Lemon & orange coconut cake (egg-free)

Be warned, you need a spoon to eat your piece of lemon and orange coconut cake; but it’s worth it for a delightful afternoon tea. As a bonus, he-who-won’t-eat-cake loves it too.

Lemon and orange coconut cake

Lemon and orange coconut cake

Lemon & orange coconut cake (egg-free)

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


For the cake

  • ½ cup (4 oz) butter
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • zest of 1 large lemon or 2 small ones
  • lemon juice (from one lemon)
  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • just a pinch of salt (I tend to forget to add it, and no one notices)
  • ¾ cup of desiccated coconut
  • 4 tablespoons of full cream milk
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of water

For the syrup

  • 3-4 tablespoons of sugar
  • lemon juice (from the lemons you just took the zest from plus more if you need it)
  • juice from 1 orange


  1. Melt the butter then add the sugar and mix well. You shouldn’t be able to feel individual sugar grains (eventually).
  2. Add the flour, lemon juice and zest, milk, coconut and (if you want it) the salt.
  3. Mix the baking powder and water together in a  separate bowl, then mix in the vinegar. The mixture should fizz, making it a great job for little kids. Add that to the cake mix and fold in well. We use this instead of eggs.
  4. Pour the mix into a greased and lined 9″ cake tin and cook for about 45 minutes in a 180 degree C (350F) oven.
  5. When you have about 15 minutes to go, make the syrup mixture by gently heating the lemon and orange juice with the sugar. Stir this mix with a wooden spoon the entire time it is on the flame/hotplate. It is ready when the sugar is dissolved.
  6. When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and leave it in the cake tin. Don’t let the cake cool: you need to pour the syrup into the cake while it is still hot.
  7. Use a skewer to put  holes in the top of the cake: the more the better.
  8. Pour the still-warm syrup over the cake so it oozes over the top and into the holes, down the side between the cake and the lining, and, if you still have some left, over the top again and into the holes and down the sides again. You’ll be amazed at how much liquid one cake can absorb!
  9. Use the lining to lift the syrupified cake onto a serving platter. Use a knife to carefully cut away the sides of the lining. You’ll have to leave the bottom there because the cake doesn’t have quite the structural integrity of something more like your normal, everyday cake.
  10. Eat and enjoy.


  • Gently heating means a low heat. The idea is to heat slowly and carefully. It is also worth putting the lemon and orange juices into the saucepan first so you don’t accidentally burn the sugar if you did set the heat too high.
  • Syrupified means totally saturated with syrup.

Source: Lemon & Lime Coconut Cake, by Dimple Makani (I can’t wait for her recipe book!)

Lemon and orange coconut cake

Lemon and orange coconut cake

13 thoughts on “Lemon & orange coconut cake (egg-free)

  1. This looks so decadent! I can tell how moist the cake is just by looking at the pictures! I love the citrus notes in this – what a freshness it must add to the richness of coconut. Thanks for introducing us to Mermaid’s Tresses!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s