Guess who baked herself a two-layer, extra-tender, and supremely moist Coconut Flour Cake (with coconut buttercream frosting!) for her own birthday?

Moist Coconut Flour Cake with Lemon, Almond, Vanilla Frosting, and Sprinkles

This recipe is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.

Actually, the proper question is guess who baked herself coconut flour cakes, because this recipe took a few tries to get right. It was worth it!

I’m 33 today, and I suppose at some point it will become too embarrassing for me to continue to post my own birthday cake creations in such a public manner.

I’m not there yet!

This year, I’m not feeling quite so philosophical as I was on my 30th, when I posted this Lemon Layer Cake (which is still the very best lemon cake in the entire world, not to oversell it or anything) or quite as silly as I was the year of the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (which will ruin you from store-bought cookie cake forever, sorry not sorry).

Coconut flour cake falls somewhere in between.

A white coconut flour layer cake with rainbow sprinkles

Coconut flour cake is surprisingly moist and its flavor is unique, but it stays true to a certain nostalgia factor that I crave in any good birthday cake.

It’s more about the cake than it is the frosting (a reflection of my personal priorities), BUT the frosting certainly isn’t an afterthought. It’s thick and creamy, sweet but not too sweet.

It’s easy enough to make it without a specific special occasion in mind—you don’t even need a mixer for the batter, just a whisk and some energy from your upper arm.

Yet, in the unique way that a good homemade cake is certain to do, it makes any night on which you choose to serve it feel special by its very presence at the table.

Pull out the rainbow sprinkles and get ready to swirl on some extra frosting. It’s time to make the best-ever coconut cake!

Serving a slice of Coconut Flour Cake with buttercream frosting and sprinkles

How to Make Moist Coconut Flour Cake

Baking with coconut flour is always a bit tricky. Because coconut flour is naturally dry, it takes a certain amount of experimentation to make sure that recipes that use it, like this tender coconut cake, come out moist.

I needed a few tries with this recipe to make sure the coconut flour cake stayed melt-in-your-mouth moist but was still sturdy enough to hold up to layering and frosting.

It was absolutely worth the effort. Not only do I love this cake, but coconut flour itself is a fantastic ingredient to have in your pantry.

Coconut flour is naturally high in fiber and protein, so it’s perfect for healthy baked desserts like this cake (and others on this list of 50 Healthy Desserts). It is also grain free and gluten free, making it an excellent resource for those with dietary restrictions, and it is Paleo diet approved too. (Looking for more gluten free cake ideas? Try this Gluten Free Carrot Cake.)

Here are my tips for baking this coconut flour cake with success.

Mixing up the batter for Coconut Flour Cake

  • Start with Good-Quality Coconut Flour. Different brands of coconut flour can react differently in baked recipes. I use and recommend Bob’s Red Mill. I’ve cooked with Bob’s products for years, and I am always incredibly impressed by the results. The products consistently outperform competing brands and are sourced from the highest quality ingredients.

For those with celiac, it’s important to note that Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free products are certified GF, meaning that they are produced in a separate dedicated facility and undergo rigorous testing.

  • Don’t Skip the Eggs. Yes, you REALLY do need all 4 large eggs and 2 egg whites to make this cake. Remember when I mentioned that coconut flour is dry? The eggs are what makes it moist.

Why Both Egg Yolks and Egg Whites? The whites have protein which provides structure to the cake. The yolks add richness. If you use all yolks, the coconut flour cake will be too heavy, all whites and it won’t be moist enough. The balance between the two I have here is just right.

Wait, What If I Want the Coconut Flour Cake Vegan? You can experiment with flax eggs, but I honestly can’t recommend it, because it would be swapping out such a large quantity. Instead, check out a recipe that’s already written to be vegan, like this Instant Pot Cake!

Two layers of coconut flour cake cooling on a rack

  • Even Out Your Layers. I actually like to use a digital scale like this one (less than $10 and so worth it!) to make sure I have the same amount of batter in my pans. If you are eyeballing it, be sure to lean down to counter level and look at the pans at eye level to make sure you have the same amount of batter in each.

Why Even Amounts of Batter Matter. Having the same amount of batter in both pans will ensure the layers bake in the same amount of time. It will also make them the same thickness, leading to a more professional-looking cake.

  • Use Full-Fat Coconut Milk. Believe it or not, this coconut flour cake contains ZERO butter. Instead, I swapped full-fat coconut milk. It makes the cake incredibly moist, and the flavor is lovely.
  • Honey. While baking with liquid sweetener can be tricky (it can make standard wheat-flour-based cakes too moist), when you are baking with coconut flour, that is much less of an issue. This coconut flour cake is entirely sweetened with honey.

