If you told me a year and a half ago that I wouldn’t have just one, but two vegan cakes on the site, and that I liked them so that I honestly question from time to time why any cakes have any eggs in them, ever, I’d have thought you lost your mind. Let me explain: I know there are amazing and delicious vegan cakes in the world, but I believed I’d need flax eggs or the liquid from a can of chickpeas or some other magic to pull them off; I figured I’d leave it to the experts. Plus, I suspect my devotion to butter and buttermilk is well-established by now.
But that was before I learned about Wacky Cakes, a.k.a. Depression Cakes or Cockeyed Cakes, if you’re a Peg Bracken fan, which of course, everyone should be. They typically have about 7 completely basic, everyday ingredients and they’re usually chocolate-flavored, but never enough for me. So in my version, I used a higher proportion of cocoa powder and olive oil, whose fruitiness is exceptionally cozy with chocolate. The cake is so good, we recently found in the fridge a chunk of the one I made in late November (five weeks later) and my husband refused to let me throw it away, taking his life in his hands to eat it right then and there. If you’ve made it, maybe you understand.
Not a chocolate fan? Today is your day. This long overdue version (with only 6 ingredients, what a showoff) might be — don’t tell the chocolate fiends in your life — even better. I made it with coconut oil and coconut milk, which together provide a subtle coconut flavor and rich, plushness to the cake I thought heretofore impossible in any cake, vegan or other. Forget a month; this cake isn’t going to survive this long weekend.
One year ago: Sheet Pan Meatballs with Crispy Turmeric Chickpeas
Two years ago: Chocolate Dutch Baby
Three years ago: Blood Orange, Almond, and Ricotta Cake and Cabbage and Sausage Casserole
Four years ago: Key Lime Pie and Make Your Own Vanilla Extract
Five years ago: Pear and Hazelnut Muffins and Warm Lentil and Potato Salad
Six years ago: Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard, and Garlic
Seven years ago: Buttermilk Roast Chicken
Eight years ago: Baked Potato Soup
Nine years ago: Black Bean Soup + Toasted Cumin Seed Crema and Cranberry Syrup and an Intensely Almond Cake
Ten years ago: Clementine Cake and Mushroom Bourguignon
Eleven years ago: Chicken Caesar Salad and Fried Chicken
Twelve years ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Bourbon Peach Smash
1.5 Years Ago: Hummus Heaped with Tomatoes and Cucumbers
2.5 Years Ago: Corn, Bacon, and Parmesan Pasta
3.5 Years Ago: Very Blueberry Scones
4.5 Years Ago: Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches and Easiest Fridge Dill Pickles
Plush Coconut Cake
Note: A 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk will have about 3 tablespoons more than you need for this recipe. Reserve it make the glaze.
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons (285 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (110 grams) coconut oil, warmed just enough to liquefy
- 1 1/2 cups full- or low-fat coconut milk (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) plain vinegar
Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add coconut oil, coconut milk, and vinegar and whisk until batter is smooth.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes [updated to note: it’s sounding in the comments like it’s taking some people a bit longer — it’s not done until the center is set, even if it’s longer than it took me], or until the top is springy and a tester inserted in the center comes out batter-free. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then cut around it with a knife to ensure it is loosened and flip it out onto a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
If you wish to make a glaze: Whisk together 3/4 cup powdered sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the leftover coconut milk, adding a little at a time, until it is smooth but not too runny. Add a pinch of salt, if you wish. Once cake is fully cool, spread over the top of the cake and smooth to the edges with a knife or small offset spatula, where it will find its way down the sides decoratively on its own. I added some white confetti sprinkles, but toasted coconut chips would be nice here too.
431 comments on plush coconut cake
Ooh! Perfect snack cake!
Ok, so I thought I had coconut milk on hand, but turns out it’s sweetened condensed coconut milk…think I can wing it? Less sugar, add some 1/2 & 1/2??? Or do I need to brave the (50° drop in temp) great outdoors?
Did you put some type of zest in the glaze? I think I spy something orange? Asking for a friend.
I actually used a splash of grapefruit juice and immediately regretted it. Coconut milk version tasted better.
Thanks! I’m tempted to lemon zest the cake up but I’ll try it as-is first! PS your tall coconut bread is a favorite and made here often.
Lime is amazing with coconut.
Can I make this and substitute heavy cream for the coconut milk and sub the coconut oil with melted butter?
I think coconut oil will be fine; heavy cream too rich. Maybe half and half or 1/3 heavy cream and 2/3 milk.
I’m so excited about trying this recipe! But what is ‘plain vinegar? I think it’s what we in the UK call white vinegar but I want to make absolutely sure! Thanks!
You can use white vinegar.
