Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake | Gather and Graze

For many, the smell and taste of coconut will evoke a variety of memories. Perhaps it transports you back to an exotic island holiday where days were spent beachside in a somewhat idle fashion, sipping kitsch cocktails from hollowed out coconuts. For me, it brings to mind a period in the late 80’s of hanging out with friends at the local public pool, rubbing coconut oil onto arms and legs before baking in the sun… hmmm, and drinking way too much Malibu and milk. With hindsight, neither option a wise choice!

This cake is coconutty in the extreme, flavoured with both desiccated coconut and coconut milk. It’s beautifully moist, not too sweet and the lemon adds a brightness that cuts through the richness perfectly. A great solution for getting that much-desired coconut fix, without risking skin cancer or a hang-over!

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 8-10 Slices
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 125g (½ Cup) Unsalted Butter
  • 175g (¾ Cup) Raw Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Free-Range Eggs
  • Zest of 1 Large Lemon
  • 250mls (1 Cup) Coconut Milk*
  • 225g (1½ Cups) Plain Flour
  • 10g (2 tsp) Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 130g (1½ Cups) Desiccated Coconut

Lemon Syrup Ingredients

  • 30mls (2 Tbsp) Lemon Juice
  • 60g (¼ Cup) Caster Sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a 23 x 13 cm (9 x 5 inch) loaf tin.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each one, then stir in the lemon zest.

Into a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.

Alternating with the coconut milk, stir in the sifted dry ingredients in 2 or 3 lots, then with a light hand, fold in the desiccated coconut.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 45-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Depending on your oven, the top of the cake may need to be protected with a loose piece of foil in the final 10-15 minutes of cooking, if it appears to be browning too quickly.

For the Lemon Syrup, gently heat the lemon juice and sugar (either on the stove-top or carefully in the microwave), just until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly brush (or spoon) the warm syrup over the cake just after it comes out of the oven (you may wish to poke a few holes into the top using a toothpick to allow the syrup to soak in more easily).

Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before removing to a cooling rack.

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake | Gather and Graze

Lovely served as is, or perhaps with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or whipped cream on the side.

Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake | Gather and Graze


  • I used 50g of Ayam Coconut Milk Powder mixed with 200mls of warm water.
  • Lime zest and juice would substitute beautifully for the lemon.
  • Thinking that raspberries might also be a great addition to this cake, though perhaps adjust the amount of desiccated coconut slightly to produce a lighter batter, making it easier to fold in the berries.


16 thoughts on “Coconut (with a hint of lemon) Cake

  1. Dina

    Having just made my notes for tomorrows bake – I think this one might go well not only with raspberries but also blueberries.

  2. Dina

    What a wonderful recipe, will try this one for the weekend. Thank you so much sharing. We all love coconut and lemon. ❤

  3. Johnny Hepburn

    What is it about coconut and lemon? Love the combo. Has to be one of my favourites for anything baked. Come to think of it, have I used it with savoury? Probably not.
    Threatening to stop using my oven as a fridge, clear it out, clean it again – just in case – and make granola. That’ll be it though…baked goodies every week! The size of a small camper van by Hallowe’en. 🙂

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      That’s hilarious! Has your oven really been cold enough to use as a fridge??? I haven’t made granola in ages either… so much nicer than the bought stuff. Might just be a copycat and do the same in the next couple of days! Craving something with cranberries and hazelnuts right now, after seeing a fellow blogger’s instagram shot of some cookies this morning!

      1. Johnny Hepburn

        Yes, even in summer. That’s how cold my flat is. Perfect in warmer months though.
        Why have I bought granola recently?? It’s so easy to make. Agree, hazelnuts right now. So good.

  4. Anne Wheaton

    This sounds a perfect September cake – whichever hemisphere we live in! I particularly like loaf cakes so shall definitely try this one. I can smell coconut as I’ve just been to the hairdresser and the shampoo she used was very coconut scented so this is rather a sensory post!

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      😀 Something of a coincidence! Hope you enjoy the cake if you get a chance to make it Anne… I really think it would work well with some fresh raspberries folded through too. xx


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