Paleo Bonus: For those following a Paleo diet, since this coconut cake is sugar free and dairy free, the recipe is Paleo too (swap your favorite Paleo frosting in place of what I have listed here, or leave the cake unfrosted).

How to Flavor Coconut Flour Cake

In addition to the flavor notes from the honey, coconut milk, and a hefty pour of vanilla extract, this coconut flour cake has two other bonus ingredients that make every forkful its own mini escape.

  • Lemon Zest and Almond Extract. These work together in the background to elevate the cake’s flavor.

As the recipe is written, this is a rich, moist, and complexly flavored coconut flour vanilla cake.

If you’d like to make a true almond and coconut flour cake, you can double the almond extract and sprinkle toasted almonds over the top of the frosted cake.

For a coconut flour lemon cake, add additional lemon zest and swap the almond extract for ¼ teaspoon pure lemon extract. You can also top the cake with lemon cream cheese frosting.

A slice of moist Coconut Flour cake with frosting and sprinkles

More Coconut Flour Recipes

Because now that you have that bag of coconut flour, it’s time to use it!

Recommended Tools to Make Coconut Flour Cake

 

The BEST moist Coconut Flour Cake. Tender and fluffy, this richly flavored cake is easy to make and has a hint of lemon and almond. Paleo and dairy free.

Coconut Flour Cake

5 from 15 votes
The BEST moist Coconut Flour Cake. Tender and fluffy, this richly flavored cake is easy to make and has a hint of lemon and almond.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs

Servings: 8 slices; 1 (9-inch) layer or 2 (6-inch) layers

Ingredients
  

FOR THE COCONUT FLOUR CAKE:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk shake the can well before opening and reserve some for the frosting
  • Zest of 1 lemon

FOR THE FROSTING (omit to make Paleo, or swap your favorite Paleo vanilla frosting or whipped coconut cream):

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened; swap vegan butter to make dairy free
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2–3 cups powdered sugar sifted if lumpy
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk from the can above, plus additional as needed

For decorating:

  • Sprinkles
  • Sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
  • Mini chocolate chips optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat one 9-inch round cake pan or two 6-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottom(s) with parchment paper, then lightly coat again. Set aside.
  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the coconut oil for 30 seconds. Continue to heat in 15-second bursts, stopping as soon as it liquifies. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, sift together coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Do not skip the sifting—it's key to giving the cake a lighter texture.
  • To the bowl with the room-temperature coconut oil, add the eggs, egg whites, honey, vanilla extract, almond extract, and coconut milk. (If, when you open your can of coconut milk, the cream and liquid are separated pour the contents of the can into a separate mixing bowl or large measuring cup and whisk to smoothly recombine before measuring out 1/2 cup. Learn from my mistakes and do not try to stir it together in the open can or you will have a liquidy mess running down the can and onto your counter.) Whisk until the wet ingredients are very well blended and no streaks of eggs remain.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. The coconut flour will form large lumps at first, but just keep on whisking and consider this your arm workout for the day. Stop stirring when the flour lumps are small (about the size of sprinkles). With a rubber spatula, fold in the lemon zest. (I like to zest the lemon directly into the bowl.) Pour the cake into the prepared pan and, with the back of the spatula, smooth the top. (If using two pans, make sure to evenly divide the batter between each.)
  • Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean, the cake is deeply golden at the edges, and the center springs back lightly when touched. Place the pan(s) on a wire rack and let cool in the pan(s) completely.
  • While the cake cools, prepare the frosting: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix once more until blended.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. Mix it in on low speed. Continue adding the next 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar a little at a time until it is decently incorporated (if you add it too quickly, you’ll end up with a big cloud of sugar that billows out of the bowl). If at any point the mixture becomes dry and crumbly, add a little of the coconut milk as needed to begin thinning it. Add the rest of the 3 tablespoons coconut milk. Increase the speed to medium high and beat for a full 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides as needed. If the frosting seems too thick, add coconut milk 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time to thin it. If you would like the froster thicker, continue adding the remaining 1 cup additional powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
  • If making a single layer cake: Once the cake has cooled, transfer it to a serving plate, with the flat bottom-side down. If making a two-layer cake, place the first layer domed top-side down—if the dome is very high and the cake seems wobbly, you can level it first. Tucks strips of wax paper underneath the bottom of the cake to protect the plate. Spread the frosting all over the top of the cake (if adding a second layer, place it flat-side down, dome-side up). Continue frosting, swirling frosting over the top and down the sides of the cake. Decorate as desired. Slice and serve!