So… Do you have an awesome trick to mixing up canned coconut milk? I feel like I can never get it homogenized enough!
I was wondering this too, and then I remembered that when they’re warm those cans are all melty and combined, so that would be my solution, I think. Maybe warming it up in a barely-warm oven or hot water on the stove? [I am obviously not Deb though, she probably knows a better way]
This is brilliant Chelsea! Simple and works great, no idea why I never thought of it. I put the can on top of my hot air vent about 30 minutes before baking, then just gave it a good shake before opening it. Perfectly mixed. Thanks!
I just scooped the can into a bowl and microwaved it for 20 seconds or so. Gave it a stir and it was good to go!
I was so excited to make this cake. I pulled it from the oven and there was the smell..the overwhelming smell of to much baking soda. However I only used what the recipe called for? The flavor overpowered the cake. What happened?
It shouldn’t matter here; just do your best.
I pour/scoop everything into a mason jar, screw the lid on tight, and shake it as hard as I can. It works pretty well!
Didn’t have powdered sugar so…Changed coconut glaze to coconut caramel using same ratio of regular sugar instead of powdered. Then heated on the stove til lightly carmelized. Poured on top of hot cake and topped with toasted coconut.
I put it in my ninja smoothie jar blender. If you blend it, it then emulsifies and becomes smooth.
I use my hand blender.
Put your unopened can of coconut milk in the oven as it preheats, while you grease the pan and measure the dry ingredients. When you are ready to add the coconut milk take it out of the oven, shake, and when you open it it’s homogeneous but not yet hot. Works every time! And no extra dishes or steps!
Hi Deb, would it be okay to replace with gluten free flour?
I just put a gluten free version in my oven – it is looking delicious! I used Bob’s Red Mill 1to1 Baking Flour, it acts just like the real thing.
Plain vinegar? Does that mean white?
Yes. When I write white, many times people ask if I mean white wine vinegar, so I thought this was more clear.
Lol, you can’t win. I made the cake and it was delicious but I definitely did something wrong. It didn’t rise at all and turned out more like a very flat, very sweet custard. 🤣
did you maybe use baking powder instead of baking soda?
That, or maybe old baking soda. I’m figuring it’s the soda + vinegar that provides the leavening here. If the baking soda is old, the reaction won’t be as strong.
I have made this two days in a row now. With all new ingredients mind you.
Yesterday it came out perfect, but the flavor was off- had this weird after taste of baking soda.
Today it didn’t rise at all and I ended up with a coconut custard.
What am I doing wrong???
Everyone should know the great Peg Bracken – My mom had me “help” at age 6 by reading aloud the recipes as she’d cook from her books back in the ‘60s – probably explains my early love for both reading and cooking! And her recipes stand the test of time!!
Peg Bracken was wonderful! I loved reading all my mother’s copies of her books when I was a young girl. I’m thrilled that her reputation endures, and that you and Deb know about her!
I loved reading Peg Bracken when I was a girl -I don’t know if a day goes by without a line of hers coming to mind!
Wow… I may make this tonight. Thank you!
Typo alert: “Reserve it make the glaze.”
[Jacob looks very adept on the violin — bravo!]
I made this cake twice: once with light coconut milk and added coconut extract and once with whole fat coconut milk and almond extract. They were both very tasty but the second version was definitely richer and delicious!
Just made this cake at my parents’ place in Mexico, but it seems to have sunk in the centre. I cooked it for about 35 minutes because the middle was too wobbly and uncooked prior to that. It smells amazing, so I’m sure it will taste good, but I can’t wait to try making it again when I return to NYC, and sea level!
Same thing happened to me, in Seattle, so I can’t blame sea level. Hmmm.
So moist. I skipped the glaze, cut tge sugar to 3/4 cup and served with fresh mamgo.
Can this be made with butter instead of coconut oil?
My son requested that I make him your chocolate olive oil cake (our favourite) as a layer cake for his sixth birthday on Tuesday (with the glaze on the top and whipped, slightly sweetened, vanilla double and sour cream, and rhubarb & raspberry jam in the middle). It was outstanding! My daughter (who has egg allergies) wants a white cake with white, pink and blue icing for her third birthday next month, so I plan to make this cake (maybe tinting some of the glaze or just using pink and blue decorations). I was thinking of doubling it to make a layer cake, but wondered what you’d recommend filling it with? Thanks!
You can always add Dehydrated fruit to color cakes. I use dehydrated strawberries to add color to frostings all the time. Just use food processor to make a powder :)
Do you dehydrate at home? Where do you buy dehydrated fruit?
Freeze-dried fruit, ground into a powder in a food processor, works well for coloring. Trader Joe’s has a wide selection, but you can often get them at Target as well.
