Coconut Lime Cake
The best coconut lime cake! Coconut cake paired with fresh lime buttercream, cover the cake in lime slices for a fun presentation!
This cake recipe has been brewing in my head since the fall. That’s a long time to wait, but I didn’t think anyone would really want a coconut lime cake in the middle of October, or January, but the season is finally here!
I’ve been dying to cover a cake in limes or lemons!
In my head this concept sounded so fun – here’s a look into Beth’s thought closet, “OH! I want to make a cake that’s covered in lime slices! That is going to be so cool! … I wonder how I’ll get the limes to stick to the cake.. I’ll worry about that when I actually make the cake because I’m still going to make it, it’s going to be so fun!”
So thought Beth left the problem of figuring out how to attach the limes to the cake to real Beth. When the day came, it was like “Okay.. I have a 4 layer coconut cake covered in lime buttercream and now how do I put the limes on the cake?!”
I knew that the buttercream would need to be chilled and set, otherwise the juice from the limes combined with room temperature buttercream would cause them to slide down the cake. Step one – chill the cake. I chilled it overnight. If you’re making the cake and serving it on the same day, chill the cake in the fridge for as long as you can and add the limes before serving.
So #1 – chill the cake. But there’s a second technique – remove the excess juice from the limes. I sliced 5-7 limes, placed them on a paper towel then laid another paper towel on top of them. Since I was going to be serving the cake the next day, I actually put the limes on the paper towels in the fridge overnight. The next day, the limes were easy to work with because they weren’t all juicy!
To get the limes to stick to the cake, add a little bit of buttercream to one side of the lime and then gently push the lime (buttercream side facing the cake) onto the cake.
I choose to frost this cake in the “naked cake” style. That means that there is little to no frosting on the outside of the cake. I placed frosting all around the cake, then used a icing smoother to remove 90% of the buttercream. The cake is lightly frosted, meaning you can see the actual cake layers.
You could definitely choose to frost the cake in a good layer of lime buttercream instead of doing the naked cake style.
This recipe will make two 6 inch cakes or one eight inch cake. Double the recipe if you’d like four 6 inch cakes, like shown in the photos.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick + 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp coconut flavor
- 1/3 cup cream of coconut
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- zest of 2 limes
- juice of 1 lime
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 5-7 limes, sliced to decorate cake
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Using butter grease the bottom and sides of two 6 inch round cake pans or springform pans and line the bottoms with a round piece of parchment paper. To ensure even baking, place a bake even strip around each pan. You can make your own homemade bake even strip by cutting a towel or shirt to fit the size of your pan. Get the fabric really wet, then squeeze out the dripping water but do not squeeze it too dry. Secure the fabric around the pan with a safety pin.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently mix using a spoon.
- In a larger mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs and coconut flavor, lightly beat.
- Add in the cream of coconut, mix by hand using a spatula.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
- Evenly divide the batter between the 2 pans.
- Bake for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Once the cake is done baking, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the cake from the pan. If using a springform pan, remove the sides and bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper round from the bottom of the cake. If you need to level the top of your cake, do so now using either a cake lever or knife.
- If you’ll be assembling the cake later, wrap the cake layers really well in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator, they are good for up to one week like this.
- If doubling the recipe, repeat the above steps.
- In a mixing large bowl, combine the butter and vegetable shortening, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy.
- Add in the lime zest and lime juice, beat using electric mixer.
- Begin to add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing by hand first, then with the electric mixer. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting isn't too wet and tastes good to you.
- Slice 5-7 limes. To remove the excess juice from the limes, place them on a paper towel then lay another paper towel on top of them. Since I was going to be serving the cake the next day, I actually put the limes on the paper towels in the fridge overnight. The next day, the limes were easy to work with because they weren’t all juicy! If you don’t have time to refrigerate the sliced limes overnight, allow them to refrigerate for as long as possible.
How to assemble the cake
- Spread a small amount of buttercream on a 6 inch round cardboard cake circle. Place your first layer of cake on top of the cardboard. Put buttercream on top of the first layer and spread it as even as possible with an offset spatula. Decide how much or how little frosting you want in-between each layer, you can measure the frosting using a measuring cup. I use 1/3 to 1/2 cup in between each layer.
- Repeat this process for each layer of cake. Once all of the layers are stacked and frosted, spread a small amount frosting on the top of the cake.
- Next, go back and fill in the gaps between the cake layers with more frosting. The frosting between the layers does not need to look perfect. Use a small offset spatula to get the frosting in between the layers and to spread it around the cake. Don’t completely cover the cake layers as they are suppose to still be visible.
- If serving the cake the next day, place the entire cake in the fridge (inside a cake carrier or loosely covered in plastic wrap) overnight to harden the frosting. If serving the cake the same day, place the cake in the fridge for as long as possible to help set the frosting. Making sure the frosting is set and hard will help the limes stick to the cake.
- Before serving, transfer the cake to your desired serving plate.
- To get the limes to stick to the cake, add a little bit of buttercream to one side of the lime and then gently push the lime (buttercream side facing the cake) onto the cake. Continue until the entire cake is covered.
- Use a piping bag and a piping tip (I used a wilton round tip) to pipe swirls of buttercream on top of the cake. Top each swirl with a lime slice.
- Slice and serve!
You can find cream of coconut in the ethnic food aisle or near the alcoholic drink mixes at the grocery store.