Classic Vanilla Coconut Flour Paleo Cake

Classic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake (Paleo & Gluten-Free) |

During my winter running hiatus, I developed a new little breakfast obsession: mug-cake. I have to admit, I don’t really like the idea of these things. You mix a bunch of different ingredients in a mug, microwave it, and get this weird insta-cake. It seems very 1980s. Without running, I needed less carbs in the morning so I ditched the oatmeal for these mug-cakes, which I made with a new favorite ingredient: coconut flour. Not only do I like the subtly sweet taste, but it’s gluten-free, low in carbs and high in protein and fiber. Since I’m back to running, I’m back on the oatmeal, but I leave the winter with a place in my heart for baking with coconut flour.

Most paleo or gluten-free cakes use a ton of nut flour, usually almond flour, which can be a bit harsh on the stomach (not to mention extremely high in calories) in such quantities. This classic vanilla coconut flour paleo cake is fluffy, moist, and light. Although it goes perfectly with cashew coconut glaze, it would be great with any sort of icing, jam or spread (I’m thinking definitely healthy nutella).

Classic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake (Paleo & Gluten-Free) | ourfourforks.comWHY IT’S HEALTHY// Coconut flour, made from the meat of dried coconut, is high in protein and high in fiber. It is also high in manganese, which promotes a healthy immune system and thyroid health, and lauric acid, a healthy saturated fat that is essential for immune health. This coconut flour cake is also made with honey (or maple syrup), a natural sweetener with many health benefits, which you can read about in our post 5 Health Benefits of Honey. Pastured or organic eggs add protein and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. Overall, classic vanilla coconut flour paleo cake is a relatively low-calorie,  low sugar, fiber and protein-packed cake that is healthy enough to eat any time day.//

Please note that baking with coconut flour is a unique experience. Because of the remarkable absorbency of coconut flour, the ratio of eggs/liquid to coconut flour may seemed skewed at first but the coconut flour absorbs much of the liquid. Subbing another flour 1:1 in this recipe won’t work; it was specifically written for coconut flour.

Vegans: I have not experimented using egg substitutes with this recipe, so if you try please share your results. However, I’ve read that the eggs give coconut flour baked goods the structure they need in the absence of gluten.

Classic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake (Paleo & Gluten-Free) | ourfourforks.comClassic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake (Paleo & Gluten-Free) | ourfourforks.comClassic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake (Paleo & Gluten-Free) | ourfourforks.comClassic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake (Paleo & Gluten-Free) | ourfourforks.comClassic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake (Paleo & Gluten-Free) |

4.9 from 7 reviews
Classic Vanilla Coconut Flour Paleo Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A classic vanilla coconut flour paleo cake, gluten-free and sweetened only with honey or maple syrup. Great with all types of frosting or made into cupcakes.
Serves: 8
For the cake:
  • 2 whole organic eggs
  • 3 organic egg whites
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used semi-homemade coconut milk)
  • ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cups organic coconut flour (I used this brand)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup coconut cream (I used the thick, unmixed coconut cream from a can of full fat coconut milk), melted
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours, and drained
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • shredded coconut (optional)
For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the eggs, egg whites, non-dairy milk, liquid sweetener and vanilla extract in a large bowl with a hand blender until frothy.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased pan of your choice (I used a bundt pan) and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Allow to fully cool in the pan before removing.
For the glaze:
  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender (I used a Vitamix) and blend until very smooth.
  2. Put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to thicken before glazing cake.
  3. Top with shredded coconut (optional)


      • dashan says

        Thanks! I’m not experienced with baking, but I left it in there anyhow. Unfortunately, I also left it atop the warm stove, so it sweated. When I turned it over, it broke in two…it was really moist. I simply reassembled it and put it in the oven for 15 minutes or so. Once the topping/glaze was on, no one knew the difference. I wasn’t going for perfection on this one anyway and my 2 year old bday girl ( who doesn’t do dairy) loved it. I’ll be trying it a few more times to see if I can perfect it.

  1. Valerie says

    I made this glaze for a friend’s birthday cake and it was delicious! Finding a paleo glaze was harder than expected so thank you for this! My only issue was that the cashew flavor was very pronounced, but maybe raw cashews would make a difference? Not a problem really as it was great nonetheless.

