April 14, 2012

Gluten-Free Coconut Layer Cake

A recent family celebration called for a special dessert.  A coconut layer cake, for my coconut-loving family.  My son follows a gluten-free diet, so I whipped up a gluten-free version that was moist and delicious!


2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c. brown flour
2/3 c. potato starch (not potato flour)
1/3 c. tapioca flour 
1/2 t. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 t. xanthan gum 
1 c. canola oil
1 c. unsweetened canned coconut milk (not light)
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. coconut extract
1/4 c. sweetened flaked coconut
coconut frosting (recipe follows)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Position rack in center of oven.  Line two round layer cake pans with parchment or wax paper (trace bottom of pan and cut out using scissors) and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Beat sugar and eggs for one minute.  Add flours, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum, oil, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut extracts and flaked coconut.  Beat at medium speed for one minute.
  • Pour batter into pans.  Place in oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until center springs back when touched.
  • Cool cake layers in pans for 5 minutes.  Use a small knife to cut around pans' sides, loosening the cakes.  Invert cake layers onto cooling racks.  Peel off papers and allow to cool completely.
  • Place one layer on a cake plate or platter.  Spread 1 cup of frosting over top and sides.  Place second layer on top and repeat with remaining frosting.  Pat sweetened coconut onto the top and sides of cake.


1/2 c. butter, room temperature
4 oz. low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
3 c. confectioners' sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 t. coconut extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut (do not mix in frosting)

  • Beat butter and cream cheese in large bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add confectioners' sugar, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut extracts and beat at low until well blended and smooth.

SERVING SUGGESTION:  Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.  Store frosted cake in refrigerator.


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