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Holly's spring lemon and coconut cake

It's Friday, the sun's out and Holly Bell is back in the kitchen for her second time in the This Morning kitchen and this time she's got an impressive bake that won't require any fancy ingredients or equipment to make. Her lemon and coconut cake is the perfect balance of sharp and sweet to welcome spring - one slice will definitely not be enough!


For the cake

175g salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 175g caster sugar, plus extra 35g for making the drizzle 175g self-raising flour 1 level tsp baking powder 3 large eggs, at room temperature and beaten 3 tbsp milk 2 lemons

For the icing

75g full fat cream cheese40g very soft, salted butter150g icing sugar65g desiccated coconut

To decorate

50g lemon curd (about 2 tbsp)1tsp boiling water2tbsp desiccated coconut


  • Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (19 x 9 x 6.5cm) with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C/170°C fan/gas mark 4 and check the shelf is in the centre of the oven.

  • To make the cake, beat the butter (or baking margarine if you don’t have it), sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk and the zest of both lemons until really light and creamy – this will take about 4 minutes in a stand mixer, 5 minutes with a handheld mixer or about 10 minutes by hand with a wooden spoon.

  • Pour the batter into your tin, levelling with the back of a spoon. Bake for 50–55 minutes, or until golden and a skewer or toothpick in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Pierce holes all over the cake, then leave to cool on a wire rack whilst you make the drizzle.

  • Boil together the juice of the lemons with the extra 35g of caster sugar for 2 minutes in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the drizzle is piping hot. Carefully pour over the drizzle over the still warm cake. Leave to cool in the tin.

  • Make the icing by beating together all the ingredients for 5 minutes until creamy looking and very white. You can use an electric mixer for this or a wooden spoon. If you’re using an electric mixer start slowly or the icing sugar will spray everywhere.

  • Spread the icing over the completely cooled cake then beat the lemon curd with the boiling water to loosen it and pipe or use a spoon to swirl lines, lenthways over the icing. Take a toothpick and drag it across the curd lines, at right angles to create a feathered effect.

  • Lastly scatter with toasted desiccated coconut if you wish. (To toast simply dry fry in a frying pan for about 30 seconds, on a low heat, until light brown in colour– watch the pan carefully as coconut burns easily).


The cake batter is ready to spoon into the tins when it looks a bit like whipped double cream

If you have problems with your cakes consider buying a cheap oven thermometer to check your oven is baking at the temperature it says it is

To line cake tins easily fold the non-stick baking parchment in half, then quarters then eights and cut a curve around the outside half the width of the tin. A perfect circle without having to find a pencil!

Use a clean sandwich bag instead of an icing bag if you don’t have one. Just fill, snip the end off and away you go

This cake can be frozen iced or uniced

NB: You can make this as a sandwich cake, like a Victoria sponge, by dividing the cake mixture between two 20cm tins and baking for 20 – 25 minutes instead. Double the quantities for the icing and use half to sandwich the cakes together and the other half to ice the top. To decorate double the quantities of the lemon curd and/or toasted coconut.

Fancy a change? Try using an orange instead of two lemons, or three limes instead. White chocolate chips also work really well scattered into the lemony cake mixture. Or with the orange and lime varieties try dark chocolate chips!

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