Limeade Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Toasted Coconut

This delicious Limeade Cake topped with Vanilla Frosting and Toasted Coconut is the perfect dessert for any summer occasion.

Limeade Cake Recipe

A local restaurant serves up cake from the coffee shop next door. Giant cake. Giant 3 layer cake. Just about every time Randy and I go there, I cave. There always seems to be a unique cake combination on the menu that is tempting. If it were a classic chocolate cake or Carrot Cake (which I do enjoy so very much), I could probably muster the willpower to pass it up. But when Strawberries and Cream Cake, or Limeade Cake are taunting me … willpower? What does that even mean?!?

Thank goodness salad is on the menu to balance my weakness.

The Limeade Cake incident occurred a few weeks back. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I’m a big fan of lime anything. And of course, when I think “lime” my mind instantly thinks “coconut” too. You put the lime in the coconut and all of that … only in this case you put the toasted coconut on top of the limeade cake.

I found a great recipe from Cooking Light for Lemonade Cake that worked well as a starting place, then topped it with delicious vanilla frosting and then nutty toasted coconut. The cake turned out quite nice: not too sweet, not dry at all, with a lime flavor that isn’t overpowering like some lime desserts can be. Don’t skip the toasted coconut. Toasted coconut is always a good idea.

This recipe works perfect for a layer cake, but I made a pair of cakes in loaf pans. One to keep, one to share, because sharing is a good thing.

Limeade Cake Recipe

Bright and tangy, this Limeade Cake is perfect for summer parties and backyard cookouts. Or maybe in the dead of winter when you need a reminder of what’s to come?

A few Limeade Cake recipe notes:

  • The recipe works for a layer cake, but I decided to make two loaf cakes instead. They’re easier to work with AND easier to share. A layer cake in this house, when there isn’t a party going on, isn’t a good thing.
  • As I mentioned, the recipe below will work for a layer cake. Adjust cook times for different size pans. As always with cake, check for doneness with a cake tester or wooden pick that comes out clean.
  • The frosting amount is also for a layer cake. Frosting the cakes as shown in the photos here will obviously not require the full amount of frosting. Halve the recipe if needed. But I can think of all kinds of ways to use extra frosting, can’t you?
  • The cake is dense, and not in a bad way. I can’t use the word that means opposite of “not dry” because it bothers me, but it’s not dry. Quite the opposite. With that said, if building a layer cake be aware and prepared for working with heavier layers.
  • For the frosting I used coconut milk. Easily substitute another milk for the coconut milk if needed.
  • I used vanilla bean paste in the frosting. Regular vanilla extract is fine. If vanilla bean paste is new to you, consider trying it out in your next recipe. It’s very nice.
  • I used about 3/4-1 cup of toasted coconut for topping the two loaf cakes, but if you’re a toasted coconut fan, go ahead and toast more while you’re at it. It’s super for adding to greek yogurt or ice cream!
  • Cake recipe was adapted from Cooking Light April 2002.

A few more cake recipes you’ll also enjoy:

Limeade Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Toasted Coconut
Bright and tangy, this Limeade Cake is perfect for summer parties and backyard cookouts. Or maybe in the dead of winter when you need a reminder of what's to come?
Recipe type: Dessert
  • For cake:
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (from about 2 limes)
  • 4 tablespoons thawed limeade concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk

  • For frosting:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used ⅓ less fat.)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 4½ cups powdered sugar (more may be needed for correct consistency)
  • ¾-1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F and coat baking pans with cooking spray (or butter and flour).
  2. For cake:
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, butter, lime zest, limeade concentrate and vanilla extract on medium for about 5 minutes, until combined.
  5. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
  6. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to sugar/butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat well after each addition.
  7. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake at 350-degrees F until wooden pick inserted comes out clean.
  8. (Suggested approximate cook times: about 20 minutes for 2 (9") round cake pans; about 30-35 minutes for 2 loaf pans.)
  9. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pans and let cake cool completely on wire rack.
  10. For frosting:
  11. Mix butter, vanilla, cream cheese and coconut milk together until combined.
  12. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add more coconut milk or powdered sugar, as needed, to reach desired consistency. Beat until combined well. Refrigerate until ready to frost.
  13. Frost cooled cake, then top with toasted coconut.
Frosting amount is for a layered cake.
Cake recipe was adapted from Cooking Light April 2002.

