Lemon Coconut Trifle

by Jillian
Fluffy cubes of angel food cake layered between lusciously tart lemon curd and creamy coconut cheesecake filling!

Fluffy cubes of angel food cake layered between lusciously tart lemon curd and creamy coconut cheesecake filling!

Lemon Coconut Trifle | A baJillian Recipes (title)Now that spring is in full bloom, all I can think about is light-as-air desserts that involve some kind of citrus, fruit, or berry. This week I was craving lemon. Lemon curd, to be more specific. It’s not something I make very often, but when I do, I wonder why I don’t have a batch of this stuff in my fridge all year round. 

Seriously, not only is it good on so many things (yogurt, cake, ice cream, etc.), but I could literally eat it by the spoonful. 

To my surprise, I’ve only used lemon curd twice in my recipes in the five years I’ve been doing this blog thingamajig. Unacceptable. What’s even more unacceptable is the fact that I’ve never created a dessert that combined two of my favorite summer flavors–lemon and coconut.

Absolutely deplorable, I know. So hopefully this little stunner makes up for all of that.

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This trifle has spring AND summer written all over it. It’s light and airy, citrusy sweet–the best way to perk up those tastebuds this time of year. 

Trifles are probably my most favorite dessert to make AND eat. I love the varying textures of filling and cake, and the flavor combinations are literally endless. It’s a dessert that you can make any time of year for any occasion, and they never fail to impress. Not to mention, they’re easy and fun to make!

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To keep things “light,” I used angel food cake as the cake layer for this trifle. You can either buy it ready-made at the grocery store, or make it yourself. I half-cheated by purchasing the box mix in the store, then baking it up at home. 

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For the lemon curd, I used the same recipe from my Mini Lemon Golden Oreo Trifles. Believe me, it’s easier to make than you think, and it’s SO totally worth it to get the freshest, purest lemon flavor and tanginess.

This recipe does contain a lot of egg yolks, which might take a while to crack and separate depending on your egg skills, but that’s what makes this curd so rich and creamy. My favorite part about making this lemon curd is watching all of the ingredients cook together as they become one beautiful, satiny mixture of lusciousness. Don’t worry, I won’t tell a soul if you stick your finger in for a taste, or two, or three…

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For the coconut filling, I used real coconut milk. While there is instant coconut cream pudding available, I instead combined a box of instant vanilla pudding mix with a can of coconut milk. If you want the full flavor of coconut, definitely go with full-fat, not light. Once combined and thickened, this mixture is added to some cream cheese and sugar. Along with vanilla and almond extract, I added a little coconut extract for extra coconut flavor. And to lighten things up a bit, I also folded in some freshly whipped cream.

The fun part is of course, the assembly of the trifle. There’s just something so satisfying about piecing the different-sized cake cubes together like a puzzle, as well as layering each of the fillings. 

As for the finishing touches, I piped on a few star dollops of whipped cream and added a few sprinkles of toasted coconut. 

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Is it summer yet??

Lemon Coconut Trifle | A baJillian Recipes (collage)

Fluffy cubes of angel food cake layered between lusciously tart lemon curd and creamy coconut cheesecake filling!

Lemon Coconut Trifle

Fluffy cubes of angel food cake layered between lusciously tart lemon curd and creamy coconut cheesecake filling!
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings


Lemon Curd:

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into half-inch pieces

Coconut Cheesecake Filling:

  • 1 (13.5 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not light)
  • 1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix (dry)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
  • teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of salt

To Assemble:

  • 16 ounces Angel Food Cake cut into cubes
  • Whipped cream
  • Toasted shredded coconut


Make the Lemon Curd:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, and sugar together until just combined. Whisk in the lemon juice, zest, and salt. Add the butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened, about 5-10 minutes minutes.
  • Immediately strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium-size bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Make the Coconut Cheesecake Filling:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the coconut milk and pudding mix together until thick and combined; set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a separate bowl in the fridge, and return bowl to mixer.
  • Switch out whisk attachment for paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, extracts, and salt until smooth; about 1 minute. Add coconut pudding mixture, and continue beating until combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the whipped cream.

To Assemble:

  • Place half of the angel food cake cubes into the bottom of a large trifle dish or bowl. Spoon half of the coconut filling on top, spreading evenly. Pour half of the lemon curd evenly over the filling. Repeat steps with the remaining cake, filling, and lemon curd.
  • Pipe dollops of whipped cream around the border and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
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