A light and airy cake roll filled with sweet coconut frosting and tangy key lime curd. The combination is tropical and delicious! Cake rolls are easy to make and fun to eat any time of the year!
My husband celebrated his birthday over quarantine, it is hard to get out and celebrate a birthday when you aren’t supposed to really leave your home
My youngest had a very different take on the whole birthday in quarantine thing. Instead of thinking it sad to have a birthday with nothing to do, she said she wished her birthday was during the quarantine. When I asked her why, she said because we are always too busy with our activities to celebrate her October birthday. And she is right. In fact, we are too busy to sit and celebrate anyone’s birthday. Which got me thinking. Let’s all celebrate our birthday over quarantine!
Therefore, April was a birthday redo month! If you are going to do a birthday redo then you have to have cake!
This key lime coconut cake THE birthday cake for any birthday!
There are three parts to this coconut cake, the cake roll, the key lime curd, and the frosting. So let’s break down each one.
What Is A Cake Roll?
A cake roll is typically a sponge cake in nature, it is soft and tender and on the thinner side.
The secret to a good cake roll is to use cake flour. For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill Cake flour which is a light, finely milled flour with a lower protein content than all-purpose flour. This lower protein and high starch content in cake flour create the lightest, most delicious cakes possible!
The cake batter is poured into a jelly roll pan, which is typically 10 ½ x 15 ½ in size although you can sometimes find them as large as 12 x 18 inches (I used the smaller size).
The cake is turned onto a towel coated in powdered sugar when removed from the oven and the rolled up in that towel to cool. That is where you get the roll for the cake.
To turn this cake roll into a coconut cake recipe, the cake batter and the frosting with coconut extract. The coconut flavor can be as pronounced as you like, the amount used can easily be adjusted to suit your taste.
Key Lime Curd is so easy to make and it is so delicious! You will have leftover lime curd, but it can be used up in so many different ways! (the key lime pie parfait is perfect!)
I often make lemon curd in the microwave, this time I used a stove-top method. You can truly use either method. The key take away for this recipe, however, is you may want to have the lime curd ready in advance so that it can be used when the cake is ready.
For the key lime curd you will need:
Eggs – yolks and whole eggs
Key Lime Juice – Bottled is great for this recipe!
For The Coconut Cake Frosting
I made a buttercream frosting for this cake, but if you have a favorite cream cheese frosting, feel free to substitute! I am a frosting fan, so there is quite a bit here, you can easily halve the recipe if your sweet tooth isn’t as strong.
The beautiful thing about a cake roll is not having to mess with cake layers!
Once the cake roll has cooled, carefully unroll the cake and spread a layer of frosting on the inside.
Place a generous amount of the lime curd over the frosting and slowly reroll the cake. Place the cake seam side down onto your serving plate.
Coat the cake in the buttercream and then press Bob’s Red Mill flaked or shredded coconut onto the frosting.
Coconut Cake Roll Tips & Suggestions:
- Be sure to beat your egg white until thick and glossy. You’ll know when they are ready by lifting your whisk out of the bowl. If your egg whites rise up straight and do not fold over, they are ready.
- The batter will be thick. It will look too thin to spread. Do your best to cover the jelly roll pan. The cake will be thin when it comes out of the oven.
- Make sure you line your pan with parchment paper and that you spray your parchment paper with non-stick spray.
- You know your cake is ready if it springs back when lightly touched.
- It is best to roll your cake when it is still warm. If the cake begins to cool it will crack when it is rolled.
- Do not overbake your cake, an overbaked cake can crack once rolled.
- Allow the cake to cool completely, if you try to unroll the cake while it is still warm, the cake may tear.
- Have the key lime curd prepared in advance so it has time to refrigerate and set before it is used.
- This recipe has a generous amount of frosting, it can easily be halved.
More Coconut Recipes:
More Cake Roll Recipes:
- For the cake:
- 5 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 2/3 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoon melted butter
- powdered sugar
- For the key lime curd:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup bottled Key lime juice (such as Nellie & Joe's)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- For the frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups butter (softened)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- Prepare the key lime curd: prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice; place a medium bowl on top of the ice and set aside.
- Whisk together egg yolks, eggs, granulated sugar, and bottled Key lime juice in a medium saucepan over medium.
- Cook, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
- Whisk in cornstarch.
- increase heat to medium-high, and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly for about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat; whisk in unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until butter is melted.
- Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into the bowl set over ice. Stir the curd using a rubber spatula, until cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
- Remove bowl from ice bath; place plastic wrap directly on curd (to prevent a film from forming).
- Refrigerate while you prepare the cake.
- Preheat oven to 375. Spray a jelly roll pan with nonstick spray. Top pan with parchment paper and spray paper with nonstick spray. Set pan aside.
- In a bowl, whisk egg yolks until thick and golden in color. Gradually add in 1/3 cup of sugar and vanilla and coconut extract; continue to whisk until thickened.
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat egg whites with the whisk attachment until semi-soft peaks begin to form. Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks finally form. Remove and carefully fold in the yolk mixture.
- Combine dry ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake for 12 minutes or until cake gently springs back when touched.
- After removing the cake from the oven, and immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Carefully turn the cake out onto a clean towel that has been dusted with powdered sugar.
- Remove parchment paper.
- Roll cake with a towel, starting with the short end.
- Let the cake cool completely.
- Prepare the frosting: in a bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter until very creamy. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until combined and creamy adding heavy cream if necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. Stir in the pinch of salt.
- Mix in the coconut extract.
- Carefully unroll the cake. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting over the inside of the cake. Top with a 1/2 - 3/4 cup of the key lime curd.
- Carefully roll cake and place the cake seam side down onto a serving platter.
- Spread the remainder of the frosting on the outside of the cake. Top with coconut flakes.
You will have leftover key lime curd. Refrigerate the leftovers.
Store this cake covered in the fridge. The cake will last 3-4 days if properly stored.
I used Bob's Red Mill cake flour and coconut flakes for this recipe.
Amount Per Serving Calories 725Total Fat 40gSaturated Fat 25gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 260mgSodium 451mgCarbohydrates 88gFiber 1gSugar 77gProtein 7g