Lemon Cake with Pink Hibiscus Buttercream

Almost every girl loves flowers – so topping of your pink cake with pink edible flowers is a great idea! You can choose a flower that best describes the personality of the girl. This would make it more meaningful. This is a Lemon Cake that is sandwiched with Haupia Filling. You may be wondering what’s Haupia? It’s actually Hawaiian Coconut Pudding.

Lemon Cake with Pink Hibiscus Buttercream


For the lemon cake:

  • 2 ¼ cup Cake flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 ¼ cup Buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 4 large Egg whites, at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp Pure lemon extract
  • 1 ½ cup Sugar
  • Lemon zest from two lemons
  • ½ cup (1 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the haupia:

  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup + 1 ½ tbsp Water
  • 1 ½ cups Full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp Granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp Coconut extract or spiced rum (optional)

For the hibiscus swiss meringue buttercream:

  • 4 large Egg whites
  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar
  • ¼ cup Hibiscus simple syrup (see notes)
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) Butter, softened and cut into 1 tbsp pieces
  • 2 tsp Lemon zest


For the lemon cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by lining with parchment rounds and greasing the sides with butter.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl (or in a large measuring cup), whisk together the buttermilk, egg whites, and extracts. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
  • Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer, cream butter and lemon sugar mixture until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • With mixer on medium, alternate adding the dry mixture and the wet mixture in thirds, beginning and ending with the dry mixture, until well combined.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on wire rack.

For the haupia:

  • In a small bowl. combine the corn starch and water. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over low heat, add the coconut milk, sugar, and salt, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  • When the sugar is dissolved, add the cornstarch/water mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Important: you must stir constantly as the mixture burns very easily.
  • Let boil for approximately1-3 minutes or until the haupia becomes thick.
  • Remove from the stove, and stir every few minutes as it begins to cool. Once slightly cool, stir in the extract(s). Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the hibiscus swiss meringue buttercream:

  • Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water.
  • Heat, whisking frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  • Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. The bowl will be cool to the touch.
  • Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Note: If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again.
  • Blend in the hibiscus simple syrup and lemon zest until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

To assemble:

  • Level your cake layers, if desired. Place one layer of cake onto a cardboard round or directly onto the serving platter. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake to form a buttercream dam.
  • Fill the dam with the coconut haupia then place the second layer of cake on top. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 1 hour to let to haupia chill and set.
  • Once chilled, frost the entire cake with a thin layer of icing to seal in any crumbs. Place back inte refrigerator for 15-30 minutes to let the icing firm up.
  • Coat top and sides of cake liberally with buttercream, using an offset spatula to smooth, then garnish with fresh flowers, if desired.


To make the hibiscus simple syrup, first make 1/2 cup of hibiscus tea by combing a little more than 1/2 cup water with 2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain, then combine the hibiscus tea with equal parts sugar over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Use any leftover simple syrup to flavor cocktails, or combine with sparkling water for a refreshing treat.

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