Notes

  • Coconut flour does not have any substitutions that I can suggest. It is very unique and must be used in this recipe. If you prefer a different option, check out some of my other cake recipes.
  • I do not recommend flax eggs in place of the eggs called for this recipe, as the eggs are necessary to ensure the cake will rise. If you’d like a vegan cake, check out my Instant Pot Cake recipe.
  • Store leftover cake tightly covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If storing in the refrigerator, let come to room temperature prior to serving. You can also freeze the cake for up to 1 month. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator (if you thaw at room temperature, the cake may become mushy).
  • Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. If freezing, thaw the frosting in the refrigerator, then beat it for a few seconds so it becomes creamy again.
  • You will have some extra coconut milk after making this recipe. Try using it in smoothies (or frozen cocktails!), add it to a chicken marinade, swap it for heavy cream in baking recipes, or use it in any of these coconut milk recipes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (of 8)Calories: 448kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 6gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 391mgPotassium: 93mgFiber: 4gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 475IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1.4mg

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I am sharing this post in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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74 Comments

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  1. First off, Happy Birthday!! This cake sounds wonderful, and healthy for a cake. I have some coconut flour I need to use up, this might be just the thing and make for a tasty test run for my own birthday this summer. I am with you when it comes to making your own birthday cake.

  2. Enjoy your birthday – all month long (I do)!!

    I NEED to make this cake! I’ve baked with coconut flour before but this recipe ‘takes the cake’!!!

    Can’t wait to celebrate the May birthdays with this treat :)

    Been enjoying your blog and recipes – and fantastic photography.

        1. Hi Geetika! You can experiment with flax eggs, but I honestly can’t recommend it, because it would be swapping out such a large quantity. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  3. Hi Erin!
    My husband is fodmap and is restricted from honey is there a sugar substitute that I could use instead?

  4. Hallo Erin, Many Happy Returns of the Day.
    All the best wishes are coming from Australia.
    Sorry, I can’t try out this cake as I cannot get Coconut Flour. But I will try the Lemon Layer Cake.
    Thanks for all the recipes and reading about your life.
    Traudy

  5. This looks incredible!! I still have a whole batch of coconut flour that I haven’t used so this really inspires me! (:

    1. Hi Lucy! I don’t bake with swerve or Gentle sweet, so I am afraid I can’t advise. If you have made substitutions in similar recipes with success, you can experiment, but the only way I have tested this recipe is the way it is written. If you do try it, I hope you love it!

  6. Thanks for this cake recipe. Could you please post the Nutrition Information for the cake without your frosting? Thank you!
    And Happy Birthday! 

    1. Sarah, I am not able to offer one-off recipe nutritional calc requests BUT I am happy to report that you can calc the recipe anyway you like for free at myfitnesspal.com. I hope that is helpful and that you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

      1. What is the best way to turn this delicious-sounding cake into a coconut flour coconut cake? Perhaps I could put some shredded coconut into a food processor and add that? I don’t mind the sugar! Happy birthday! 

        1. Hi Neicy! I’d suggest coconut extract if you can find it, and then add lots of sweetened flaked coconut on the outsides of the cake. I haven’t tested coconut in the batter, so I can’t vouch for those results. I hope you enjoy!

  7. Happy bday Erin, and thank you for this recipe! I’ve had 2 coconut flour cakes that were just OK. So, i decided thirds times a charm and tried this recipe yesterday. Anyways, it was a big success. The extra eggs and full fat coconut milk, like you mention, made all the difference. Now that I got this good foundation recipe, I can tweak it for the different holidays! :)5 stars

  8. Sounds fabulous!  Are the nutritional amounts correct?  48 g of carbs for 1 slice?  Or are the numbers for the whole cake? 

    1. Hi Linda, that number is an estimate, but it’s pretty close—it’s including the frosting, which adds quite a few carbs with the powdered sugar.

  9. I thought this recipe was wonderful. I’ve only used coconut flour in cookies before and wasn’t thrilled with the results. This cake tastes great and I love the light sweetness from the honey. I will be making this again for my gluten free friends! Thanks a bunch!
    (And happy late birthday!)5 stars

  10. Hi Erin! wonderful cake made it for my mum she loved it , although she was expecting a chocolate cake , so I want to make it again but with chocolate how would I go about it ? do I use cocoa or melted chocolate? how much? please help me out thank you
    Alison5 stars

  11. Hello Erin,

    I have a 8 x 3 cake pan. How will this affect the recipe? I’m still learning how to bake properly so I need all the tips I can get. Thanks!

    Sincerely,
    Krystine 5 stars

    1. Hi Krystine! Do you mean the pan is 3 inches deep and 8 inches across? The diameter is what matters most here, so you should be just fine!

