Blueberry Coconut Cake with Lemon Sauce

Blueberry. Coconut. Lemon.

A brilliant triple combination, if you ask me. This cake is deliciously moist and light and tastes like a perfect muffin in cake form. And the lemon sauce? Don’t get me started, man. The slightly sweet and tart sauce is wonderful drizzled on top of the coconut-crusted cake…or just enjoyed by the spoonful. Lemon sauce makes me happy.

The dreamy part of this cake is that it can be made with fresh or frozen blueberries (don’t thaw those blueberries before using if they are frozen!) which makes it perfect all-year round when fresh blueberries may not be in season. This refreshing little cake is perfect, in my book, for potlucks or upcoming summer BBQ’s. It kind of fits in the category of some of these other quick, 9X13-sheet cakes that taste out-of-this-world but come together so easily. Why does life feel so complete when such a simple cake tastes so utterly terrific? I’ll ponder that question while you head to the kitchen to make this.

Blueberry Coconut Cake with Lemon Sauce

One Year Ago: Marinated Caprese Salad
Two Years Ago: Giant Cookie
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Toffee Sugar Cookies

Blueberry Coconut Cake with Lemon Sauce

Yield: Serves 12

Blueberry Coconut Cake with Lemon Sauce


    For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (unthawed)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch aluminum baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Toss the fresh or frozen blueberries with the 2 tablespoons flour and fold them in very gently to the batter. Don't overmix or the batter will start take on a blue-ish tinge.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the coconut and bake for 18-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.
  4. For the sauce, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and grated lemon zest. Gradually whisk in the water until blended. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking often, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes at a boil until the mixture is thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice. The sauce can be used warm or at room temperature.
  5. Cut the cake into squares and drizzle each piece with the lemon sauce. Serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from an old, old recipe card I found in my pantry (no source)

51 Responses to Blueberry Coconut Cake with Lemon Sauce

  1. Barbara Ruhlman says:

    May fresh b.uberries be substituted?

  2. Zoe says:

    I made this last night. It took nearly an hour to cook! I made it exactly to the recipe, and my oven was new earlier this year. I used an aluminum round cake tine. I’ve been baking for over 30 years, so I’m fairly confident at baking. I added the juice of a lime to the sauce to give it enough zing to make up for the blandness of the cake. I won’t be making it again.

  3. Michelle says:

    I just made this for the first time. It took about 27 minutes to be fully baked (even with a thin aluminum pan), but it was delicious!! The cake is good, but the lemon sauce makes it fantastic! πŸ™‚ I’ll definitely make this again! Oh, the only change I made was to add 1/4 tsp. almond extract. It was a great addition!

  4. Katrina says:

    This looks delicious, and now that blueberries are in season I think I must try it. Just a grammar police comment… “Unthawed” isn’t a word. It would mean frozen.

  5. Viktoriya says:

    Can this recipe be halved and made in an 8×8 inch pan, would the time change?

    • Mel says:

      Viktoriya – Probably, I haven’t tried it but I am sure it would work fine. Just decrease cooking time by a few minutes.

  6. viktoriya says:

    Is it weird that my cake wasn’t done in the center until after 40 minutes and not 20? And can I pour the lemon sauce over the whole cake and not on separate squares?

    • Mel says:

      Viktoriya – some ovens require longer baking time so I think it’s ok that you had to add time (especially if you are using a gas oven). And yes, you could definitely pour the sauce over the whole cake.

  7. Teresa says:

    Can buttermilk be substituted for the milk?

  8. Ariel says:

    I’m making this as I type and the sauce is amazing. Only 2 variations I did to this recipe was put the cake in a metal bundt pan and put 1/2 cup of coconut in the cake batter then sprinkle the other half on top. I used fresh picked blueberries and it smells fantastic!!! I was on a lemony blueberry kick and I seem to have found the right recipe. Thank you so much for developing this or revamping the old recipe. Whatever you did was perfect. I actually extended the time by 5 minutes and it turned out completely done. Thanks again for this recipe. I have plans to make it again soon

  9. Dana says:

    Made this tonight. It was so quick to make and is wonderful! I intended to make it for Easter brunch but I was not feeling well. It is very flavorful with the sauce and would be a great for summer.

  10. […] Cake w/ Lemon Sauce(Kaleb’s B-day cake)- adding the […]

  11. dottie says:

    Aug. 21, 2012

    Am very excited to try this. Will let you know how my church group likes it.

  12. Mel says:

    Tracey – yes, I think that’s a good idea to keep the sauce separate if you are going to have leftovers. Just add the sauce to each individual piece.

  13. Tracey says:

    This cake looks awesome! I’m about to make it and I just have a question about the lemon sauce. There are only 2 adults and 2 small children in our house and unless I eat it all (probably highly likely anyway), I know I will have leftovers. I’m wondering if you think it would be best to keep the lemon sauce separate, or if it would be okay to just pour the sauce right on the cake, and store it that way. Thoughts?

