I made us a cake!

Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut I howsweeteats.com

And in doing so, probably eliminated a good percentage of the population with the whole lemon thing. Then I go and add coconut and well, oomph.

These are some serious love-or-hate-it flavors here.

Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut I howsweeteats.com

In this journey of life that I like to call talking to my invisible internet friends, I’ve watched my tastes go from never wanting anything lemon flavored ever to downright craving the tart and sweet flavor. It totally blows my mind and also makes me feel like I’m getting old since I never knew anyone when I was younger that liked lemon stuff besides my grandma. Now I know more people.

Now I’m old.

What I find incredibly nuts is that now when I want something sweet, which let’s be honest – is every single day – I can actually determine if it’s chocolate or peanut butter or citrus that I want. Perhaps this is what people mean when they say they’ve “found themself?”

Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut I howsweeteats.com

If knowing that I want lemon cheesecake over a brownie is knowing myself, then yes indeed… I’ve found myself. I might go hide just so I can find myself again.

Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut I howsweeteats.com

Cheesecake fake out above! Right? Looks like cheesecake.

Isn’t cheesecake. I’m having cake remorse right now. Wish it was cheesecake. I should learn, for all of our sakes.

Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut I howsweeteats.com

I call this easy lemon cake because, well… it’s easy. Emphasis on the easy. You can mix it in a bowl with a spoon and don’t have to use your mixer. Keep in mind that doing so will not yield a super light and fluffy cake that will often result with the use of your stand mixer, but it still is quite delicious and cake-like nonetheless.

It’s also only one layer because it’s 2013 and I’d like to know who has the patience to make a layer cake. No, really. I’d love to know. Because I don’t. And then I feel terrible about myself and like crud when I see all my inspirational and often very busy blog friends make incredible layer cakes with ombre frosting and ribbons and swirls and topped with the sistine chapel ceiling made out of candy. I’m (not so) secretly jealous. Not only are my layer cakes eternally crooked, uneven and generally a giant mess, but I do not possess the frosting skills nor the willingness to endure such artistry. It takes a lot.

I’m more of a bake-something-and-throw-crap-on-top type of girl.

Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut I howsweeteats.com

Back to the flavors.

So while I’m all over the lemon now, sometimes I need a little something… extra? That’s where the marshmallow frosting comes in. Which isn’t so easy, but I gave you easy cake so can we overlook such a thing? Actually it is really easy, but the technique is going to freak you out so listen up now when I say for real, it is super easy. I can’t get enough of this stuff. Ugh. So good. And then the coconut – I mean, that just sort of goes with lemon, right? Plus, it’s all Easter-y and what not. Feel free to leave it off. Or pile more on!

Do what you want. We all know I do.

Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut I howsweeteats.com

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Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut

Yield: serves 4-6

Total Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
the zest of 4 lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (this was 3 lemons for me)
3 tablespoons milk

marshmallow frosting
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut, toasted if desired

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a round 9-inch cake pan (mine was springform) with nonstick spray liberally.

In a small bowl, whisk together sifted flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in cooled butter and vanilla extract, whisking until combined. Stir in all of the lemon zest. Add half of the flour mixture, stirring well, then add in the lemon juice and milk. Stir in remaining dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Pour into the greased 9-inch pan and use a spatula to even out the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cake is set and springs back when touched. Remove and let cool completely.

marshmallow frosting
To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl, preferably the bowl of your electric stand mixer. Place over top of a double-boiler that contains simmering water, and whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are slightly warm. Immediately remove the bowl and place it on your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beating slow at first and gradually increasing the speed to high. Beat for 6-7 minutes until glossy and thick, then beat in vanilla extract for another minute until combined. Frost cake as desired, then top with coconut!

[adapted from mother lovett's orange cake, frosting from martha]

Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut I howsweeteats.com

I might have eaten half of that cake up there with a fork. Not sliced. So embarrassing.