Ack! On the one hand I already made two cakes this weekend, but on the other hand only one came out like I wanted, and I do have an extra can of coconut, and this *does* look delightful…
Any way to sub maple syrup or honey for the sugar? Or would that mess with the texture?
It will probably be forgiving here, but more beige.
Can I sub Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking flour?
I didn’t test it with gluten-free flour but I suspect this cake is pretty forgiving.
I’ve made similar cakes with GF flour and they’ve turned out great!
Hi Ali – did you happen to use almond flour?
In my experience, only Bob’s GF 1:1 Baking Flour is a good substitute in any recipe (much better than King Arthur’s AP GF flour). Bob’s All-Purpose GF flour is mainly garbanzo and is an awful substitute in most recipes.
Made this 2 days ago exactly as written and it was moist and lovely (albeit had to cook longer, about 50 minutes). Made the exact recipe
again today with Bob’s 1:1 and it did not work at all. The oil was absorbed into the flour and did not bake through (even though I added extra time) and came out dense and gummy.
I’ve had better results with King Arthur’s GF All-Purpose Flour. Expensive, but well worth it for the occasional cake.
Hi Deb, this seems similar to the vegan lemon tender cake in Nigella’s new book At My Table. It is awesome too and so easy to make. She tops hers with lightly sweetened coconut yogurt and a blueberry compote. A stunner and delicious
Do you think this could be made in a loaf tin?
It might work.
Yes, it works well in muffin tins too.
How many cupcakes did it make?
I got 18 small (non-domed) cupcakes out of the recipe.
I’m sorry if someone’s mentioned this issue with vegan cakes already. But! I’ve been baking since my teens and I used to have many vegan cake flops. In my mother’s kitchen (she’s a fabulous baker) we’d use the same ingredients, oven, pans, etc.. and hers would be perfect and mine would be the dense, gooey, under-cooked seeming flat hot mess. Consistently, across many different vegan cake recipes. After much trial and error and puzzling out what was different between us the culprit is over mixing. I haven’t had a vegan cake fail, despite not being exact about measurements; swapping out ingredients, adding things in, since I stopped mixing them too much! Good rise and baked through every time. These batters are kind of like pancakes, lumpy is good. The least amount of mixing you can do without having obvious streaks of flour the better. Egg based batters are way more forgiving than vegan/wacky cakes, and this is often the issue for folks who aren’t used to making them. Hope some folks give this recipe another try with that in mind, it really is a fantastic vegan cake and coconut extract goes a long way for a more coconutty flavour!
Nessa is absolutely right! We aren’t vegans, but my family prefers the texture and flavor of vegan cakes over eggy, buttery ones, so I rarely bake a “real” cake any longer, once I learned not to overmix the vegan batter. Use only spoons and rubber spatulas instead of an electric mixer, and mix the batter very gently, stopping when the dry and wet are barely wed. You will be amazed at what a lovely crumb you’ll have at the end.
Hi! Can I use cow milk for this (will the consistency be right) or does it need to be plant based?
Not at all, milk or even buttermilk will work here.
Thank you! Will definitely try this, looks amazing! ❤
Someone needs to add mini chocolate chips to this cake because coconut and chocolate! Who me?!
I did this- used the coconut milk leftovers and make a quick dark chocolate ganache. Covered the cake and omg 😍
The texture of this cake is great, and I loved the glaze as well! But there seemed to be an aftertaste of baking soda, some of my friends tasted it too. Maybe because the cake itself has a delicate taste… I’ll try adding some kind of extract next time.
Do you think this could be made in a bundt cake pan? Wasn’t sure if it would rise enough to work.
I’d probably double it.
I was wondering the same thing. Perhaps double the recipe to fill the bundt pan?
I made a double recipe in a bundt pan last night. The quantity was perfect. The cooking time was crazy though: it took an hour and a half!
This looks amazing! I don’t have a round cake pan… would a loaf pan work instead? Thanks!
Is this my daughter Becca? Make it for me! And sub in butter for the coconut oil please. Thanks!
This interaction made me smile. :-)
I haven’t tested it in one but … probably.
I made this in a loaf pan. The cook time went a little longer and the cake came out a little crumblier than I would have liked but that didn’t stop us from inhaling it.
So excited to make this, maybe tonight. I will try it as written first, but then I was thinking of lime-ing it up? Maybe some zest in the cake and juice in the glaze? Something about this miserable NYC winter has me craving tropical drinks!!
It would be delicious! Also some dark rum please.
I love simple cakes like this. I added coconut extract to give it a boost and some vanilla extract too – ’cause that’s how I roll.