    • says

      Hi Valerie! So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for asking about the cashews – I used raw, which I meant to specify in the ingredients. Raw cashews have a much more subtle flavor, so I would try using those next time. I updated the recipe to reflect this – thanks for the catch!

  2. says

    I made this and it was delicious however there is a mistake in the recipe – it says 3/4 cups of coconut flour and even this is too little for coconut flour! I think you meant 1 + 3/4 cups – this amount worked perfectly for me. Thanks for a change to the usual dense paleo cakes! Yum :)

    • says

      Hi Tiger – thanks for making these! This recipe has worked for me with 3/4ths cups of coconut flour. I’m wondering if we’re using a different type or brand? 1 + 3/4ths would certainly make the batter too dry with my coconut flour! What brand do you use? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Lou – An 8 or 9 inch pan should work. You may have to adjust the baking time. Make sure it’s golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean before removing from the oven (and let cool completely!).

    • says

      Hi Jolie – thanks for your question! Grease the pan or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Also make sure your cake cools completely (really important) before removing from the pan.

  3. sarah says

    I’m hoping to make this as a layer cake for my baby’s first birthday! Any thoughts of why that wouldn’t work? (texturally, baking or otherwise?) thanks!

    • says

      Hi Sarah – Awesome! I’ve never made this as a layer cake but here is my advice: bake the layers in two separate greased pans (I think dividing the batter between two 8 inch pans would work) rather than cutting one cake into layers since it’s a bit delicate. It is also extremely important to bake until fully cooked through (otherwise it will be too moist and fall apart) AND let cool completely! I can’t stress that enough. Coconut flour is a bit odd, so cooling completely really helps it hold together. Like I said, I’ve never made it into a layer cake, so I can’t guarantee the results but let me know how it works! Enjoy!

      • Sarah says

        So I made this as a 14.5″ round layer cake (two layers) for my little ones first birthday. It was a strawberry layer cake with whipped cream! YUM!! I doubled the recipe for each 14.5″ layer and baked it for about 40 minutes. It came out so so SO amazingly moist, delicious and right on target. This is my new favorite vanilla cake recipe (cupcakes, layer cakes, endless possibilities. Perfection. I have a picture if you’d like to see!

      • felicia says

        hiya, thanks for the recipe.
        I tripled the recipe and made a 3-layer cake for my bf’s birthday a few days ago.
        it worked perfectly, so moist and coconutty and just the right amount of sweetness. amazing!

  4. Nicole says

    Can I replace the baking powder with more baking soda ? My daughter is on scd and she cannot have baking powder. Thank u

  5. says

    Made this yesterday for a tea party. It turned out delightful. I had to add more coconut milk for the right consistency – I used canned, so maybe that’s why. I also added a few drops of orange essential oil and made a chocolate ganache with coconut cream, honey and cocoa powder for the frosting. It was a hit! Thanks for a great recipe!

  6. Meghan says

    We’re not dairy-free and I’m looking for a recipe for my LO’s first birthday. Any reason I couldn’t use cows milk in this recipe? It looks so great and I’m excited to find a more nutritious alternative!

  7. says

    I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to go for it- my first experience baking with coconut flour. I loved it! Perfect amount of sweet, nice and light and not too heavy. Really, really a recipe win. Thank you for sharing with us!

  8. Elizabeth says

    If I want to use Swerve powdered or granulated sweetener instead of maple or honey should I add more liquid like more milk or mix the Sweerve with applesauce or something?

  9. Diana says

    I love this cake! its delicious! My entire Family loved it! Thank you soooo much!
    I also made one on the side for my boyfriend as a valentine gift I added white chocolate frosting with coconut shaving everywhere and a pink heart in the center! Thank you sooooo so much! YOU ARE AWESOME!

  10. julie says

    Light Canned Coconut milk (to make semi-homemade) is the one staple I do not have. I do have a carton of So Delicious Coconut milk in my refrigerator. Would this be an adequate substitute and would it provide enough structure for the cake? I do not want to experiment and waste ingredients. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Julie! I’ve never made it with So Delicious, but I think it would work. The consistency of the semi-homemade coconut milk is similar in thickness to store bought non-dairy milk, so I don’t see this being a problem. If the So Delicious milk is sweetened, however, the cake might taste a bit sweet. Let me know how it goes!

