This is definitely not my anniversary cake, because 1. If I am making a cake for my anniversary, it will probably involve either chocolate or some strange new ingredient I’ve been wanting to try out. And 2. I am definitely not married. For sure.

The Madre and el Jefe, on the other hand, are married. For my birthday this year, they gave me Mich Turner’s Cake School, a book all about cakes and cake decor, and then said that they requested the coconut cake with coconut frosting at my earliest convenience, as this is el Jefe’s favorite. Because I love giving cakes as gifts, I was happy to comply.

I must admit, I had some difficulty with this recipe, and in retrospect, it is because I decided to bake it in a dark, heart-shaped cheesecake pan. While this made for a lovely shape, it also meant that the cake was almost burned (okay definitely a little burned) both times that I made it. Note to self: remember that pan color and type makes a difference in bake times… duh. Anyway, I cut off the worst bits and went a little nuts with the decor, and the Madre and el Jefe seemed to enjoy it, so all’s well that ends well, I guess.

Sometimes I wonder if I should just stick to my day job. If I ever get one, that is (laugh-cries).

Cake Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups (1.5 US sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups and 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 TBSP coconut cream, melted

Lime Syrup:

  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar

Lime Curd Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup (1 1/4 US sticks) butter
  • 1 cup and 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • zest and juice of 3 limes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks

Coconut Cream Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 cups and 2TBSP powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup (1 1/4 US sticks) butter, well softened
  • 3 TBSP coconut cream, warmed
  • coconut flakes, as desired


Cake Destructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F; line a deep, 6″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all of the cake ingredients except for the creamed coconut either with a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until super light and fluffy, about five minutes.
  3. Gently stir in creamed coconut.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  5. While the cake is baking, stir the lime syrup ingredients together in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. When the cake is done, set the pan on a wire rack, immediately spike the cake all over with a toothpick or skewer, and spoon the lime syrup over the entire cake.
  7. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes and turn out onto a serving plate. Leave until entirely cooled, then decorate.

Decoration Destructions:

  1. Place the lime curd ingredients except for the eggs in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat the mixture until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove the bowl from heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend the eggs with a handheld mixer (or whip them by hand if you’re superman) and pour them over the lime mixture, stirring constantly.
  3. Return the bowl to the heat over the saucepan as before, and continue to heat the curd, stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened (for as many as 25 minutes). The curd will thickly coat the back of the spoon when ready.
  4. Let the curd cool while making the frosting (and store covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to five days).
  5. Beat the coconut cream frosting ingredients until smooth (and store covered at room temperature for up to seven days).
  6. When the lime curd is cool, mix some of it into the frosting until entirely blended (the amount will vary depending on how lime-y you want the frosting to be, I used about 1.5 cups and it was very strong).
  7. While waiting for everything to come together, shave coconut (or buy coconut flakes), and toast as desired. I put them in a frying pan on medium-low heat for about five minutes, stirring with a spatula to make sure they were evenly toasted and not burned.
  8. Once the cake is entirely cool, spread the frosting-curd mix over the entire top and sides of the cake. Cover in cooled coconut shavings, and serve!


  • This is a surprisingly difficult cake, so don’t worry if you have some mishaps your first time through (like me)! It’s also pretty fatty, just be warned.
  • The original recipe says to use golden superfine sugar, but I had difficulty finding that, and quite frankly everything worked out just fine with the light brown sugar. My point being, if you somehow have golden superfine sugar, go ahead and use it! Otherwise, the recipe will still turn out just fine.
  • Self-rising flour is a bit strange in a US recipe- if you don’t have it on hand, you can substitute with 1 1/3 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, and a little less than 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Be careful about sampling the frosting–the pre-curd recipe gives just enough to cover the cake, so you may not have very much leftover!
  • Because it was an anniversary cake and I felt kind of bad about burning the cake a teensy bit, I only toasted about half of the coconut shreds and put them in a design on the cake.