So, how did it turn out? The others who made it said it didn’t rise….
mine rose perfectly
Made as directed but in a long tea loaf pan. That worked fine cooking almost an hour. It did not smell yummy while baking, probably the baking soda. It’s a little doughy in the middle in spite of reaching 200 degrees. All that would be fine but it’s absolutely flavorless, other than the sugar. Sort of like cloying cotton candy without the toasty flavor. I’m going to toast slices, hoping for a little caramel flavor and serve with strawberries marinated in Cointreau. Won’t be making this one again. Too bad because it was super easy! Only SK recipe I’ve ever had a problem with. 🙁
It’s in the oven! I measured the coconut oil directly into the half cup measuring cup on the tared scale. 110 grams was way over the top, but I went with the gram measure. We’ll see what happens! I really want a good vegan cake recipe to fall back on!
Interesting! I measured the grams into a Pyrex and it was right at 1/2 cup!
So it came out just fine with the gram measurement! The cake was moist and perfect.
This cake looks awesome, I’m going to make it tonight. Quick question, would it work to bake it in a bundt tin instead?
Does plain vinegar mean white vinegar? Thanks!
Poor Deb. Seems you can’t win, right? Maybe next time try “Distilled White Vinegar”? That’s the label on my bottle.
I’m going to try this but with coconut flour, to keep it grain free. Or perhaps combo almond + coconut flour. Wondering if you’ve tried it thus, and if so, any notes to observe?
Was wondering about the same thing and what the ratio between almond and coconut flour would be.
I’d be worried that with no binder at all (egg usually does this job in cakes; wacky cakes usually depend on gluten or, if using a Gluten Free Flour Mix, the gums in that), it’d fall apart into crumbs and/or not rise. But however it comes out, it’d probably still be tasty! Just possibly not exactly a cake.
Coconut flour tends to absorb liquid. Most baked good recipes using coconut flour tend to have a lower ratio of flour to liquid (and a large part of that liquid includes multiple eggs). You could try substituting coconut flour for the flour in this recipe but it may or may not work . . . I have made variations of wacky cake recipes using a mix of GF flours and that has worked great.
I made it with Pamela’s all purpose GF flour and it came out great. I would definitely NOT use all coconut flour for the reason Helen mentioned. Coconut flour is very hard to work with, you could try using maybe 1/4 coconut flour, 3/4 GF flour blend containing guar gum or xanthan gum, and increase the amount of coconut milk. Substituting fine ground almond flour for up to half of the all purpose GF flour would work and add additional flavor and protein.
Looks so good! Adding it to my list of things to try. ;) Plus so helpful when friends who are vegan come over for a treat! I used to make a cake like this long ago using vinegar, but haven’t for years — I love the simplicity of it!
Note that strict vegans avoid white sugar, be sure to use either cane sugar or coconut sugar or organic sugar, and use organic powdered sugar.
I’ll let you google why regular white sugar and powdered sugar isn’t vegan
Most white sugar(brown sugar too, for that Maryo) isn’t vegan, but the fan brands are available. A few years ago I researched this when asked to offer a vegan option for a fudge table at a wedding. My experience was that it was indistinguishable from “regular” sugar as an ingredient, but it was very expensive. For more information and a list of vegan sugar brands, check out ordinaryvegan.net
Oops! Phone typing =typos!
Okay, I got excited and made this immediately, but it didn’t rise nearly as well as yours, and then when it cooled, and we sliced it up for tea time, we realized it was very dough-y. I’m guessing it probably just didn’t bake long enough (I went the full 30 minutes and a little more and a cake tester came out clean), but I’m not sure if that’s the only problem. Reluctant to try again and not sure I can rescue this one…should I just eat it, half-baked?
I’ve made more than a hundred of your recipes with only a couple of fails, so I’m guessing it’s me and not you, but I’d love any thoughts.
I had the same problem. Tastes more flour-y than coconut-y, but I used a 9-inch square pan than a round one. Maybe that matters? I love Deb’s recipes and I’m new to baking, so it’s very likely user error on my part.
I had the same issue, and I definitely baked it fully as well! I used full-fat coconut milk — I wonder if using light coconut milk would make it less gummy and dense at the bottom? The cake also felt extremely oily in general — I wonder if it would work to replace half the oil with water or coconut milk, in addition to using light coconut milk. I really want to try it again, because I love the idea of a quick and easy vegan cake!
I had the same problem! When the cake cooled the center sank in and looked like it hadn’t cooked at all, yet the edges were dark golden. I measured a half cup of coconut oil rather than weighing it. I wonder if it’s too much oil? It was incredible easy to make, and delicious once I cut out the center. I’d be willing to give it another go.