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  1. 1


    I love the vanilla frosting and all that toasted coconut sitting on top!! YUM! I really am becoming addicted to all things with toasted coconut or actually anything with coconut. I have a new love for it!
    What a creative recipe and it really is so perfect for summer!

  2. 3


    This sounds wonderful. Like and coconut what a taste sensation. Of course all the other past cake and pie recipes that follow below look like winners too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 6

    Marcie says

    Oh, this looks incredible! I’m a huge fan of coconut and lime together. It looks like one delicious cake!

  4. 7


    I would have a hard time saying no to cakes like this, too. Gorgeous. I can’t wait to try it, and I love the coconut milk in the frosting.

  5. 11

    Zainab| Blahnik Baker says

    Lime and coconut is a great combination. This cake looks so beautiful…perfect for summer! A great idea to make two loaves, one to keep and one to share :)

  6. 15

    MontanaMom says

    This looks so good. I have the cake made and am ready to frost it and am wondering how much coconut you would advise……

  7. 16



    Whoops! I totally forgot to add that to the recipe. You only need about 3/4 cup for the cakes, but I went ahead and toasted a whole cup because I like to have extra for adding to greek yogurt.

    Going to revise recipe right now! Thanks for letting me know.

  8. 22

    Shani says

    Amy – sorry to bother you, but did you use canned coconut milk or the coconut milk that’s now available in cartons in the fridge section of the grocery? I can’t decide which I would like better in the frosting – which is genius, btw. The whole cake is fab and I think doing them in loaf pans is a great idea.

    Thank you ! I will be making it soon!

    • 23


      Hello Shani!

      No bother whatsoever! I used canned coconut milk that is NOT refrigerated, and it was the full fat kind too. 😉

      Happy baking!

  9. 24

    michelle says

    This looks fantastic! But if you cannot find limeade concentrate could you use lime juice?

    • 25


      Hey Michelle!

      Hmmmm … You’ll need to add some sugar to compensate for what is in the limeade concentrate, but I think that should work.

  10. 26

    Cate says

    Haaaaa! I can’t use the word for not dry either! This cake looks so good! Glad you mad the loaves too, since I live alone and a layer cake is not a good idea to have in my house!

  11. 28


    Oh, swoon! I NEED this cake in my life!!! NEED.

    I love how you can’t use the word that means “not dry.” Haha. Someone needs to invent a word that conveys the same meaning as moist because every time I write about cakes and cupcakes I have the same dilemma. Damp? Soggy? Wet? No. No. No. I guess I’ll go with “not dry” from now on. 😉

  12. 30

    Susan Johnson says

    This is a seriously delicious looking cake! I am baking it now and can’t wait for that first bite. One taste of the cake batter (had to do quality control, you know. . .) before I put it into the oven convinced me this one is a winner. Thanks for posting.

  13. 31

    meggie says

    Looks wonderful! How much sugar reduction do you think I can get away with? Between the sugar in the limeade and the additional sugar, seems like it would be ultra sweet. I prefer less sweetness. Do you have any advice? Thanks much!

    • 32


      Hello Meggie!

      Hmmmm … I’m not sure. I didn’t think it was overly sweet, but then again, I like sweet things. I suppose you could try to cut the sugar, but you would need to test that yourself to see if it works to your liking.

      P.S. Remember the recipe is for 2 loaf pans, or a whole layer cake.

  14. 35

    Danielle Bushore says

    I just made this cake for my mother and law’s birthday, and this recipe had way too much icing. I could have made 1/4 of the recipe and it would have been more than enough. Also, the cake is really flat and dense. Tastes good though.

    • 36


      Hello Danielle!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the taste of the cake. I’m not sure if you made a layer cake or not, but I mentioned in the notes on the post, the frosting amount shown in the recipe is for a layer cake, so there will be much leftover if you made that amount for loaf pans. The density of the cake was addressed in the notes of the post as well.

      Happy baking!

  15. 37

    Kayla Moore says

    Hey there!

    I was wondering if you had suggestions for a gluten free option? I want to make this for friends, but they are allergic to gluten. I have found some gluten free flours, but I am not sure if I need to add other ingredients to compensate for the different kind of flour. Any suggestions?

    • 38


      I’m not experienced with gluten-free like others, but I would think you could substitute a gluten-free flour designed for baking in this recipe with good results.

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