Coconut Key Lime Cake

A two layer coconut cake with a tart key lime filling!

A sweet white cake holding a tangy key lime filling and surrounded by a coconut buttercream!

When I was a kid, May 4 was a big deal.  This would mark the beginning of my birthday countdown.  This meant that I had exactly two months until everyone I knew would celebrate ME.  I’d mentally plan my party, my gifts, my cake, and my birthday dinner.  I have always loved birthdays!  Especially my own.  From May 5th to July 4th, I’d completely annoy every around me with my incessant countdown.

A sweet white cake holding a tangy key lime filling and surrounded by a coconut buttercream!

By the time my birthday arrived, I’d built it up to such astronomical proportions, there was no way it could possibly live up to my expectations.  I was always disappointed.  But no one can be sad on their birthday when fireworks light up the sky just for you!  Yes, I might be a little delusional, so what??  The only part of my birthday that never disappointed me was my cake.  I always got a big cake with an obscene amount frosting.  Every girl’s dream, right?

A sweet white cake holding a tangy key lime filling and surrounded by a coconut buttercream!

All these years later, I still act like a little girl when my birthday comes around.  I still get giddy just thinking about my big day.  But now, it’s less about my birthday and more about what we do to celebrate the 4th of July as a family.  However, I have never wavered in my love of cake!  Oh man, I really love cake!  Sometimes I treat myself to a bakery cake for my birthday, but more often than not, I prefer to make my own.  I tested out this Coconut Key Lime cake in anticipation of my birthday.  I love coconut desserts, so this cake is perfectly appropriate for me.  A tart, creamy, key lime filling is enveloped by two moist and sweet vanilla cake layers.  The coconut buttercream is definitely on the sweet side, but the key lime filling provides the perfect contrast.  When you love coconut as much as I do, the only way to decorate a coconut cake is with piles and piles of shredded coconut!

A sweet white cake holding a tangy key lime filling and surrounded by a coconut buttercream!

My first piece was outstanding.  But I better go ahead and sample more slices just to be sure this cake is really birthday cake material, know what I mean?  You read over the recipe, while I go eat some more cake.  Deal?


Coconut Key Lime Bars

Coconut Key Lime Bars


 White Chocolate Key Lime Cookies with Toasted Coconut




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Coconut Key Lime Cake
For the cake:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 ¼ cup cake flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 3 ½ cup shredded coconut, divided
For the filling
  • 1 3.5 oz box white chocolate pudding
  • 1 ¼ cup cold milk
  • 1 envelope Dream Whip powdered whipped topping
  • ¼ cup key lime juice
For the frosting:
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup shortening
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons cream of coconut
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and 1 ½ cups sugar until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add eggs and then yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in ⅓ of flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in half the milk. Add another third of the flour, the remaining, milk and finish of the last third of the flour, beat well. Fold in 1/1 2 cups of coconut. Scrape batter evenly into two greased 9 in round cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven. The cake is done when it is pricked with a skewer and it comes out clean. Let cake cool completely.
  3. To prepare filling: in a cold mixing bowl, combine dream whip, Jell-O, milk and key lime juice. Beat until mixtures becomes fluffy and increases in volume, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. For the buttercream, combine butter and shortening in a stand mixer. Add salt. Carefully stir in powdered sugar one-cup adding water as you go. Beat in vanilla and cream of coconut and beat until buttercream is creamy and smooth.
  5. To assemble cake:
  6. Cut dome for cakes if necessary. Place one cake on a serving plate and top with filling. Place second cake, topside down, over the filling. Cover cake with a coating of frosting and freeze for 10-20 or until frosting is set. Cover cake with remaining frosting. Gently press remaining 2 cups of coconut around the sides of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Cake adapted from Sunset


Follow Tanya Schroeder’s board Let them eat cake on Pinterest.

I may be linking this up to these parties and to The Weekend Potluck!


24 Responses

  1. Oh, how I would love a slice of this cake right now even though it is only breakfast. I can’t get enough of lime and coconut. Love your birthday story, so cute!

    • I’d totally eat cake for breakfast! Thanks Ashley!

  2. That is one absolutely awesome cake!!! I love the coconut with the key lime filling!!!

  3. i wish my family liked coconut – I’d have to eat this entire cake myself

  4. Wowza! What a totally fun cake, Tanya! I sure could go for a slice right now. Pinned!

  5. Tanya, I’m so happy I’m not the only one that does the whole countdown time for bday time! I love this coconut creation!

  6. Seriously divine! My mouth is watering and I can only imagine the serious yumminess of this cake! Want some! Thanks! Pinning.

  7. This looks delicious! The perfect summer time dessert. It looks so light and fluffy in your picture. Hopefully mine turns out as airy when I make it. Pinned!!

    • I’m sure it will turn out fluffy! Thanks you Ashley!

  8. Coconut and key lime pair so well together! Love this decadent cake!

  9. Hi Tanya! This cake looks absolutely amazing!! I could probably devour the entire thing. :) Thank you so much for sharing at Best of the Weekend – I hope you had a fabulous Mother’s Day and have a wonderful week!

  10. Sarah Walton

    What is powsered Dream Whip? Never heard of it?
    Can I replease the shortening with butter or veg oil?

  11. That looks great! Do you think toasted coconut would work as well? I have found that I LOVE toasted coconut, but I’m not nearly as big of a fan of raw. Great photos!

    • I think it would be great! I love, love toasted coconut!

  12. I don’t think I gave you a proper happy birthday, Tanya, but I hope you had a really special day! If it involved this cake, then it must have been pretty great. Not only do I love coconut, I’m also very interested to find out about this powdered whipped topping business. I have never heard of it, but I need to find it to see what’s it all about!

    • Awe, thank you Andi! It did involve cupcakes, which I hope to share someday! The powdered whipped topping has saved me on numerous occasions. Totally worth keeping on hand!

  13. mary marshall

    i am getting ready to make this looks wonderful and if it turns out the way I think this will be my son”s weddig cake aug.9th

    • I can’t wait to hear what you think Mary!


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