I wish I knew why the results were so variable. (I remember comments like this on the other wacky cake recipe on the site, the chocolate olive oil one.) Are you at an altitude at all?
For the chocolate olive oil cake, you noted that cakes that sank might have too much baking soda, and suggested decreasing the amount from 1 1/2 teaspoons to 1 teaspoon. Suggest that decreasing the baking soda here might work as well.
Coconut milks and creams are pretty wildly variable in their contents by brand – could that be the culprit?
I had similar results to those in this thread. I weighed all my ingredients, using whole fat coconut milk. Baked 30 minutes and cake tester came out clean. Once cool and cut, the center was very dense. My guess is I need new baking soda.
FYI: The glaze is great and I sprinkled it with toasted coconut.
My recipe for depression cake uses baking soda and baking powder and has slightly different ratios of everything and seems to work perfectly for everyone who’s used it. doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gonna fix this issue, but here it is (not adjusted for coconut)
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsweetened plain oat or almond or coconut or soy milk
1 cup canola oil
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
Made this morning and we are just waiting for it to cool before tasting it! We are at 500m though, and I am curious what adjustments for altitude I should be making? Maybe that is why my cakes always take longer? Do I need to bake longer or hotter? Thank you.
I haven’t made this yet, but some recipes that call for coconut milk rely on the guar gum in the milk without anyone realizing it. Then when someone makes the recipe with a brand of milk that doesn’t have stabilizers, it comes out differently.
Just one possibility :)
I had the same problem. After 35 minutes it was nearly burnt and while the tester came out clean it sunk immediately and was too gummy to eat. It leaves a weird oily coat on the teeth too. I actually had to throw the whole thing out. I’m in Boston so altitude is definitely not an issue. Sorry Deb – I’ve never had anything else of yours not work.
I had the same issue! It tastes delicious, but feels like raw dough even though it baked 32 min, was dark golden brown on top, & the tester came out clean.
In the deep freeze of Chicago, so no altitude here & used new baking soda.
I just wanted to report back that we have enjoyed this cake anyway, despite the unexpected texture. My downstairs neighbor walked our dog yesterday, and I left the cake on the counter for her to eat, and she reported back that she LOVED It and wanted the recipe! I will try again with a longer baking time, because we all are happy with the flavor.
Also: I should have led my first comment with, “Deb, you are my guru, and I rely on you every week to inspire and delight me. I regularly make your recipes, as in almost every meal or dessert I make is at least in part from your site and the cookbooks. Everyone I know is aware that I’m a devoted fan. Thank you, thank you for all that you do!”
I think I’ve only ever made one other comment on the site, which was also when I had a fail (at first, but then I tried again!), so I regret that again I chimed in to tell you there was a problem, instead of reporting back all the many, many successes you have provided me.
I also had the same issue. I don’t live at a high altitude, but I did use a loaf pan instead of a round pan. I baked it slightly over 30 minutes because it seemed to still be ‘jiggly’ in the center. I tested it three times and my cake tester came out as clean as a whistle, and the top of the cake was a rich golden brown. Took it out of the oven and let it cool in the pan before releasing it to cool on a cake rack. I left home and when I came back later it was totally raw and sunken in the center. Still glazed it and ate it though, so it tastes just delightful!
I’m wondering if the weight measurements are off? I used a scale to measure everything as I was too lazy to do the extra dishes involved in using measuring cups. If not that, perhaps because of the use of coconut oil you get a false clean on the cake tester? I’m going to try it again and sub some of the flour out for something drier like a bit of coconut flour.
Baking time is mostly determined by the baking vessel, so your problem was most likely that you needed to bake much longer due to the depth of the loaf pan (more like 50 minutes)
Mine came out if the oven and sank. I used melted (liquified) coconut oil, and used the gram measurement. When mixing the batter, it was pretty tough going; went into the pan like a biscuit dough. I put this down to the oil resolidifying, but who knows. Like so many others have said, it’s the first time a SK recipe has not been successful for me. But, it’s prolly me, not the recipe!
Mine was the same. I left it in the oven for 35 minutes, skewer came out clean, it had risen beautifully but sank in the middle while cooling. When I eventually cut into it the middle it was very doughy – I have two extremely disappointed neighbors who were waiting for a slice. I assumed it was my fault because I added dried coconut to try and give it more flavor and texture but it appears from all the other comments that it wasn’t the issue. You win some, you lose some.
Same problem here – cake tester came out clean but wasn’t fully cooked when we cut into it. No altitude issues to contend with and I baked in a 9-inch round pan, as recommended.
I had the same issue–I doubled the recipe and baked two 9-inch rounds, and one turned out perfect and the other just never set in the middle, despite a tester coming out clean after 30 minutes. Both pans were aluminum, and I switched oven racks at the 15-minute mark.
