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Lemon Chiffon Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

by Christa on September 5, 2012

Post image for Lemon Chiffon Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon, coconut, cream cheese.
Yep, this cake combines all those delicious ingredients into one decadent little cake.

As you’ll see in the recipe, I like to use a combination of butter, buttermilk and oil in my cakes to make them the moistest (most moist?!) they could possibly be.

Those few extra ingredients really make the cake light, fluffy and moist all at the same time.
I. LOVE. THIS. CAKE. You will too 🙂


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Lemon Chiffon Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

(Makes a 6″- 3 layer cake, or a 8″ – 2 layer cake)



Lemon Chiffon Cake:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large egg whites
½ cup shredded coconut
yellow food coloring (if desired)

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 6″ cake pans with cooking oil spray and line with wax paper. (Or if you’re making an 8″ cake, line two 8″ cake pans with wax paper- this will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan).
2. Mix butter and sugar together with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts.
3.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
4.  In another separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and egg whites. Alternately add the milk mixture and the flour mixture, mixing thoroughly after each addition, and ending with the flour. Gently fold in the shredded coconut and desired amount of food coloring.
5. Divide the cake batter evenly among the cake pans.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (for 6″ cakes) or 30-35 minutes (for 8″ cakes), or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Place cake pans on a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. (You can wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour to speed up the process).
7. For Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting: Blend cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Add powdered sugar, lemon extract and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.
8. Spread desired amount of frosting between each layer of cake. Frost entire cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with shredded coconut on the sides and top of the cake. Enjoy!

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle September 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

This looks so yummy!


rebecca @ beurrista September 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm

oh this sounds absolutely heavenly!! and your photos are gorgeous!


Kathia September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

This cake looks so moist and delicious. I am printing the recipe.
Thanks for sharing Christa


Danielle September 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

what a beautiful cake!


Anabel October 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Oh my! The cake layers look so light and moist! I will have to try this recipe soon!


Anna May 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Hi Christa,

I’m from Barcelona. I made this cake the last week for the my parents’ wedding anniversary! It was delicious!! Thanks for this recipe!

Best regards,



Barbara Colon May 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Made this cake . OMG!! Mmmm GREAT ! Thanks.


Elisa October 27, 2013 at 2:19 am

Hi there. This cake looks and sounds amazing. Is it possible to substitute the lemon extract with fresh lemon juice or lemon rind instead? If so, how much would you suggest be used?

Thanks in advance!!


Christa October 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Yes, you can replace it with one Tablespoon lemon juice and 1-2 tsp. of finely grated lemon rind.


Elisa October 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Fabulous!!!! Thanks for letting me know Christa. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Monica March 31, 2014 at 2:08 am

Is this Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect


Monica March 31, 2014 at 2:12 am

Is this Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake but with oil added and 1/4th cup less buttermilk? Whenever I make it I always use 2 sticks of butter bc let’s face it, that cake is pretty dry as written. I’m going to have to try it with the oil next time bc DG perfect party cake is my go to for white based cakes/cupcakes. Thanks for the idea.


betsy August 16, 2014 at 11:44 am

I’m wondering if I could substitute coconut oil for all or part of the vegetable oil? Wondering if too intense, or if it would mess the other properties. Thank you!


betsy August 18, 2014 at 10:13 am

I went ahead & made the cake this weekend, was wondering if using coconut oil as a substitute would be okay. Not sure what happened, but my 2 layers (8″) came out so flat, one layer was half an inch. Flavor was good but cake was but heavy. Looked nothing like the pix here. maybe try using whole eggs next time. Baking powder was fairly new.


Christa August 19, 2014 at 9:04 am

Hmmm… I’ve never had anyone say that the cake came out flat. What did you substitute the coconut oil for?
Did you use cake flour? The whole eggs would not help it rise. Its gotta be either an issue with the coconut oil being too heavy for the lightness of the cake flour or the fact that the baking powder wasn’t brand new.


betsy August 19, 2014 at 9:54 am

I substituted coconut oil for the vegetable oil – 1/2 cup. Thanks for reply.


betsy August 19, 2014 at 9:54 am

I used a brand new box of cake flour.


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