  12. I made this cake last night. I’m on Keto so I replaced the honey with 1/4cup of sugarless maple syrup and 2 tsp of Swerve. I used full fat whipping cream instead of coconut milk. I also made icing out of cream cheese butter and Swerve.
    The cake tastes great. The only reason I wouldn’t make this cake every week is that it takes half a dozen eggs.
    The flavours are great and the coconut flour doesn’t taste too much like coconut (even though I love the taste of coconut) and I know some people don’t like that flavour.

    I wonder if a chocolate version of this could be done. I might try it. Next time I will be making cup cakes with this and making some whip cream topping with some fruits. Some strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (keto friendly fruits)5 stars

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review and your substitutions! I’m so happy you enjoyed this cake recipe! If you try a chocolate version, I’d love to hear how it turns out.

  13. I followed the recipe, but when I was done mixing my batter it was too dry, it looked more like cookie dough instead of cake batter. I added more coconut milk And added the other two yolks…..so we’ll see how it turns out🙈

    1. Hi Grace! I think medium speed would work fine. As long as it combines easily and the batter doesn’t splash out, you should be good. I hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe!

  14. I tried baking this cake for Easter yesterday and honestly it just did not turn out well at all. I knew going in that it was a healthier cake but maybe my expectations for the flavor were still a bit off. The cake was a little bland and the oil made it moist but almost too moist. I don’t think I’ll try making it again but I do appreciate how healthy the cake is.

    1. Hi Hannah, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this cake. I (and other readers) really enjoyed the flavor and texture, so I wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

  15. THIS IS THE MOST ACCURATE RECIPE I HAVE USED LATELY! the cake was so moist and perfect I was shocked at myself. Buttercream was amazing I covered the whole thing in it. Next time gonna make two sponges and put on top of one another. I also grated lemon zest on top after. Sending this recipe to everyone was so so perfect. 5 stars

  16. Such a good recipe. So moist and flavourful. I used 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract instead of lemon zest, but it was still amazing!5 stars

  17. I followed the recipe exactly and the cake was amazing!! Thank you for the helpful hints within the recipe instructions. I appreciate the detail. This is a winner!5 stars

  18. W-O-W!!!!!! I tried four coconut flour cake recipes and they all came out  horribly..I tried this one and substituted maple syrup instead of honey, wheeewwww..I have no words, just amazing, soft and perfect texture omg if my husband loves this cake, then you know its good because he is extremely picky! I used Swerve in the frosting and it was way too sweet, well maybe because I stopped eating white and all sugar for two weeks…so for those who want to use Swerve, just lower the amounts as it is super sweet. I enjoy this cake without the frosting or very light layer, and the unsweetened coconut flakes is a BONUS!!! Thank you I wanted to cry when I tasted this cake, I have made it 8 times now and I have been meaning to put a review but I work so much from home and have two toddlers, I never get a chance5 stars

  19. This cake was superb!  One shot at baking this cake and I was amazed at the taste.  I baked it for a customer that couldn’t eat the regular Carmel Cake.  This recipe was a God sent.5 stars

  20. hi :) I really want to try this recipe it looks amazing! Couple questions though – If I only have 1 6-inch pan could I bake it in one and then slice it in half for the layers?

    In addition, If i want to make a funfetti cake could I mix in some sprinkles as well?

    Thank you so much for the recipe!

    1. Hi Wendi! Since the recipe will still have the correct amount of batter, I recommend using half the batter to make one 6-inch cake, then let the pan cool, and use the remaining batter to make the second 6-inch cake. If you add all the batter to one 6-inch pan, the middle will likely be crumbly and underbaked. You can definitely add the sprinkles. I hope you enjoy the cake if you try it!

  21. Will the cake taste fresh if I make it two days in advance? Or do you recommend making it the day of? I can frost it the day of. 

    1. Hi Mel! I think you could make the cake a couple of days in advance and either store it in the refrigerator or at room temperature. There are some tips in the recipe notes for both options. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hi Ophelia! I would not recommend this swap, as the full-fat coconut milk is much thicker and richer than almond milk. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  22. Hi, do you use a liquid, runny honey in this recipe, or a whipped style honey?  Could you use maple syrup as a substitute?
    Thanks!

  23. Hi Erin, came across your blog while looking for coconut flour recipes. Tried the cake today and it was SPECTACULAR.
    Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  24. Hello! Just made this cake today for my 34th birthday! I’ve been experimenting with coconut flour lately and came across this recipe. It was DELICIOUS!! Like I amazed my non-baking self that I made that cake. Thank you for this! I just used one 9″pan and baked for 28 minutes.5 stars