Gluten-free Mini Coconut Cake

gluten-free. free of butter. maple syrup instead of sugar for sweetener.


Gluten-free Mini Coconut Cake

Adrienne H./ | July 1, 2019

  • prep time: 20-30 minutes
  • cook time: 20-25 minutes
  • total time: 40-55 minutes

Servings: 4-8



  • 2 large eggs (vegan substitute = 2 T. ground flax seeds + 6 T. water)
  • ½ c. almond flour
  • ¼ c. coconut flour
  • 1½ T. maple syrup
  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • optional: 2 dashes cinnamon


  • 1 can of coconut milk – fat/firm portion only (May need to refrigerate coconut can prior to ensure there is a firm portion. Living in warmer climates can cause the milk to be only milk when opening can.)
  • 1½ T. maple syrup
  • 1 t. gluten-free vanilla extract



  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add all wet ingredients. Mix well with a spoon to combine.
  2. Sift flour into wet ingredients to ensure the almond and coconut flours are not sticking. Mix well to combine.
  3. Preheat (and bake) oven at 325°F.
  4. Line two 4-5″ springform pans with parchment paper and equally divide batter between two pans. Smooth top with a spoon. Bake for 20-24 minutes. When ready to cool, top should be firm, but not too firm, otherwise the cake may dry. I check a couple of times during the baking process to ensure cake layers are not finished already.
  5. After a couple of minutes, allowing for the metal from the springform pans to cool (be careful), remove layers and place on cooling rack. These layers need to be completely cooled prior to adding frosting, otherwise the frosting may melt.


  1. In a medium to large (I find a larger size bowl works best, don’t really know why yet) size mixing bowl capable of withstanding a handheld mixer, add ingredients. Make sure none of the coconut can water/liquid stuff is added. Mix on a low to medium speed for a few minutes until ingredients are blended and the firm coconut part has turned more into a cream.
  2. Once cake has cooled, take one cake layer and add a layer of frosting. Place next cake layer inverted (bottom is usually smoother and makes for a better top) over newly added frosting, and smooth on a top layer of frosting over the second cake layer. Then add a layer of frosting to the top of cake and use rest of frosting to cover sides. The frosting can be messy. It is easier to smooth once refrigerated. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour.
  3. If not already done, smooth frosting with blunt edged knife and decorate however you please. I added coconut flakes on top. Can be served immediately. Store in refrigerator.
coconut frosting

coconut frosting


Coconut cake is a big deal in my family

Every year had at least one event with a coconut cake. A birthday, reunion, visit to grandma’s, etc. Usually the delicious buttery kind of cake with excessive amounts of processed sugar. This is not that kind of cake.

This little cake is more an ode to the memories of coconut cakes I once enjoyed. Simplistic and faintly coconut with hints of almonds, alluding to the gluten intolerance of today. No butter is added, so this is dairy-free as well. Light on the sweetener (sugar), it is enjoyable. And satisfying.

I did not want excessive amounts of ingredients. This is rather easy to make and pleasant to consume. Feel free to use your best judgement and tweak this recipe to your own liking. For example, you may wish to add more sugar. I hope you enjoy!

Notes: (1) How you use the coconut from the can matters. Do not add any of the coconut milk/water with the fat (white portion) otherwise the frosting can become too much like a liquid. May need to put coconut can in refrigerator for a day if in warmer climate so fat/cream firms. (2) If you enjoy a sweeter tasting cake, feel free to add another tablespoon of maple syrup to the cake. (3) FYI: Taste tester liked this cake better the next day!

Gluten-free Mini Coconut Cake Poster