Coconut and lime cake recipe

(1244 ratings)

Our coconut and lime cake is an all-in-one mixture so there’s less washing up!

coconut and lime cake slices on a cake plate with some cream on the side
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time40 mins
Total Time1 hours
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories437 Kcal22%
Fat26 g37%
Saturated Fat17 g85%

This easy coconut and lime cake is ready in an hour and serves eight hungry people. 

If you like our coconut cake but would like a loaf shape with a zingy twist, this recipe is perfect. The all-in-one method means the cake is easy to make and there’s minimal washing up. So there’s no excuse for not whipping up a fresh cake to enjoy with friends and family when they visit. 


  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • Finely grated zest 2 limes
  • 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 40g desiccated coconut

For the topping:

  • 4tbsp caster sugar
  • Juice 2 limes
  • 2tbsp desiccated or shredded coconut
  • Extra lime zest, for garnish (optional)




  1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Grease a 500g loaf tin and line the base and short sides with a strip of baking paper long enough to overhang at each end. This will make it easy to lift the cake out.
  2. Put the butter, sugar, flour, lime zest, eggs and coconut in a large bowl. Using an elective mixer, beat the ingredients until you have a smooth cake batter.
  3. Spoon into the tin and level the surface. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes until golden and just firm to touch.
  4. Mix the caster sugar and lime juice in a small bowl and pour over the warm cake. Sprinkle over the coconut then leave the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin and slicing into eight.

Watch how to make coconut lime cake 

Top tips for making coconut lime cake

The flavours of coconut and lime go brilliantly with rum. Consider turning this into a boozy bake by adding a tablespoon or two or rum to the drizzle. You could also make this cake an impressive dessert by serving with slices of lightly grilled pineapple. Read more tips below so you make the most delicious cake yet.

How do you put coconut in a cake?

The easiest way to incorporate coconut into a cake is by using desiccated coconut. It has a fine texture which means it evenly spreads throughout the cake batter and provides a little added chewiness.

You could also use some coconut milk mixed with icing sugar to make a nutty, simply glaze for the cake. This can be in addition to the drizzle that you soak the cake with. Make sure the cake is completely cool before topping with an icing otherwise it will melt. 

Why is my coconut cake dry?

It’s possible you overbaked the sponge. Make sure the oven is at the correct temperature before putting the cake in the oven. You also need to work quickly to transfer the cake batter into the tin and into the oven once the ingredients are incorporated.

As soon as the wet and dry ingredients meet in the bowl, the chemical raising agent in the flour gets to work. If you take too long to get the cake in the oven, the reaction will have expired and the cake will not rise and it will be dense and dry rather than light and fluffy.

Do you have to toast coconut for a cake?

Some places sell toasted or roasted coconut flakes. It’s not necessary but does add a delicious depth of flavour to the finished cake.

In this recipe you combine all of the cake batter ingredients in a single large mixing bowl. Use a bowl that is an appropriate size otherwise it will be hard to mix everything thoroughly and ingredients may spill over the edge. If you’d like to buy a new one, Food Editor Jessica Dady loves this old school design from Mason Cash. 

Mason Cash Mixing Bowl - View at M&S

Mason Cash Mixing Bowl - <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">View at M&S

At 29cm, this bowl is a great size for cooking and baking. The cream colour is lovely and neutral meaning it will fit in perfectly to most kitchen colour schemes. The bowl is made from chip-resistant earthenware so you can stack it in cupboards and into the dishwasher without worrying. You can also use the bowl in your microwave. 

If you fancy making another loaf cake, you can't beat our classic lemon drizzle cake. For more lime flavoured treats you could try our key lime pie or these lime cupcakes are ideal for picnics. 

Jen Bedloe
Food Director

An experienced recipe writer, editor and food stylist, Jen is Group Food Director at Future plc where she oversees the food content across the women’s lifestyle group, including Woman and Home, Women’s Weekly, Woman, Woman’s Own, Chat, and Jen studied Communications at Goldsmiths, then landed her first job in media working for Delia Smith’s publishing company on Sainsbury’s magazine. Jen honed her practical skills by combining courses at Leith’s cookery school with time spent in the test kitchen testing recipes and assisting food stylists on photoshoots.