Because we all liked the taste, and because I can’t believe the uneven results I’m reading, I tried again. I incorporated advice from many of you. I used the weight measurements (even though this was more oil than 1/2 cup). I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Milk (last time I used the Whole Foods 365 Brand). I used a new bag of baking soda. I was careful to whisk the vinegar in at the end and get it promptly into the oven. I used an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature (in addition to waiting for the nice rise/color). Mine rose nicely, and I was so very hopeful. Temp measured 205 at 30 minutes. I took it out, and it fell a bit, but still looked overall pretty good. Cut into it, and the edges look almost just like Deb’s. Wow, totally different than my first one. BUT…the center is still doughy. We ate it anyway. Took these notes. And we are going to try again, darn it.
I had this same issue; I weighed everything but the cake never rose in the middle and was too moist.
Next time I won’t warm the coconut oil. I’m going to try “creaming” it with the sugar and will not use a stand or hand mixer for the flour.
I made this cake. It came out of the oven looking exactly like Deb’s. Tester clean. Let it cool. Top sunk in the middle, beautiful finish cracked. It does not feel totally cool around sunken in crack so I’ll wait but it looks liquidy. I think it’s my sugar bi used Whole Foods organic sugar which is coarser than normal. I usually run it through my Bullet to make it finer. I forgot this time. It tastes great though. I will make it again.
Did you use extra virgin coconut oil or no? Does it matter here?
I think that’s the only kind we use for cooking, right?
Both virgin and refined coconut oil can be used for food — virgin tastes like coconut and refined is very mild. https://www.nutiva.com/kitchen/virgin-vs-refined-coconut-oil-5-things-you-need-to-know/
I have a bag of unsweetened coconut flakes sitting in my kitchen cabinet. Is there a way that these can be incorporated into the batter without spoiling the texture of the cake?
I used a nine inch square and mine worked out fine. I did need to cook it a little longer – 35 minutes.
This looks great, I’m definitely trying it soon
The texture of this cake is plush indeed! Mine required 40 minutes at 350 for a tester to come out clean. I added 1 tsp Fiori di Sicilia (citrusty-vanilla extract from King Arthur Flour) which gave the cake a nice flavor. It would be a bit bland without it, as some other commenters have noted. I expected a much bigger coconut flavor. For that reason, don’t skip the glaze! The finished product is tasty, plush and light. A perfect afternoon snacking cake.
The cake is nice and moist but is only slightly sweet and doesn’t have a very strong coconut flavor. I toasted 2 cups of coconut and put it on top of the cake and then drizzled on the glaze. That made it much better. Next time I make it, I might even add some sweetened coconut to the batter as well.
Is it normal for baking times with alternative fats to be a little longer? My oven runs pretty “normal” but I’m on minute 38 with a 9” pan right now… wondering if that’s likely because of the full-fat coconut milk.
Can I use Apple cider vinegar instead of white?
It’s worth trying but it is less acidic than white, I believe, so if it’s all you’ve got, use it. Otherwise, I’d use white.
I just made it with apple cider vinegar and it came out great.
I was wondering the same thing since I usually only have white wine vinegar at hand, so thanks for asking.
I was happy to see this recipe since one if my children is dairy free right now. I made it exactly as written, except that I didn’t have enough virgin coconut oil so I had to also use some refined. And my one complaint, that the cake had very little coconut flavor, may be due to that substitution. (I did make the coconut milk/sugar glaze.) Otherwise, it’s a great cake. Good rise, nice crumb, pleasant flavor without being overly sweet. Thanks, Deb! Now I need to try the cocoa powder/olive oil cake.
Just tested this one! Delicious flavor–not too sweet and certainly not overly coconut-y (not that I’d mind that!). I had an 8-inch pan, not 9, and I think that was my only trouble. Baked for 45 solid minutes, maybe a few more, and still there is a spot in the middle that is undercooked. Deb, do you think that 1 inch makes all that much difference? And agree with previous comment–don’t skip the glaze. It really promotes the coconut!
9 inch pans are 25 percent more volume than 8 inch pans, which does make a difference in baking times. Same volume of batter plus less space equals longer baking time.
8-inch round or square? Square is same thickness as 9-inch round, 8-inch round is definitely taller.
This has zero flavor whatsoever. Might benefit from banana or any number of things. It took about an hour to cook and was still raw in the Middle. You can do so much better than this smitten!
Could there have been a way to leave this comment with constructive criticism of the recipe itself rather than shaming and guilting the person behind the recipe?
Wow… what an unnecessarily harsh, scolding review. One should learn to express disappointment or displeasure without resorting to personal insults.