  11. morgan says

    Hi, I am wanting to make this for my little girls first birthday. I am wondering could I use date paste or applesauce instead of the honey to make it sweet? Thanks

    • says

      Hi Morgan! I’ve never tried date paste or applesauce for this recipe. I would think date paste would work better than applesauce because it’s a bit thicker and sweeter than applesauce, but I’m really not sure. Please let me know how it goes!

  12. says

    This is a BIG HIT with over 50 people. I adapted it…by adding almond extract instead of vanilla…to both the cake batter and glaze. I also added thawed pitted organic cherries…made two cakes and layed the cherries with the almond glaze. Like another reader, had to only use baking soda, which made for a slightly more dense cake…was a grand delight with many folks over a three day birthday celebration (made 3 cakes!) Thank you for this inspiring recipe. The bones of this recipe allowed me to make it with the almonds and cherries. Cheers

  13. Tara says

    Just made this cake 3x for various birthday celebrations. It’s easy and fast, and turns out great. Delicious recipe!

  14. fabienne says

    I tried this today and it is very moist and tasty :). Altho when baking with a circulating heat oven I’d recommend baking it at 160° C instead of 180° C because mine turned out quite dark brown but still good.

  15. Erin says

    This cake was absolutely delicious! It was moist and not eggy at all, like some desserts made with coconut flour and all those eggs can be. I layered this with homemade peanut butter vegan ice cream for a birthday cake, and it was a hit! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  16. Delia says

    I made this for a dinner party and it was AMAZING. We’re currently fasting from all meat byproducts so I’m experimenting with apple sauce. It’s baking as we speak. This will be our Easter dessert. I may have to pick something up as a backup just in case. Wish me luck. Also, what’s the best way to store the cake once it’s iced. It’s going to be almost a full day until we eat.

  17. says

    Hello, this is my first time with a Bundt cake and measuring with “cups” as in the UK cakes are mostly still converted to lbs and oz, or grams. I am making a variation of this, with my son for his school competition “cake for the queens 90th birthday” ! The women’s institute are judging it, so I’m a bit nervous. I wanted to check if we are meant to measure the coconut oil whilst it is solid or melted, or will it not make a difference?

    Also I have to hand the cake in at nine am but the kids get to eat it at a tea party between 3-4pm. I’m guessing I should put the glaze in a jug on the side of the cake, as I don’t think it will be refrigerated and I don’t know if it will go mushy? I don’t think my variations should alter the outcome too much I’m just adding a couple of blueberries and rapper berries so I can give it a Union Jack/queen like feel.

    Any help gratefully received.

  18. Jessica says

    Oh. My. Gosh. I made this cake tonight. I added freeze-dried strawberries (crumbled) on top. It was divine. My kids (ages 3 and 5) were in heaven. My son licked the plate clean! We are doing the Whole30 as a family. Since there are so few “treat” options, I made this for them tonight to keep them excited about eating CLEAN! Thank you so much for posting this amazing, tasty recipe!!

  19. Kim says

    Hi there, so I really have to make this cake! However, if I am not using sugar ( liquid monk fruit extract instead ) do I need to add more milk, flour, etc.? Not sure how that works. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kim! I’m so sorry, but I’ve never tried this recipe with liquid monk fruit extract. Since it’s a liquid sweetener, like honey or maple syrup, I’d suggest just keeping everything else the same! Let me know how it goes.

  20. Carol says

    I am eager to try this recipe for a friend’s birthday, but they are on a very strict SCD protocol and cannot have either honey or maple syrup. What could I use instead? Everything else is fine. Making this cake for a huge birthday party where the birthday boy can have regular cake but 3 families need an SCD cake. Thank you!

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  22. Stella says

    Made for a birthday cake. This worked out really well, except that the cake was tiny. I had bought a regular sized bundt tin and it filled about 1/3. Next time I would try at least doubling the recipe, or baking two flat cakes and sandwiching. Taste was a hit though. I wanted a chocolate glaze and made one from 7.5oz of sweetened condensed coconut milk with 1/2 cup of bittersweet choc chips melted in. Perfect!

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  24. Dee says

    Thank you for this great recipe. I just baked it for my partners birthday! We are celebrating tomorrow so we haven’t had a chance to taste it yet but it has turned out great and smells divine! I have been admiring your cute cake tin, could i ask where it is from please?

    Many Thanks,

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