coconut Lime Cake

Serves 8-10 people

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time: 45-55 minutes


  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing pan

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

  • Zest of one lime

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour (you can buy it ready made or make your own by whisking 1 cup of flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. In this case, just double that and use 1 3/4 cup of the mixture and store the rest for future use)

  • 3/4 cup whole milk

  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

The Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with rack centered in the middle. Generously grease a 9x2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom wth a round of parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Place the coconut on a small baking pan and spread out evenly. Cook for about 8-12 minutes, stirring a few times, until the coconut is golden. Remove and let cool but leave the oven on.

3. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar, and lime zest together until you get a fluffy mixture. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour with 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut. In another separate bowl or the measuring cup you use to measure out the milk, stir in two tablespoons of the lime juice.

5. On low speed, add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the batter, alternating between the two and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl as necessary with the spatula between additions, Now pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, Taste and add more lime juice if you want it to be tarter or need to thin it out a bit.

7. Turn the cake out of the pan and remove the parchment round. Then invert again so that it is right side up on the cooling rack. Place a rimmed baking sheet beneath the rack to catch the drips. Pour the glaze all over the top of the cake, letting it run down the side. Scatter the remaining coconut all across the top and let the glaze set for a bit. Then cut into wedges and serve.


Note: Recipe adapted from the now defunct Gourmet Magazine. I used less lime and while I liked the lime glaze, the cake would also be good without it for a quicker, simpler production. But I’m also not a huge glaze person.

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