Coconut Citrus Layer Cake

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling


12 servings

Updated: Sep. 25, 2022
Make a showstopper holiday treat: tender white cake layered with tangy grapefruit curd and topped with fluffy cream cheese frosting. To make it more spectacular add a little toasted coconut and some citrus garnishes. Your guests will never guess you started with a convenient boxed mix. —Carmell Childs, Ferron, UT
Coconut Citrus Layer Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Additional coconut, toasted, optional
  • Orange and grapefruit slices


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first eight ingredients; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 8-in. round pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 28-32 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, for grapefruit filling, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Stir in water and grapefruit juice until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to medium; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat; gently stir in butter. Cool to room temperature without stirring. Cover and refrigerate filling until cold.
  3. Place one cooled cake layer on a serving plate; top with half of cooled grapefruit filling. Repeat layers.
  4. For frosting, beat cream cheese, sugar, juices and orange zest until blended. Gently fold in whipped cream and 3/4 cup coconut. Frost sides of cake; if desired, lightly frost top of cake, covering grapefruit filling. Refrigerate until cold, 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired. Top with orange and grapefruit slices.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice (calculated without garnish): 481 calories, 25g fat (12g saturated fat), 95mg cholesterol, 430mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.