Agree! For a site where almost every recipe is a brilliant success, this is just so rude. It’s ok to give feedback but let’s drop the snark.
If you used refined coconut oil versus virgin/unrefined coconut oil it’ll have zero flavor. It’ll taste coconut-y if virgin coconut oil is used.
Deb, thank you for all the beautiful recipes that you post! Some bloggers have really dropped off blogging over the last few years and I am SO happy you have not! I cook more of your recipes than anyone else, TRUTH!!! and I love reading your blog (confession, also have cookbook as well) All your recipes work! That is no small feat, as you well know!
So, thank you for hanging in there – love your blog!
I second this! I’m often fearful that you will stop blogging, as so many of the food bloggers have, when I rely on you to keep me cooking and baking! Cheers to Deb!
Thanks! I am not planning on going anywhere! I rather like it here.
But of course, do consider buying my books! I mean, if you’d like them. (I’m terrible at marketing, obviously. But I don’t do any sponsored content, have no plans to, ever, so I’m supported by book sales and site ads.)
Me, too! (Mine was even signed by you, in person — at Sur la Table in Berkeley. :-)
I love your books, but I’m very attached to this blog.
See? This is why I never tell you all to buy my books! I feel silly. (And thank you!)
we have both of your books; the most recent one is signed by you in Toronto! AND we keep on printing your wonderful blog recipes. We are about to attempt this cake…with Bob’s 1:1 GF flour. We’ll let you know if we run into problems. My daughter wants to do it layer style, but I didn’t see notes about that so I’ve convinced her to do it in a flower/scalloped shaped 9″ pan.
Jumped in with both feet and made this today. It. Is. Amazing. Next time I will bake for 5 or so mins longer then recommended, the center fell. Though that may be partly because I was in such a rush to take it out of the oven! I found it to be very sweet and the texture is sooo supple though it does not tase strongly of coconut to me.
Still, I say it’s a keeper for sure!
I just updated the headnotes and recipe to clarify two things that are coming up in the comments:
1. The coconut flavor here is mild, subtle. It’s not an intense coconut cake by any means. I’m sorry if that was unclear; it was never my goal with this cake! If you’d like a more intense coconut cake, you can add coconut to the topping, you can try coconut extract, you might even try some coconut sugar instead of white (although I find its coconut flavor fairly distant, plus, it’s brown so the cake will look beige). I don’t want to give a blanket green light to adding shredded coconut to the batter because it can throw off other things, but a little might make this cake more coconut-y. A lot (if dried) can make it dry and heavier. A lot (if sweetened) might/could sink.
2. Mine was fully and completely baked at 25 minutes (my original estimate had been 30 to 35 minutes, and I reduced it to 25-30 because of this) and my oven runs cool, not hot, crazy enough. On both this and the other vegan cake on the site, the chocolate olive oil cake, the single biggest complaint in the comments is about baking times. Here’s what I suspect: these eggless cakes are far more variable than standard layer cakes, but I cannot tell you why, I’m not definitely not the Food Lab/Bravetart/BakeWise. All that matters is that your cake is set in the center; don’t take it out if it’s not.
Hope that helps going forward!
One other other thing comes to mind that can effect results: whether your coconut oil is liquid or solid can make a difference. You would never use melted butter in a recipe unless specifically asked to do so. But, because coconut oil melts right around room temperature, people use it in both states without mentioning (or even noticing) it.
I’m about 8 years into baking without nuts, seeds, eggs, wheat, dairy or soy (trial by fire after my eldest was born with allergies). Also, I’m an engineer. So, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about these things!
That texture looks amazing! Something I’ve learned from Stella Parks is that different coconut oils taste more and less coconut-y. Refined coconut oil is more neutral tasting if people don’t want that coconut flavor. :)
Yet another great recipe! I just whipped this up and a) forgot the salt, whoops, and b) used butter instead of coco oil because it’s all I had on hand (sorry vegans). Next time, I think I will decrease the baking soda. I had a very slight metallic taste. So so good, nevertheless!
Thank you, Deb!
One of the few cakes I have made at 7,000’ elevation that have been successful AND delicious. We can’t quit eating it! Thanks for a great recipe. (The oohs and ahhs are music to my ears!)
definitely took longer than the 30 minutes for me–it also did not rise very well (almost perfectly flat on top) and seems pretty dense. will see how it tastes
Beautiful recipe, thank you. This will become a standard in my kitchen. Made as directed, with the addition of a cup of blueberries folded into the batter as a final step before baking. It did take almost an hour in the oven, but rose perfectly. Cake is moist, has a delicate flavor, and is not overly sweet. Perfect for brunch or tea. Thanks, Deb!
