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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (52 Votes)


  • Ingredients
  • 515-g pkg white cake mix
  • 398-mL can lite coconut milk, divided
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 540-mL can lemon pie filling
  • 1/2 cup butter, preferably unsalted, at room temperature
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla




Step 1

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions for an 8-in. layer cake, using coconut milk instead of water. Reserve remaining coconut milk. Cool cake fully on wire racks.
Place flaked coconut in a frying pan set over medium-low heat. Stir continuously, toasting until light golden, 3 to 5 min. Turn onto a plate to cool. Stir lemon zest with lemon pie filling in a medium bowl.
Beat butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until pale and creamy, 2 to 3 min. Set to low and gradually add half the icing sugar, mixing until blended. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk, then remaining icing sugar. Beat in vanilla. If icing is too thick to spread, add more coconut milk 1 tbsp at a time. Cover bowl with a damp towel.
Lay cooled cake layers on a flat surface. Using a serated knife, slice each cake in half horizontally to form 4 layers. Place 1 layer on a cake plate and spread with 1/3 of the lemon filling. (Tip: We used E.D. Smith Lemon Pie Filling.) Top with next cake layer. Press down gently with your hand, then spread with half the remaining filling. Top with next layer, then remaining filling. Top with final layer, pressing top of cake gently. Chill cake for 30 min.
Place 1 1/4 cups icing in a small bowl and stir in a drizzle more coconut milk to make it softer and more spreadable. Hold top of cake and very thinly spread icing around sides, then top. It will barely cover and not look nice. This first coat of icing helps keep the filling in the cake. Refrigerate until icing firms, about 30 min.
Remove cake from refrigerator and frost with remaining icing. Scoop coconut in the palm of your hand and press onto sides of cake to garnish. Gather coconut that has fallen on plate and press back onto cake. Continue until all coconut is used, making sure to save some to sprinkle overtop. Refrigerate until ready to serve, as this will make it easier to slice.


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