Lemon Coconut Poppy Seed Cake is a light, delicious choice that is perfect for any spring or summer gathering. This easy cake mix recipe is a fabulous, no-fuss dessert option.
Spring has sprung, friends. The only problem? The weather has not caught up.
Just as the flowers had begun blooming and that spring feeling was in the air, our weather man had the audacity to report that the biggest storm of the season was on it’s way.
The Pineapple Express hit the Bay Area several days ago but did not deliver quite the wallop we were expecting. Instead, we’ve just had dreary, grey skies and wet sidewalks on our walks with the pups.
All this gloom and doom in the skies has put me in the mood for cake. That’s my excuse, anyway.
Inspired by our “Pineapple Express”, I decided to whip up this deliciously light, tropical-inspired cake that is perfect for your next potluck or any spring or summer gathering.
A basic white cake mix is fancied up with the zest and juice of a lemon, some shredded coconut, and poppy seeds. Once baked and completely cooled, it’s topped with a silky, coconut-spiked pudding mixture.
Then it’s topped off with a layer of whipped topping. Easy.
No-fuss cake recipes deserve pretty, but simple cake decorations and it’s always fun to include a sneak-peak of the flavors you’ll find inside. In this case – lemon and coconut. I’ve included the easy instructions for toasting shredded coconut for the topping on the printable recipe below.
Toasted coconut will keep well for several weeks if stored in an airtight container like a mason jar. Use it to decorate cookies, cakes, and cupcakes, sprinkle it on your morning oatmeal or over ice cream for a delicious dessert.
I’m all about 13- x 9-inch desserts! They are perfect for serving a group, portable, and have a nice vintage-y feel to them that appeals to me. I can easily picture this Lemon Coconut Poppy Seed Cake at a church or PTA potluck, a summer backyard BBQ, or even on a holiday dessert table.
An easy, versatile, crowd-pleaser.
More easy cake mix recipes!
Chocolate Cake Mix Bars | Real Housemoms
Crock Pot Cake Mix Apple Cobbler | Amanda’s Cookin’
Gooey Lemon Cake Bars | Shugary Sweets
2-Ingredient Baked Cake Donuts | The Baker Mama
Lemon Coconut Poppy Seed Cake
- 16.25 ounce package white cake mix
- 1 ¼ cups water, (see recipe note)
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil, (see recipe note)
- 3 whole eggs or egg whites, (see recipe note)
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 3 ½ cups cold whole milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
- 8 ounce carton frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed
- ⅓ cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- Prepare cake mix with water, oil, and eggs (see recipe note) according to package directions. Use a spoon to fold ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut (not toasted), lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds into batter. Pour into a greased 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F according to package directions for a 13- x 9-inch pan (approximately 29 to 32 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Add both packages of pudding mix, milk, and coconut extract to a large mixing bowl. Whisk for 2 minutes then let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over the cooled cake. Spread with whipped topping. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and garnish with lemon slices, if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Questions and Reviews
I couldn’t find any coconut extract, do you think I could use coconut oil/milk as substitute?
I don’t think that either would be a good substitute as they could both change the texture of the cake.
I make desserts for my church the first Sunday of every month, so, I am always looking for 9x 13 recipes because they feed a lot of people! This looks so good and will be perfect for May! Do you think using coconut pudding instead of vanilla with coconut extract would be too much coconut?
If I were to use coconut pudding I’d probably either eliminate the extract or just use about half and then taste and add more if I thought it needed it. I’m sure it will be delicious!