Brighten your day with this light and airy vegan coconut lemon cake! Toasting the coconut really brings out the flavor!

Vegan coconut lemon cake on turquoise colored cake stand; gray and yellow striped cloth underneath stand and dark wood paneling in background. Also in the image is a text overlay that reads "Toasted coconut & lemon cake".

Has it been cold where you live? Has it been downright cold-to-the-bone? With the temperatures being what they are, it makes me want to escape to a faraway land with palm trees and sand. As I was shivering standing in my cold kitchen, looking outside at the snow covered ground, all I could think about was warmer climates and sunshine.

Image consists of partially shown white mixing bowl, cutting board, whole lemon, and zester, on a black background.

And nothing conjures up thoughts of tropical places like the flavors of coconut and the bright color of lemons, so why not combine the two into a delicious cake? Cake makes everything better, right?

Closeup of mixing bowl containing cake batter and wooden spoon.

I had been playing around with the coconut-lemon flavor combination for a while, and could not have been happier at the cake my idea turned into. Better than that, the cake just so happens to be vegan! I am not vegan, but lately I cannot get enough of coconut recipes that just so happen to be vegan.

The cake is subtly sweet with hints of lemon and coconut. The sweet frosting and toasted coconut on top tie it all together. The toasting of the coconut flakes really brings out the warm coconut flavor that you want on the top of the cake.

Topping the cake with lemon slices not only looks beautiful and decorative, but as the lemons sit on top of the cake they add a little lemon flavor to the frosting that gives it an extra zip!

Coconut lemon cake displayed on pedestal cake stand, with striped cloth underneath and dark background.

All around, this vegan coconut lemon cake is super flavorful and reminiscent of warmer days. It will bring brightness into your day!

More coconut and lemon!

Does this cake have you craving more coconut and lemon? Try these great recipes:


Coconut lemon cake displayed on pedestal cake stand, with striped cloth underneath and dark background.

Vegan Coconut Lemon Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Brighten your day with this light and airy vegan coconut lemon cake! Toasting the coconut really brings out the flavor!


For the cake:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • zest of a whole lemon
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided

For the frosting:

  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced for top of cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a springform pan bottom with parchment paper and then grease the pan with coconut oil.
  3. In a bowl start by mixing all the ‘wet’ ingredients (coconut oil, coconut milk, vinegar, lemon juice, vanilla extract) with a hand or stand mixer.
  4. To the mixing bowl add the sugar and beat again. Then mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix again; then fold in lemon zest and 1/4 cup shredded coconut.
  5. Spoon into springform pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave oven on. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting it.
  6. While the cake is cooling, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and add remaining shredded coconut to the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes at 350°F or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  7. To make the frosting cream together coconut oil and milk, then add vanilla extract. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until frosting is smooth and thick.
  8. Spread frosting on the top of the cake, then sprinkle toasted coconut around the edge of the cake, and layer thinly sliced lemons in the top center of the cake.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 224mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 2g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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A slice of coconut lemon cake on a white round plate, with a bite on a fork. Whole cake, with slice removed, on pedestal stand is in background.