Moist, fluffy and coconutty, this gluten-free coconut cake is just wonderful. It is made with coconut flour and sweetened with honey.
I adore this cake! It's moist, fluffy and coconutty. And so easy to make! It's just perfect with a steaming cup of coffee ☕, and I'll go ahead and admit it - I sometimes like to have it for my breakfast! Especially on weekends.
When I started experimenting with gluten-free baking I fully expected to compromise on taste and texture. But I'm happy to report that this gluten-free coconut cake is at least as good as traditional cakes.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty cake. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Eggs: I use large eggs in almost all of my recipes, this one included.
Butter: Unsalted butter. I love the flavor of creamy European butter!
Canned coconut milk: Make sure you use full-fat coconut milk. The low-fat doesn't taste very good.
Honey: I've been asked about using sugar or coconut sugar instead. I haven't tried that. But if you'd like to give it a try, you will likely need to add more coconut milk.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing - pure vanilla extract - and not the artificially flavored stuff.
Unsweetened shredded coconut: Make sure you don't use reduced-fat shredded coconut. It's too dry.
Coconut flour: An excellent flour substitute. Try to measure it by weight and not by volume. It's extremely absorbent, so every gram makes a difference.
Salt and baking soda: If you'd like to try using gluten-free baking powder (though I haven't tested it in this recipe), remember that ¼ teaspoon of baking soda is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
How to make gluten-free coconut cake
It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Simply place all the ingredients in your food processor and process until combined.
2. Transfer the thick batter to a greased 9-inch glass pie plate.
3. Bake until browned and fragrant and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes at 325°F.
4. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
Why no frosting?
It's true that I don't frost this gluten-free coconut cake. I think it's unnecessary, as it's so very good just as it is. Plus, adding frosting would force me to reclassify it from "breakfast" to "dessert." 😀
You could, of course, add frosting if you wish. Simply mix together 8 oz softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 teaspoon coconut extract (or vanilla extract). You can mix it by hand with a hand whisk, but be thorough and whisk until very fluffy.
Jayne's amazing cake
Speaking of frosted cakes. My close friend and ex-neighbor Jayne used to bake this amazing, tall coconut layer cake, back when she was living next door to us.
It was an elaborate recipe that took several hours to make and included adding toasted coconut flakes on top of the beautifully frosted cake. 🍰
It was an amazing cake. She only made it on special occasions, notably for my daughter's birthdays (my daughter loves coconut). Good neighbors are hard to find. I miss Jayne and her family.
How to store gluten-free coconut cake
Once completely cool, I keep leftover cake slices in the fridge, in Ziploc bags, for up to 5 days. I very briefly warm them in the microwave prior to enjoying, 10 seconds per slice. You can also freeze individual slices in freezer bags.
More gluten-free cakes that you might enjoy
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Gluten-Free Coconut Cake
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter for the pan
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, soft (50 grams)
- 1 cup canned coconut milk, full fat, unsweetened*
- ½ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (75 grams)
- 1 cup coconut flour (130 grams)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a glass pie dish (9.5 inches, 24cm) with butter.
- Place all the ingredients in the food processor. Process until combined.
- Transfer the thick batter to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top out with a spatula.
- Bake until browned and fragrant and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. If you need to bake for longer than that, shield the edges with foil strips.
- Cool in pan on a cooling rack 10 minutes, then invert onto a cutting board and back onto the cooling rack.
- Let the cake cool 20 more minutes before slicing and serving.
- Leftovers keep 4-5 days in the fridge, in an airtight container. Remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.