I’m a lemon lover, no denying it. Which means I eat my fair share of lemon curd as well. It goes with so many things I love…favorite sweet breads, scones, homemade English muffin bread, on toasted pound cake…And though lemon curd is unbelievably easy to make (you can do it in the microwave!), I like to keep a jar from Trader Joe’s on hand. It’s a great substitute when you’re out of fresh lemons and in dire need of sweet n’ tart indulgence.
I made this cake for our Labor Day BBQ yesterday. It’s basically ye olde tried and true poke cake minus the Jello/pudding mix. Instead, I poured cream of coconut (not coconut milk) over the cake and topped that with lemon curd and homemade whipped cream. You can certainly use homemade cake for poke cakes, but I like the occasional ease of a cake mix.
By the way, the coconut is not overpowering in this–I was worried after my husband broke the news that my mom-in-law isn’t a fan of coconut–Augh! But she gave it a thumbs up and ate her slice up. Plus, I was informed by my mom-in-law this morning that my dad-in-law had already indulged in leftovers. 🙂
Certainly reduce the coconut amount to suit your taste. The lemon curd layer is my favorite part of this lemon-coconut marriage. Munchie loved it except for the “onions”: “Mommy, I don’t like onions on top of my cake.” Silly girl. Hope you enjoy it!
Coconut Lemon Curd Poke Cake
- 1 box yellow or white cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines) PLUS ingredients listed on box necessary for cake (usually eggs, oil, and water)
- 1.5 cups real cream of coconut (found in liquor aisle in my store; I use Coco Real which comes in a 21 oz. squeeze bottle container so I don't use the whole container--save the rest for a pina colada!)
- ½ cup flake coconut, sweetened
- 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use Meyer lemons)
- ½ cup flake coconut, sweetened; toasted (I simply toast in a dry pan on medium heat, stirring often, until browned)
- 1-10.5 oz. jar of lemon curd, or about 1 cup (I use Trader Joe's)
- Homemade Whipped Cream (see below)
- Preheat oven to 350° (check cake mix box to see what they recommend for a 9 x 13-in. cake bake time). Spray a 9 x 13-in. pan with Baker's Joy. In a small bowl, mix cream of coconut and ½ cup coconut. Set aside.
- Prepare cake according to package directions, adding the lemon juice to the batter. Bake in 9 x 13-in. pan until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (my cake takes about 28 minutes).
- When cake is done, immediately poke holes all over it with the end of a wooden spoon or the larger end of a chopstick--don't poke through to bottom of cake. Pour/spread the cream of coconut/coconut mixture all over cake. Let cool completely. *Once it has cooled to almost room temperature, I refrigerate it.*
- When it is cold, spread lemon curd evenly over cake. Cover and refrigerate until lemon curd is set and cold.
- Spread whipped cream over cake, cover, and refrigerate until time to serve. Top with toasted coconut and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
Homemade Whipped Cream
NOTE: I doubled the recipe below for the cake. I had some extra so I placed it in a covered container in the fridge and we have homemade whipped cream for ice cream sundaes or hot cocoa this week. 🙂
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I like to place the bowl of my mixer in the freezer for a few minutes before making this. It’s not necessary, but helps keep the cream cold. Whip cream with mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar, vanilla and sugar. Mix until peaks form. Do NOT over mix/beat or it will get lumpy. NOTE: To use as frosting for the cake, I beat the cream a little longer than I normally would so that it’s a bit thicker.
Note: I use my Kitchenaid standmixer for this, however, you can use a handmixer. Just takes a bit longer and you burn a few calories.