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108 Responses to “Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut.”

  1. #
    1
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 27, 2013 @ 7:01 am

    Your cake looks extraordinary! It’s beautiful and all the flavors are right up my alley, especially the marshmallow frosting! It’s hard to make layer cakes for me too b/c frankly with a small family and needing 5 new recipes a week, I can hardly have a huge cake laying around! Not smart…haha. I am with you on the single layer cakes and no mixer cakes!

    Reply

  2. #
    2
    Alicia Greenrabbit — March 27, 2013 @ 7:05 am

    Oh this looks so good! As usual! Make me something for my 50th next month on the 13th! I like Chocolate cake!

    Reply

  3. #
    3
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness — March 27, 2013 @ 7:07 am

    Yes! It’s about time lemon and marshmallow had a love child. I’m SO ready for spring and all the lemon desserts!

    Reply

  4. #
    4
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — March 27, 2013 @ 7:13 am

    darn prettiest cake i’ve ever seen, Jessica! All that toasted coconut! i need that marshmallow frosting in my bowl instead of this bran cereal. sigh…. ;)

    Reply

  5. #
    5
    Maria — March 27, 2013 @ 7:20 am

    I want a piece!!

    Reply

  6. #
    6
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — March 27, 2013 @ 7:28 am

    Wow! What a great looking cake! I want it and I want it all!!

    Reply

  7. #
    7
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — March 27, 2013 @ 7:38 am

    I am a serious lemon lover. And coconut and marshmallow, just hand me a fork!

    Reply

  8. #
    8
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — March 27, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    Ooh yes I love lemony desserts during spring!! And you have got me in SUCH a baking mood right now. As far as I’m concerned, this could count as a layer cake -there’s the cake layer, then the frosting layer, which is just as thick! :)

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 27, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    Never ever tease me with the thought of cheesecake. Because I’ll go a little crazy.
    Thankfully you’ve posted THE MOST SCRUMPTIOUS LOOKING CAKE EVER EVER EVER! So, I’ll forgive you. This one time.

    Reply

  10. #
    10
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — March 27, 2013 @ 7:58 am

    This is sooo pretty. I love lemon and coconut together. And I definitely know what kind of sweet craving I’m having, too!

    Reply

  11. #
    11
    Kendra V — March 27, 2013 @ 8:05 am

    You had me at lemon. Love just about any dessert with lemon. I’ll definitely be giving this a try!

    Reply

  12. #
    12
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — March 27, 2013 @ 8:07 am

    There’s something about lemon that just screams “SPRING” to me! I don’t often do much with lemon – although I made an amazing key lime cheesecake a few weeks ago. Everytime I use lemon though, I’m always thrilled with the results. The addition of the toasted coconut on top is a great idea. I love that!!

    I want a piece right now. :-)

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — March 27, 2013 @ 8:28 am

    Love lemon! Not a crazy coconut fan but I’ll suck it up for you :)

    Reply

  14. #
    14
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — March 27, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    Congrats on the cookbook! Please do tell us more we’re dying to know!

    Reply

  15. #
    15
    Tieghan — March 27, 2013 @ 8:38 am

    This looks down right beautiful! WOW! Layer cakes are so 2012!! P.S Eating cakes unsliced with a fork is how we fo it over here!

    Reply

  16. #
    16
    Bridget — March 27, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    If I teach you how to make a non-crooked, pretty cake, will you promise to continue giving me amazing recipes forever? Bc that’s an arrangement I can get down with. (Also, I promise once you know the simple tricks to making a layer cake, you’ll realize how simple it really is!)

    Reply

  17. #
    17
    Kristina — March 27, 2013 @ 8:54 am

    this looks so springy and light, I love it.

    I rarely do a layer cake (although I was JUST thinking about challenging myself with that again!) because mine are always crooked too. well, not really crooked but they slide. off. each other. the layers, that is.

