Easy Homemade Coconut Lemon Cake

Easy Homemade Coconut Lemon Cake

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Toasting Coconut: 10 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
316 Calories
15g Fat
43g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 316
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 223mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 29g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 105mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Boxed cake mixes aren't very popular in Morocco, where traditional cakes such as meskouta are almost always made from scratch and are regarded as quick, simple treats to make for dessert or tea time. This coconut and lemon cake is equally easy to make, and you'll find the few extra minutes spent measuring out ingredients to be well worth your time.


For the Cake:

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/3 cups (120 grams) grated unsweetened desiccated coconut

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) milk

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Icing and Garnish:

  • 1 cup (125 grams) confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cream, or milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) toasted sweetened coconut

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Homemade Coconut Lemon Cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Preheat your oven to 350 F / 180 C. Grease and flour your cake pan(s). Zest and juice the lemon.

    Grease and flour your cake pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. With an electric mixer or by hand, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick. Gradually beat in the oil, then beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and zest.

    beat together eggs, sugar, oil, then beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and zest

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Stir in the flour, coconut, baking powder and salt, and then the milk. Beat until smooth, 

    to the mixture in the bowl, stir in the flour, coconut, baking powder and salt, and then the milk

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan(s). Bake in the middle of your preheated oven until the cake tests done—approximately 25 to 30 minutes for layers; 35 to 40 minutes for oblong; 40 minutes for a tube or Bundt pan.

    baked cake in a cake pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a spatula, then turn out the cake onto a rack to finish cooling.

    cake on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. To decorate the cooled cake, mix the sifted confectioners' sugar and vanilla with enough cream or milk to a spreadable consistency. Spread the icing in a thin layer over the top of the cake, and dust the icing with toasted coconut. Allow the icing to set before serving.

    Easy Homemade Coconut Lemon Cake, layered with icing and dusted with toasted coconut

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

*Note: To make toasted coconut, spread the grated unsweetened coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F / 180 C for 5 to 8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven, mix in a few tablespoons of powdered sugar, and leave to cool. Cover and store until needed.


  • You'll need one or two fresh lemons for zest and juice.
  • When baking the cake, use any standard shape pan; I like to bake the cake as two individual 9-inch layers, which are then served by cutting into wedges.
  • Keep things simple and offer the cake plain with no frosting, or dress it up as shown with a light coating of vanilla-flavored icing and toasted coconut.