This vegan coconut and lemon cake is perfectly fruity for a light summer dessert and ideal for a bright pick-me-up in the depths of winter!
For the Lemon Curd
- 300 g caster sugar
- 65 g corn starch (aka corn flour)
- pinch fine sea salt
- 230 g coconut cream (if you can’t find a tin of coconut cream, just refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight and scoop the cream from the top)
- 114 ml water
- 230 ml fresh lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- pinch turmeric powder
- 50 g vegan butter
For the Cake
- 1 tsp psyllium husks
- 300 g plain white flour
- 50 g desiccated coconut
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 250 g caster sugar
- 110 g coconut oil (melted)
- 350 ml canned coconut milk
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- 2 tsp coconut extract
For the Coconut Buttercream
- 100 g vegan margarine
- 100 g vegan butter (the firm block kind – I used naturli or miyokos)
- 2 tsp coconut extract
- 400 g icing sugar (aka powdered sugar) sieved
- 200 g desiccated coconut
To Make the Lemon Curd
- Combine all the ingredients besides the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium/low heat.
- Whisk constantly while the temperature raises. If you leave it for too long, the corn flour will curdle or burn, and that’s not good. After about 5 minutes you’ll notice the mixture start to thicken – if you notice it turning lumpy, switch to a whisk and beat vigorously for a few seconds to smoothen it out.
- Once thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat and stir in the vegan butter – mix well until the butter is fully combined and melted.
- Pour the lemon curd into a sterilised glass jar (if you don’t plan to use it all in the cake) and seal. Alternatively transfer to a glass bowl, cover and set aside to cool.
To Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180c and line two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment. Set aside.
- Place the psyllium husks into a spice grinder or high speed blender and blitz until powdered. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk together with 2 tbsp water. Set aside to thicken.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, desiccated coconut, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the melted coconut oil, sugar, coconut milk, vinegar, coconut extract and psyllium husk mixture until smooth. The psyllium husk mixture tends to clump together so be sure to beat on a high speed until very smooth.
- To the stand mixer, add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Do not over beat.
- Divide the cake batter between the two prepared cake tins and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once baked, a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
- Remove the baked cakes from the oven and place on a cooling rack until cool enough to handle. Remove from the baking tins and allow to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream frosting.
To Make the Buttercream Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the vegan margarine, vegan butter and coconut extract. Beat until smooth and whipped together.
- Working with a tablespoon at a time, whisk in the icing sugar. The frosting should be whipped and fluffy.
- Transfer at least half of the lemon curd to a piping bag.
- Place the first layer of coconut cake onto a plate or cake stand and top with a layer of lemon curd. Top with the second layer of cake.
- Carefully cover the cake with the coconut buttercream frosting using a pallet knife.
- Place a large dry frying pan over medium heat and add the desiccated coconut. Stirring constantly, toast the coconut until it is lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the coconut from the pan and spread on a plate to cool.
- Once fully cooled, press the coconut onto the sides of the frosted cake. Serve and enjoy.