toasted coconut + lemon cream cake

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i ordered the sweet laurel cookbook last weekend and have been dying to break into it all week. i'm truly prepared to take a deep dive into gluten-free and dairy-free baking, that i bought an entire gallon of maple syrup that is currently living on the top shelf of our fridge, and will be there indefinitely (sorry frank!)

this lemon cream cake is truly what dreams are made of. once i made the lemon sauce, i ate it by the spoonful and couldn't stop. the lemon flavor bursts in your mouth and takes you to summer time picnics as a kid. the whipped coconut cream frosting is slightly sweet and good enough to forget that it doesn't have any sugar added! such a sweet treat. i brought some slices over to our friends kevin + tori (hi guys!) and i hope they like it!

toasted coconut + lemon cream cake

serves 6-8

from sweet laurel by laurel gallucci + claire thomas



2 1/2 c almond flour

1/4 c coconut oil + more to prime the pans

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1/2 c maple syrup

1/4 c fresh lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

1/4 c unsweetened flaked coconut

2 c coconut whipped cream (see below)

1 c lemon spread (see below)


coconut whipped cream

2 13.5-oz cans full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated)* make sure not to freeze

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla extract (i used vanilla powder)


lemon spread

3 large eggs

2 tbsp lemon zest

1/3 c maple syrup

1/2 c fresh lemon juice

1/4 c coconut oil, melted




preheat the oven to 350ยบf. oil 3 6-inch round baking dishes with coconut oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper. *i trace the bottoms of my rounds and cut precisely so the cake sides stay round and not crinkled from the paper.

in a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. in another bowl (with a spout), whisk together eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, and zest. slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, little by little, until you get a consistent batter.

divide the batter evenly between the 3 round pans and bake for 25 minutes. *check with a toothpick to make sure they are done and not overcooked. invert them onto racks to cool fully. i would suggest freezing them for 30 minutes before frosting so that the whipped cream doesn't melt.

place one layer on a cake plate and with 2 spoonfuls of the lemon spread, top the cake with the spread and then another layer of coconut whipped cream. continue for the layers, and for the top, first layer a larger coat of the whipped cream and then top with the lemon spread and toasted coconut. refrigerate until ready to serve.

toasted coconut

spread the coconut flakes over another lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown 

coconut whipped cream

remove the coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can into a mixer with a whisk attachment. beat the coconut cream on high until peaks begin to form.

use a rubber spatula to slowly stir in the maple syrup and vanilla. refrigerate in a glass or metal bowl before frosting the cake.

lemon spread

in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and maple syrup.

in a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and coconut oil.

pour the egg mixture into a saucepan and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes, whisking continuously. slowly stir in the lemon juice and coconut oil, continue to whisk for another 10 - 15 minutes. the mixture will turn a bright yellow. make sure not to boil or cook to quickly, or the eggs will be lumpy.

remove from the pan and pour through a mesh sieve into a jar to refrigerate until used. i ate the rest of mine with a spoon :)

happy baking friends!