Coconut lime zucchini cake

A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini.

A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini

Although Fall is here and the internet is full of recipes starring apples and pumpkin, (like our easy apple crisp and our perfectly perfect pumpkin bread), we can’t help but want to hold on to a few tropical flavours. Ingredients like zucchini, lime and coconut may give off summer vibes, but the reality is that they are available all year round – and we’re grateful they are. Sometimes you just want a dessert that tastes like sunshine and warm weather.

A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini.

We think that you are going to love our coconut lime zucchini cake. Trust us when we say that we went back to the drawing board with this cake recipe until we got it just right (another reason we’re posting this summer-feel recipe in autumn!). But, we think it was worth it. One initial challenge was that our coconut lime zucchini cake didn’t taste much like lime, prompting one taste tester husband to sing the tunes to this song on repeat. We resolved that problem (the lime flavour, not the husband singing) and now our coconut lime zucchini cake has all the flavours that its name promises.

Helpful hints

Why add zucchini to cakes?

That’s a great question, especially when we’ve been talking about flavour. The truth is, zucchini adds no flavour to cakes – but what it does do is add an incredible texture and moisture. It also adds bulk! In some recipes, like our double chocolate zucchini cake, there are 3 cups of zucchini! Added bonus, your dessert is healthier with zucchini in it!

Is lime zest bitter?

You’ll notice that we use quite a bit of lime zest in our recipe for coconut lime zucchini cake. When preparing your ingredients however, you do need to be careful not to get too much of the white pith into your cake. The green outermost layer of your lime is the zest, and this is what you want to grate. The white layer right underneath is the pith and it can be quite bitter. This is even more important to be mindful of than when you are zesting lemons; lemons tend to be sweeter than limes, and limes are typically more bitter.

Is shredded coconut the same as desiccated coconut?

Nope. We use shredded coconut in our coconut lime zucchini cake which is grated coconut that you can purchase either sweetened or unsweetened (we use unsweetened here). Shredded coconut appears in long-ish thin strands. Although shredded coconut is dried out before packaging it still retains some moisture. Desiccated coconut on the other hand is completed dried out and is finely ground coconut; despite its appearance, desiccated coconut should not be confused with coconut flour as the former still maintains its fat content.

How to store coconut lime zucchini cake

Coconut lime zucchini cake keeps well at room temperature for 2 – 4 days. Longer than that you should keep the cake in the refrigerator. For longer storage, wrap your cake tightly and place in the freezer. To serve, simply defrost at room temperature.

A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini.
A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini.

Enjoyed our coconut lime zucchini cake? Looking for more delicious desserts? Check these out:

Maraschino cherry cake with cream cheese frosting

Chocolate and orange cake

Greek mountain tea cake (Κέικ με τσάι του βουνού)

A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini.

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A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini.
A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini.

Coconut lime zucchini cake

A tropical and easy cake made with coconut, lime and zucchini
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 363kcal
Author: Mia Kouppa


  • 1 Loaf pan
  • 1 Stand mixer or hand held mixer
  • 1 Grater
  • 1 Zester


For the cake

  • cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 7 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup coconut (unsweetened)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest

For the lime syrup

  • ½ cup sugar
  • cup water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

For the glaze

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • shredded coconut for sprinkling on top of glaze


Make ahead: Prepare the lime syrup

  • In saucepan, bring the sugar and water to boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lime juice and bring back to a boil, and then pour the syrup into a bowl. Allow it to stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours.
    ½ cup sugar, ⅓ cup water, 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    1½ cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the eggs with the sugar and beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes. Add the oil and beat for another 3 minutes.
    ¾ cup sugar, 2 eggs, 7 tbsp olive oil
  • Add the shredded coconut, lime zest, coconut extract and lime juice. Mix well and then slowly add in the flour, beating until just combined. Then, add in the grated zucchini and mix until just combined. You can use a rubber spatula at this point to mix your batter as well.
    1 tsp coconut extract, 4 tbsp lime juice, 1 cup coconut (unsweetened), 2 teaspoons grated lime zest, 1 cup grated zucchini
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake in the middle rack of your oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • When your cake is baked, remove from the oven and use a long skewer to poke about 15 holes through your cake. Spoon the syrup over the top of the cake, allowing the liquid to sink in before adding more. Let your cake cool in the loaf pan for 30 minutes and then turn it out onto a rack, and place it right side up until it cools completely. Drizzle with the glaze and decorate with lime slices and shredded coconut if desired.

For the glaze

  • Combine all the ingredients and whisk well until combined and there are no clumps of icing sugar.
    1 cup icing sugar, ¼ cup coconut cream, 1 tsp lime juice, 1 tbsp lime zest, shredded coconut for sprinkling on top of glaze


Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

Thanks for sharing!


  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen says:


    1. miakouppa says:

      Thanks so much Dorothy! xoxo Helen & Billie

  2. Sue Megas-Russell says:

    Do you drain the zucchini or squeeze the water out or just add it water and all?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Sue, Nope, no need to drain or squeeze out the zucchini! Hope you enjoy, Helen & Billie

      1. Sue Megas-Russell says:

        Thank you. I can’t wait to try this recipe, even though the zukes in my garden have produced their last. So it’s off to the market!

      2. miakouppa says:

        Market zucchini will work beautifully! Hope you enjoyed the cake! xoxo Helen & Billie

  3. katinahughes2014 says:

    Off this subject but I do have a question about the Peach and Habenero Pepper Jam.
    I have everything set out to start tomorrow morning but the recipe doesn’t indicate whether the peaches are peeled or not. My inclination is not since natural pectin is in the peel but I want to run by you first.
    Thanks so much for your recipes. I really enjoy them.

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Katina! So glad you will be trying our peach and habanero pepper jam! We hope you love it! The peaches are not peeled – just washed, pitted and cut into chunks! Let us know how you enjoy it, and thank you for your kind words 🙂 xoxo Helen & Billie

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