Photography by Kristen Olson of Quincy Street Kitchen. Food styling by Sara Bartus. 

Lemon and Coconut Naked Cake

You can add 1 cup of shredded coconut to the buttercream for a more intense coconut flavor. If you do this, don’t frost the sides of the cake for a smoother appearance.

Serves 12-15

For the lemon cake:
1 2/3 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 1/3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
3 lemons, zested
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three, 8-inch pans with baking spray and set aside. In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes at medium speed until light and fluffy. 
  2. With the mixer on low, add in the eggs one at a time until incorporated before adding the next. 
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. Combine the yogurt, lemon zest and  lemon juice in a large measuring cup. 
  4. With the mixer running low, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients starting and ending with the dry. Add in ? of the dry ingredients each time. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. 
  5. Fill the prepared pans evenly and bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges of the cake are pulling away from the sides of the pan and when a toothpick inserted inside the center comes out clean. Cool. 
  6. Make the buttercream (see recipe below).
  7. Assemble the cake. Use a serrated knife to level off the top of the cake if needed. Place one layer down and top with coconut buttercream. Repeat with the next layer. 
  8. Smooth a thin layer of buttercream on the top and sides of the cake.

For the coconut buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter 
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. coconut extract (optional)
1-2 Tbsp. coconut cream or milk 

  1. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the mixer. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix starting on low, working your way up to medium speed. 
  2. Turn the mixer to low speed and add in the coconut extract (if using) and coconut cream. Mix for 30 seconds until fluffy.