  14. Kelley says:

    I made this cake this evening. It took a little longer to cook than the recipe specified, but when it was done, IT WAS AMAZING. Seriously, go make this cake now!

  15. Rebecca says:

    Holy moly this stuff is amazing. I was worried the lemon topping wouldn’t be tart enough for me but I went with the recipe anyway and it’s perfect!

  16. […] from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe) Share this:SharePrintEmailPinterestStumbleUponTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  17. This recipe is pinned and defiantly at the top of the ‘make it asap’ list!

  18. rose says:

    This recipe had a very unusual texture not a favorite. I made no changes to
    recipe. Have been baking for over 30 years.

  19. […] Originally posted by: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  20. Kelly says:

    this was good! not too too sweet, which is nice πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing!!

  21. Stacie Aho says:

    I am in the process of making this cake now. I can’t wait to taste it! The lemon sauce is amazing. I added a little more lemon juice because I like it more tart. πŸ™‚ I am using a glass pan and it’s taking much longer to bake (I have it at 350). I’m probably having to add about 10 minutes onto the 25 min. baking time. I looked it up on google and found this article-

    That might be helpful for the other bakers. πŸ™‚ Thanks for all your delicious recipes Mel!

  22. Melanie says:

    I just made this cake with a couple of substitutions: I used whole wheat pastry flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, and unsweetened coconut. The cake is heavenly, with great texture and flavor! If you need a dairy free cake, these substitutions work great! (I didn’t need it to be dairy free, but I am on a coconut kick and I happened to have these things on hand.) πŸ™‚

  23. Amanda_in_AB says:

    I made this last night. It is amazing!!! The only variations I made were using a slightly smaller pan so that my cake was thicker, using 3/4 cup of sugar in the cake, and adding more lemon to the sauce (about an extra 1 tbsp).

  24. Apron Appeal says:

    Packed with so many things I love in one bite!

  25. Sarana A says:

    blueberries are on sale this week! so i definitely get to try this recipe. i’m not a fan of coconut flakes so i’ll see how it turns out without them. looks yummy!

  26. grace says:

    this looks like a frickin’ pillow! magnificent cake, mel!

  27. Katie G says:

    I made this last night, but I only had peaches, not blueberries. It was great! I just peeled the peaches and cut them into small peices. Thanks. This would be good with lemon sorbet on top too.

  28. Can’t go wrong with blueberries! Or easy sheet cakes. It looks beautiful!

  29. Cammee says:

    I already know there is going to be a problem with this recipe. The problem is, I know I will not be able to stop eating it until it is gone.

  30. Mel says:

    Laura – sure, unsweetened coconut will work. Obviously, the topping of the cake will be a bit less sweet but trust me, there is enough sweetness in the cake and sauce to make up for it. I hope you like it if you try it!

  31. Laura says:

    We can’t buy sweetened coconut in Australia, can I just use regular shredded coconut?

  32. Paula B. says:

    Oh my, exquisite. Would love to have a piece of this cake right now.

  33. Nicole, RD says:

    Oops! That got cut off!

  34. Ni says:

    What a perfect summer dessert! I adore these flavors and together…mmm! I can’t wait to try it!

  35. This is a perfect cake to start the week and then continue to eat! Blueberries and lemons are great, now with coconut itΒ΄s amazing. By the way, another picture of little miss Camryn would also be perfect to start the week…

  36. sara says:

    This cake looks so tasty! I’m not sure I’ve ever combined blueberry and coconut, but sounds like a really great combination!

  37. d says:

    That looks AMAZING!

  38. Mel says:

    Everyone – aluminum/metal baking pans bake cakes/brownies a bit more evenly than glass, which is why I used an aluminum pan for this recipe. However, if you only have glass, that should be fine, but I would probably decrease the baking temp to 325 to avoid overbaking the bottom of the cake. Hope that helps!

  39. Rick says:

    This recipe has got to be a hit with almost everyone. I was also wondering if I could use a glass/pyrex baking dish instead of the aluminum one?

  40. Bri says:

    This looks so yummy. Can I use a 9X13 glass pan? I don’t own a metal.

  41. This cake sounds fabulous! Love the combination of flavours!

  42. I love cakes that double as dessert or breakfast! This looks amazing. The flavor combination has me drooling!!!

  43. Heather says:

    Can you use a glass dish? Why do you need to use aluminum?

  44. Oh Mel, this is right in my ballpark with three of my favorite flavors. I am pinning this and it might just be showing up at our Memorial day BBQ…this looks like total winner!

  45. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! Lemon and blueberries are such a classic combination, for good reason…they are amazing together! I love the coconut in this cake, too. I agree that this would be a great cake to take to a BBQ this summer, and I will definitely be doing that! πŸ˜‰

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