Coconut may be most often paired with lime in sweets such as this cake, but lemon also offers bright contrast to the sweet meat, and then there's the rum (just a smidgen) for yet more tropical beach appeal. Here, the coconut flavor is provided by coconut milk and sweetened shredded coconut. Because the coconut milk is heated with the butter and lemon juice, this cake is infused with flavor and denser than cakes that start by creaming the butter.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons rum
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (approximately 350°F).
  2. Grease a round cake pan with butter and sprinkle with flour.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, heat coconut milk, butter and the lemon juice until milk is warm and butter is melted.
  5. Set aside until cool.
  6. Combine sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and mix with fingertips to release the oils from zest until it looks like wet sand.
  7. Add eggs and beat with an electric mixer until mixture is doubled in volume.
  8. Add rum.
  9. Add flour and beat just until mixed.
  10. Add coconut and stir.
  11. Add coconut milk mixture and stir well.
  12. Transfer batter to prepared cake pan.
  13. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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