coconut lime cake.

it’s hard to believe that may is already upon us, and spring is in full swing! the flowers are in bloom, the days are long and lovely, and there a quite a few holidays coming up that we can all look forward to.

there’s may day, which was popular when I was growing up in north dakota. it’s a charming day when you leave delicious homemade treats on your friends and neighbors’ doorsteps, ring the doorbell, and run away.

essentially, it’s just the nicer version of ding, dong ditch.

of course, everyone is familiar with mother’s day, where we celebrate the most important women in our lives. breakfast in bed will be made, sappy cards will be sent, and hopefully, i’ll get a sweet gift for being the best dog mommy in the whole wide world. wink wink, nudge nudge, fiance!

lastly, there’s cinco de mayo, a holiday that nearly everyone seems to have appropriated and celebrates year in and year out. we all love eating delicious mexican food and drinking our fair share of margaritas, but what about dessert?

i’ve been doing a lot of thinking about some of my favorite mexican desserts. there’s mexican hot chocolate, but i think it’s a bit too warm to enjoy that, especially here in florida. just thinking about drinking hot chocolate is making me sweat. oof.

i’ve never met anyone that didn’t like a churro, but i kinda think that after an evening of tacos and tequila, they’re a quite heavy way to end a meal.

so if you’re having friends over for a cinco de mayo celebration, i’ve developed a sweet treat that’s a simple, delicious finale to a wonderful evening.

this coconut lime cake is a breeze to prepare, and it falls into one of my favorite cake categories: anytime cakes.

sure, there are certain events that call for tall, grand layer cakes, but i find that anytime cakes can be just as much of a crowd pleaser. anytime cakes are perfect for casual dinners with friends, for surprising and welcoming a new neighbor to the neighborhood, or as a sweet surprise at the end of a seemingly normal weeknight dinner with your sweetheart.

this particular cake is delicately flavored with coconut and lime, and the texture is a sublime marriage of delicate crumb and soft flaked coconut. the glaze is a simple, punchy combination of confectioners’ sugar, lime juice, and tequila, which makes this a sophisticated yet fun celebration for cinco de mayo.

also, I think this would be a terrific cake for mother’s day! If doing so, i would suggest swapping out the tequila for a liqueur a bit more delicate, such as orange or almond liqueur. unless of course your mom is really into tequila, and if so, that’s kind of awesome.

i hope you’ll make this coconut lime cake a part of your may celebrations! it’s a sweet, bright and simple way to make any day this month a special one!

coconut lime cake with tequila lime glaze

Yield: one 9-inch round cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

this cake would be perfect for cinco de mayo as is. if you'd like to serve it for mother's day, or any other day of the year, i'd substitute orange liqueur for the tequila!


for the cake

1/2 heaping cup flaked coconut
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
zest of two limes
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
generous pinch kosher salt
3/4 cup coconut milk (coconut cream would be a delicious substitute!)
juice of two limes

for the glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
juice of one lime
1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon tequila


for the cake

preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with rack in center of oven.

butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

beat together butter, granulated sugar, and zest until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

beat in eggs, one at a time.

in a separate bowl, sift flour and salt together. stir in the flaked coconut, and set aside.

in a separate bowl, mix together lime juice and coconut milk.

alternating between the flour mixture and coconut milk mixture, add to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.

pour batter into prepared pan.

bake 35-40 minutes until golden, and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

remove from oven and cool completely on a wire baking rack.

for the glaze

mix together the confectioners’ sugar, lime juice, coconut milk and tequila.

mix until smooth.

drizzle glaze over cooled cake. slice and serve immediately.

the cake will keep for five days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

adapted from gourmet

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8 Responses to “coconut lime cake.”

  1. #
    laura — May 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

    sounds delish. but one question, flaked coconut? can you elaborate here. there seem to be quite a few coconut products floating around. is this coconut flour? dried coconut? something else? thanks!

  2. #
    jaclyn — May 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    hi Laura! there are lots of coconut products of there, that’s for sure! for this recipe, you can use sweetened or unsweetened flaked coconut, which is actually the same thing as shredded coconut. the sweetened version is a more moist product that you’ll find in the baking aisle of your grocery store, typically in a bag. the unsweetened variety is dried, and usually it’s in the specialty/health foods section of the store. Bob’s Red Mill makes really delicious unsweetened coconut!

    i hope that cleared up any confusion, and thanks so much for your comment!

  3. #
    branny — May 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Hey girl! We met at blogher food. I’m in search of a lime cake to make for my best friend this weekend. Is this birthday worthy? Stackable?

  4. #
    jaclyn — May 23, 2011 at 8:07 am

    branny! it was so lovely to meet you this past weekend! so sad it’s over already!

    this lime cake is REALLY good, but i’m not quite sure it would make for a good layer cake, as the texture is a bit soft and crumbly. however, i’d definitely suggest making cupcakes with this recipe! that would be crazy yum.

    again, i had such a blast hanging out with you at blogher food! you’re a doll!

  5. #
    Shana — April 5, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I definitely suggest doing cupcakes with this recipe! I did and they turned out FABULOUSLY!

  6. #
    Zenaida — June 21, 2014 at 6:32 am

    You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I to find this
    matter to be actually something that I feel I would never understand.
    It kind of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for me.

    I’m looking ahead in your next submit, I’ll attempt to get the dangle of it!


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