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Coconut Lime Cake

Coconut Lime Crumble Cake

Moist, fluffy and tender coconut lime cake made with lime zest, coconut milk, lightly toasted coconut and a small about of coconut extract filled with a sweet tart lime curd, toasted coconut and crunchy graham cracker crumble
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 45 mins
Cooling Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert


Lime Curd

  • 3 large (42g) egg yolks
  • 1 large (50g) egg
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (76g) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, room temperature

Graham Cracker Crumble

  • 3/4 cup (107g) graham cracker crumbs (about 4 1/4 graham cracker sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (22g) coconut, sweetened, flaked

Coconut Lime Cake

  • 14 ounces (396g) cake flour
  • 14 ounces (397g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 ounces (85g) canola oil
  • 12 ounces (341g) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2-3/4 cup (43g-64g) toasted coconut, sweetened, flaked

Coconut Buttercream


Toast the coconut.

  • Place the coconut for both the streusel and the cake a in a large skillet.
  • Cook over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until the flakes are mostly golden brown. Because the coconut is sweetened, it will toast quickly.
  • Set aside to cool completely.

Make the lime curd.

  • Combine the sugar and lime zest into a bowl. Rub the mix between your hands to release the oils of the zest.
  • Add the egg and egg yolks to the sugar mixture and whisk to combine thoroughly. 
  • Add the lime juice and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a medium sauce pan, and place over a medium low heat. Add the butter. Stir continuously to keep the mixture moving so your eggs don't scramble.
  • Cook the curd until thick and just beginning to bubble, or until an instant read thermometer reaches 170F. The curd will thicken more in the refrigerator.
  • Take the curd off of the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain the curd into a clean shallow bowl, and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. 
  • Cool completely in the refrigerator before using.

Make the graham cracker crumble.

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, about 30-45 seconds.
  • Whisk in the brown sugar.
  • Add the graham cracker crumbs to the bowl and stir to coat.
  • Pour out the streusel onto the parchment paper.
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the crumble cool.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 of the toasted coconut over the crumble. Stir to mix, breaking up some of the larger crumbs.

Make the coconut lime cake.

  • Prepare your cake pans. Brush the bottoms and sides of your cake pans with melted butter. Line the bottoms and sides with parchment paper.
  • Combine the coconut milk, oil, eggs, coconut extract and vanilla in medium bowl. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour 40z/113g of the wet ingredients into a separate mixing cup.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lime zest. On low speed, mix for 1 minute.
  • With the mixer still running, add in the softened butter pieces, one or two pieces at a time. Mix until the mixture resembles cornmeal. You should be able to gather a bit in your hand, squeeze and you have a solid piece. This means the butter is evenly distributed.
  • With the mixer still on low, pour in the 4oz of liquid and mix until the flour mixture is moistened.
  • Turn the mixer speed to medium (4 or 6) and whip for *two full* minutes. The mixture should be whipped up, thick, and lighter in color.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is properly mixed.
  • With the mixer speed on low, add the remaining wet ingredients in three parts, scraping down the bowl after each addition has been mixed in.
  • Once all the wet ingredients have been added, give the bowl a final scrape and mix with a spatula. Fold in the 1/2 cup of toasted coconut.
  • Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans.
  • Bake the layers for 35-45 minutes. Check the cake at 30-35 minutes to test for doneness. If a toothpick comes out clean, and the top of the cake feels springy and set when touched, take the cakes out.
  • Tap the cake once, firmly against the counter to remove excess steam. If your cakes dome at all, use a clean kitchen towel to gently push the domes down. Cool the cakes for 15 minutes in the pans.
  • Run a palette or butter knife around the cakes in their pans before turning them out to cool completely on cooling racks.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator a couple hours.

Make the coconut buttercream.

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the coconut cream at little at a time, coconut extract and prepared Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Mix on low until everything is incorporated and the buttercream is smooth.

Assemble the coconut lime crumble cake.

  • Work with chilled cake layers. Using a long serrated knife torte the layers, cutting them evenly in half. You will have four cake layers total. The tops of the cakes will be the center two layers of your cake. If you made your cake in 3 pans, skip this step.
  • Put one of the cake layers, cut side up onto an 8" cake board or directly onto a cake stand.
  • Spread a thin, even layer of the butter on the cake layer with an offset spatula. Pipe a rim (or dam) of buttercream around the edge of the cake layer.
  • Spread about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the lime curd over the cake. 
  • Sprinkle the graham cracker streusel on top of the curd. Pat into place.
  • Spread about one cup of the buttercream on top of the curd/crumble using an offset spatula to evenly distribute the buttercream. You're looking for the buttercream to be about 1/4 inch thick. 
  • Place the second cake layer on top, top up, and press down gently so that the layer is adhered to the buttercream. Repeat steps 3-6.
  • Place the third cake layer on top, top up, and press down gently so that the layer is adhered to the buttercream. Repeat steps 3-6.
  • Place final cake layer on top and frost with the remaining buttercream. Chill for 30 minutes.
  • Slice into pieces and serve.


The completed cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving. 
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