What better time to try an Easter Lemon & Coconut Cake than on Easter weekend?!?
While this cake is probably my least favorite bake thus far, it was still a fun one to create!
This is a longer, multi-step recipe, so grab yourself a cup of coffee (or beverage of your choice) and cozy in for this read!
FOR THE LEMON SPONGE
4 medium eggs at room temperature
Roughly 240 grams* unsalted butter, softened
Roughly 240 grams* sugar
Roughly 240 grams* self-raising flour
Finely grated zest of 2 medium, unwaxed lemons
2 tablespoons milk at room temperature
*For the butter, sugar, and flour, you'll be using the same weight as the weight of the 4 eggs in their shell, so weights vary
2 8-inch round sandwich tins, greased with butter and lined on the bottom with a circle of parchment
Stand mixer or handheld mixer
Large mixing bowl
TO MAKE THE SPONGE
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Weigh your 4 eggs (in their shells) on your kitchen scale. Use this weight to determine how much butter, sugar, and flour you'll need.
In a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer, beat the butter and lemon zest until creamy
Gradually add the sugar, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until all the sugar is added and the mixture is light and fluffy
In a small bowl, break the eggs and mix with a fork
Add the eggs to the butter mixture one or two spoonfuls at at time, beating well between each addition
With the last 2 or 3 additions, mix in a tablespoon of the flour with the eggs to prevent curdling
Sift the rest of the flour into the bowl
Add the milk
Gently fold it all together with a metal spoon until there are no streaks of flour and the batter is well combined
Divide batter evenly between your 2 prepared pans and bake for 25-28 minutes. The sponges will be well-risen and golden brown when done, and they'll feel springy to the touch
Cool in the pan for a few minutes so the edges can firm up
Run a butter knife around the inside of each pan to loosen the sponges before turning them onto wire racks to cool
Leave to cool completely
FOR THE LEMON CURD
70 grams unsalted butter, diced
125 grams sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 medium, unwaxed lemons
100 ml lemon juice
2 medium eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
Pan of simmering water
Sieve or strainer
TO MAKE THE LEMON CURD
Add the butter, sugar and lemon zest to a heatproof bowl and set over a an of simmering water
Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved
Remove the bowl from the heat
In a small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks until well-mixed
Pour the eggs through a strainer into the lemon mixture and thoroughly combine
Return the bowl to the pan of simmering water and stir the mixture until it's thick and shiny
The curd is ready when you can drag your finger over the curd on the spoon and make a path
Let cool completely. You can store this in an airtight container as needed.
FOR THE MERINGUE ICING
Since the icing sets quickly, do this step ONLY when you've already assembled the cake and you're able to ice it immediately.
3 medium egg whites at room temperature
200 grams sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1/4 tablespoon vanilla or vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 tablespoons water
Pan of simmering water
Electric handheld mixer
TO MAKE THE MERINGUE ICING
Add your eggs whites to a large, heatproof bowl and whisk for a couple seconds, until they're slightly frothy
Add the sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar, and water to the bowl
Whisk for about 10 seconds to combine
Set the bowl over the water and whisk on full-speed for exactly 7 minutes
Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on full-speed for another 7 minutes
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
Gather your sponges, lemon curd, and icing, as well as 150 grams of unsweetened desiccated coconut flakes or long-shred desiccated coconut.
Put one sponge upside down onto a cake stand or wire rack
Spread the lemon curd over the top of the sponge
Add the 2nd sponge, right-side up, on top
Quickly ice the cake using an offset palette knife to cover the top and sides
Add the coconut to the top an sides, pressing the flakes into the cake
This cake takes a couple hours to firm up, but it's best eaten that day or the next day as the icing tends to soak into the sponge after 2 days
TIPS FOR THIS RECIPE
Use twice as much icing as you think you'll need on the cake. My sponge completely soaked up the icing within 2 days and this recipe makes more than enough icing.
Place pieces of parchment paper around the edges of the cake as you ice and decorate it. This keeps the cake stand clean and allows for quick clean-up
The cake and lemon curd can be made the day before, if needed. Store the lemon curd in the fridge.
I hope y'all enjoyed this recipe! I loved the icing from this recipe and the cake had a good lemon flavor to it. The cake was a little dry, but otherwise it was another good bake!
If you try this, let me know in the comments below or tag @TheLittlePinkBakery on Instagram and use the hashtag #LetsDoughThis so I can see what you made! Stay tuned next week for a quick and easy Coffeecake Muffin recipe for muffins that my husband says are "amazing!" (He rarely uses that word for my practice bakes, so ya'll will want to try this one).