    I am always too heavy handed with frosting (is there such a thing?!).

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    Cookin Canuck — March 27, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    You have my attention with the lemon and coconut. Bring it on! I’d happily dive right into that cake.

    Reply

  19. #
    19
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking & More — March 27, 2013 @ 9:08 am

    You totally rock, Jess! Lemon is one of my favorite flavors and that marshmallow topping – YUM!! I think I could just cover myself in the stuff!!
    Hope you’re well! It’s been forever since I’ve been over to “visit” and I’ve MISSED you!!! Hugs!!!

    Reply

  20. #
    20
    Ashley — March 27, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    I LOVE LEMON CAKE. And the fact that this is only 1 layer. How…I mean HOW does a person make a 4-tier cake that is perfect all the way around? I’m convinced it’s an optical illusion and they’re just messing with us.

    Reply

  21. #
    21
    Chloe @Ergo-Blog — March 27, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    I have to try to make the marshmallow frosting!! I love that you just put it on top not on the sides! =)

    I love lemon cake so this is going to be high up on my I want to have a party so I have an excuse to make a cake list of cake possibilities!!

    Reply

  22. #
    22
    Katie — March 27, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    I like cake. I like easy. I like lemon things. I like your (and my) old soul (or maybe we’re just officially old now?).

    Reply

  23. #
    23
    Maya — March 27, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    Whenever I want to make a layer cake, I know that you’re supposed to shave off the tops so that the levels are even. But I can never bring myself to cut off that much perfectly good cake! (though i just end up eating the scraps….) So my few attempts have been more leaning towers because of my stubbornness to even out the layers haha. I mean I’d rather have a larger amount of delicious cake than a perfectly straight and centered one!

    Reply

  24. #
    24
    Kelly — March 27, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    What a gorgeous cake, this looks incredible! Only problem is I couldn’t limit myself to just one slice :)

    Reply

  25. #
    25
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — March 27, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    MARSHMALLOW with lemon & coconut, YES!! Fabulous, fabulous cake, perfect for spring.

    Reply

  26. #
    26
    Dotty — March 27, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    I am not one for baking cakes – I lack the patience as well – but I might have to try making this one. All those flavors sound amazing.

    Reply

  27. #
    27
    Emily M — March 27, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    Oh man! My mom used to make that marshmallow frosting for our birthday cakes every year growing up. I just made it for my son’s 1st birthday cake. It was way harder than she made it look. The bowl is the key I swear. I used a plastic bowl the first time and the frosting totally stayed liquidy – fail #1. Second time I used a metal bowl and that made all the difference. I still ate half the failed version cause it just tastes soo good!
    I’m totally making this lemon marshmallow coconut combo ASAP! Thanks for the new creation!

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    misschelsmangia — March 27, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    Thank gawwwwwwd I love coconut! This cake is perfection!

    Reply

  29. #
    29
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — March 27, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    Are there really people who don’t like lemon?! I think you could convince anyone with that frosting though OMG!

    Reply

  30. #
    30
    Elle — March 27, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    I’m totally with you on the lemon front. What really terrifies me, is the thought that now I have starting liking lemon and coffee and all this other grown up stuff, does that mean I will start liking vegetables soon?!
    The cake looks awesome!! Total love.

    Reply

  31. #
    31
    allie@sweetpotatobites — March 27, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    lemon and coconut is a delicious combo! and i’m always a fan of cakes that aren’t complicated to make.

    Reply

  32. #
    32
    Bliss — March 27, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    If it’s any consolation, I don’t make any kind of cake that involves frosting because I’m too impatient to deal with cooling/making frosting/frosting/making it look decent, etc. Otherwise, cookies! No frosting required. This looks awesome, though, I might just make it for myself and my lonely Easter….sans frosting!

