Six-Layer Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling

Total Time

Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 25 min. + cooling


14 servings

Updated: Feb. 02, 2023
I found this recipe when going through my grandmother's old files. It was originally made with an orange filling, but using lemon pudding in the filling makes it easier to prepare. It is simply the best. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsvlle, Virginia
Six-Layer Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 3-1/2 cups cold whole milk
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • CAKE:
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut


  1. In a large bowl, whisk milk, pudding mix and zest 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter.
  4. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  5. For frosting, in a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, egg whites, water, salt and cream of tartar over low heat or in a double boiler over simmering water. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed 1 minute. Continue beating on low over low heat until frosting reaches 160°, about 12 minutes.
  6. Pour into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; add vanilla. Beat on high until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes.
  7. Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 3/4 cup filling to within 1-inch of edge. Repeat four more times. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top with coconut; gently press coconut into frosting on sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator.