Grain-free Coconut Cake


Coconut cake was one of the first grain-free desserts I made for our blog. It ended up in our very first cookbook, Make it Paleo. I was an okay baker back then, but a lot has changed in 8 years, and I knew I could make something much more delicious now.



We originally got the idea for this cake because Bill’s dad told us it was his favorite cake. His birthday was this week, so it was the perfect opportunity to revisit our old recipe and make it into something much better! Truth be told, I didn’t revisit the old recipe at all. I made something completely new.



I watched a couple coconut cake videos to get an idea for how I wanted the cake to look, to decide I wanted to use a cream cheese frosting, and if I wanted to do frosting between the layers of the cake, or some sort of custard. I settled on a classic buttercream frosting for the surface of the cake, and between the layers. I also got the idea from Ina Garten to add almond extract to the cake batter. Almond extract really elevates vanilla cake batter. It adds the most amazing aroma to the cake, and the flavor is out of this world.



I decided to use egg whites in the cake, instead of whole eggs, because I wanted to keep the batter as light in color as possible, and as fluffy as possible. It was a great decision, because the cake turned out to have a wonderful crumb, as well as light and fluffy, but moist as well. If you are slicing the cakes in half to make multiple layers, be sure that the cakes are completely cooled, and be very, very careful. This is a tender cake, and if you are not extra careful when slicing, you run the risk of ruining your dessert!



I did feel like the frosting was a little too sweet, but classic buttercream frosting is pretty darn sweet. I might consider cutting back on the maple sugar in the cake batter next time, since you really need a good bit of powdered sugar for buttercream frosting to turn out properly.



Another change I made to our coconut cake, was that I decided to toast the coconut prior to adding it to the cake. This added dimension in color, which was really beautiful, and added depth to the flavor. Bill described it as tasting like the coconut on a Samoa Girl Scout cookie. Yum!



You can also enjoy this cake without the toasted coconut. I will be using this as my go-to cake recipe anytime that I need to bake a cake. I think this is my favorite cake batter that I have made yet. It really turned out so well, and I’m so happy with it.



I hope you enjoy baking this cake for your loved ones as much as I did!



Grain-free Coconut Cake, Revised

This delicious grain-free cake is moist, yet light and fluffy. Filled with layers of vanilla buttercream frosting, and topped with toasted shredded coconut, this cake is perfect for any birthday or family event, and will have everyone going back for seconds.

Serves: 12

Serves: 12decrease servingsincrease servings



Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
  1. Preheat your oven to bake at 350, and grease two 6 inch cake pans with palm shortening, and place a parchment circle in the bottom of each pan for easier removal of the cakes. Place the cake pans on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Cream the palm shortening and maple sugar in your standing mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer.
  3. Add the egg whites, and almond milk, and beat until combined.
  4. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3rds to the wet ingredients, beating after each addition of flour.
  6. Add the almond extract, and continue to beat until all is evenly combined.
  7. Pour the cake batter into two 6 inch cake pans, being sure to fill the pans with equal amounts of batter.
  8. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. While the cakes are baking, toast 1 cup of shredded coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Remove from the heat as soon as the coconut starts to turn a golden color, about 5 minutes.
  10. Allow the cakes to cool before removing from the tins.
  11. Once the cakes are cool, remove from the tins, and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  12. In your standing mixer, whip 1 cup of palm shortening, and 1 cup of unsalted butter until fluffy.
  13. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and beat again until the vanilla is completely combined into the whipped butter and shortening.
  14. Slowly add in the sifted powdered sugar, and keep beating after each addition of sugar.
  15. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and once the sugar has been added, allow to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  16. Once the cakes are completely cooled, move them to a cutting board, and very carefully slice them in half, so that you have 4 layers of cake. You may also skip this step if you would prefer.
  17. Place one layer of cake onto your cake stand, and smooth a layer of butter cream frosting over the cake, about 1/2 inch thick.
  18. Repeat with all of the layers of cake, and once you place the top layer on, you may apply your crumb coat.
  19. To apply the crumb coat, smooth a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake, and place in the fridge until the frosting has set, about 20 minutes.
  20. Remove the cake from the fridge, and frost as desired. Once frosted, coat the cake with your toasted coconut.
  21. Refrigerate the cake until serving, being sure to remove the cake from the fridge 1-2 hours before serving.
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