    (maybe with a swipe of coconut butter on each bite, though)

    Reply

  33. #
    33
    Emma @ Just Shmying Around — March 27, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    I tried making a swiss meringue buttercream this past weekend for my birthday cake and the egg whites totally freaked me out. like they were warm and the right temperature (i even got a thermometer and everything!) and then i tried to make frosting and they were like curdled eggs. maybe i’ll try again for this frosting, or maybe i’ll just use marshmallow fluff…. either way this cake looks great, love lemon desserts!

    Reply

  34. #
    34
    Marcie @ Flavor the Moments — March 27, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    These are LOVE IT flavors for me…all of it. Toasted coconut at the end is just fabulous on top of fabulous! Love the decorative swirls on top. I want a piece!

    Reply

  35. #
    35
    Alexis @ Hummusapien — March 27, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    I’m lovin that marshmallow frosting, jessica! It’s all so fresh and lemony and darn near perfect for spring :)

    Reply

  36. #
    36
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — March 27, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

    I’m that weird person that has always loved lemons. I used to take a half a lemon and bite it like an orange–weird, but true. This looks divine! Perfect Easter cake too–especially since its only one layer.

    Yum!

    Reply

  37. #
    37
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — March 27, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

    This is so “Springy”!! I love it

    Reply

  38. #
    38
    Yum Yucky — March 27, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

    You had to do it. You just HAD to show that last pic, which the cake on the fork like that. This tasty food-torture is the equivalent of water-boarding at Guantanamo Bay.

    Reply

  39. #
    39
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — March 27, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

    The flavors in this cake are perfect! Love that you didn’t frost the whole entire thing either… There is just no time for all that nonsense.

    Reply

  40. #
    40
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — March 27, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    No shame! No shame :)
    I’d totally scarf that down too! I LOVE a marshmallow/7-min frosting with coconut. It’s what we always had on our birthday cakes from grandma growing up. But with lemon too?? Yes please!!

    Reply

  41. #
    41
    Mindy@FindingSilverLinings — March 27, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

    Pretty sure I am stopping to pick up 4 lemons on my way home from work today. This cake is doable and looks delicious. I’m going to try coconut extract instead of vanilla in the frosting to ramp up the coconutty-ness.

    Pretty confident that I am old too. Lemon sounds nice ;)

    Reply

  42. #
    42
    lisag — March 27, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    This looks lovely and very Easterish! I love anything lemon or lime!

    Reply

  43. #
    43
    Melissa — March 27, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    Um, marshmallow? Obsessed already. I made rice crispy treats yesterday just so I had an excuse to eat some out of the bag.

    Reply

  44. #
    44
    Tracy — March 27, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

    I didn’t like lemon or coconut desserts until I became an adult either….it was Girlscout cookies that converted me on both…the lemon cookies and the heavenly cookies with coconut and caramel, whatever they’re called. UHhh.

    Reply

  45. #
    45
    Mr. & Mrs. P — March 27, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

    YUM!! Looks so good and sounds so easy!

    Reply

  46. #
    46
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — March 27, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    I’m not lying, I just sat down to eat my lunch which is leftover LEMON pasta. I absolutely love lemon. Lemon curd? Omagaahhh.

    And I’m with you on the easy cakes! This looks just as beautiful as a layer cake to me :)

    Reply

  47. #
    47
    Larry — March 27, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

    This reminds me of when my mom would make lemon cake with this glaze that she would whip up (who the eff whips up glaze? well, you probably do, so whatever) but that was THE BEST cake ever! This cake looks like it’s a close second.
    I mean, like, by a nose.

    Reply

  48. #
    48
    Alicia @ peachtopie — March 27, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

    How is it that people don’t like lemon or coconut?! I love them! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  49. #
    49
    Maria Tadic — March 27, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

    This is such a good Spring time dessert! Love the idea of a lemon cake. Tho i cant do coconut! I’m one of the coconut haters!

    Reply

  50. #
    50
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 27, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

    OMGGGGG!! This cake looks so lovely!!

    Reply

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