WOW this cake looks and sounds so delicious! I love this beautiful texture ♥
I made this exactly as written (using gram measurements) with the glaze and I was underwhelmed with the result.
Despite baking for 35mins it was still quite undercooked. It was also too bland for my taste, although it did still all get eaten up by my friends.
I generally love your recipes Deb but this one is not for me.
Just saw this and I’m really eager to make it. Since eggless cakes can be quite fussy, was just wondering what brand of all purpose flour do you use?
Omg!!! This is so gooooood. I’m an amateur baker and every time I make your recipes it turns out perfectly. I put lime juice and zest in the icing and topped it with raspberries and blueberries. The family loved it too! Thank you ;)
Love the recipe, wondering if I can replace the sugar with a slightly healthier option, any thoughts?
I followed the recipe to a T and it rose beautifully. I took it out of the oven and cut into it – still raw in the middle.
Still tastes great, but not a very strong coconut flavor. I’ll toast coconut and put it on top next time I make it, and keep it in the oven longer
This cake looks delicious, I am going to make it tonight. Thanks for the great post.
Someone asked about adding zest and you said ‘please add some rum too ‘… sounds great – where would you add the rum please , and how much ?
Someone asked about adding zest and you said ‘please add some rum too ‘… sounds great – where would you add the rum please , and how much ?
I’ve got a 14yo (not aged, just old) bottle of Brinley coffee rum. Like a cup. And I’ve been saving it. Why? For this. Been wanting to make a run cake, but this is gonna be just 👌. If you follow a recipe for rum cake, you reduce butter sugar and rum then poke holes in cake and drench that wench. Doing it here and now.
Cant wait to make this but I need to add actual shredded coconut! I was all excited until I read that it wasn’t that coconutty. I love coconut.
Have you had cake success with any gluten free flours? I’m madly hunting for the perfect gf cake to serve my loved ones with gluten sensitivity. Any ideas??????
I’m not Deb (obviously), but sponge cakes are usually really good candidates for making gluten-free, since they depend for their rise and structure on egg instead of gluten.
There is also an absolutely *delectable* flourless chocolate sponge cake on this site: https://smittenkitchen.com/2007/03/the-best-chocolate-cake-expletive-free/ – its edges crinkle, which is adorable but not the most normal cake presentation. I’ve made it into a gluten-free wedding cake before; you just have to be really careful with it and do a crumb-coat before the final frosting (also: pick something to frost with that is tasty in quantity, like whipped ganache or a stabilized whipped cream).
1. there are gluten-free specific sites which can provide reliable gluten-free recipes using specific ingredients, or
2. there are cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blends that you can use in most cake recipes (but do a practice round before a special occasion in case your favorite recipe and the flour brand you buy don’t get along as well as expected).
Good luck! And happy baking!
I made this one tonight with King Arthur GF Measure for Measure flour, which is what I had on hand. It turned out great – tastes good and is very moist for a GF baked good, and didn’t fall apart taking it out of the springform pan I used. I always use a digital scale and weigh out my dry ingredients (and I much appreciate Deb for always including them). Flour blends can vary quite a bit in density, and weight is more consistent than cup measure.
I don’t know if this is the perfect GF cake you’re looking for, but it’s very straightforward and has a high chance of success, especially if you’re not used to GF baking.
Thank you! Do you have other gluten free cookbooks to recommend?
I’ve made a very similar version of this cake and here’s an added grown up bonus: if you have coconut rum (like Malibu), brush the warm cake with a few tablespoons of the rum before hitting it with the glaze. Same with the chocolate version-brush it liberally with your favorite chocolate adjacent liqueur–Godiva, Khalua, Tia Maria, Frangelico….
Fabulous idea! Thanks :)
as a longtime reader & vegan, i just wanna say, thank you deb for giving plant-based recipes a try!
I have a vegan friend and have been looking for a yummy dessert to make for her. This looks delicious! Have you tried adding packaged shredded coconut to it? Do you think that’s a good idea? Thanks, Deb!
I was so pumped to see another vegan cake recipe on SK that I made it the same day it was posted. And it did not disappoint! As with the Chocolate Olive Oil cake, this was very easy to throw together and the texture was wonderfully moist. I forgot to buy powdered sugar, so as I could not make icing, I made the ganache from the Olive Oil cake instead. It masked the coconut flavor, so I probably wouldn’t do it again, but it was certainly delicious.
The only thing I’d note here is that I had to bake this for closer to 35-ish minutes, but at that point the toothpick really did come out all the way dry and the sides weren’t overbaked or anything.
Thank you, Deb, for sharing vegan-friendly desserts that don’t come out tasting like cardboard!!
I’m going to recipe-smash this with the chocolate glaze from your chocolate olive oil cake and call it heaven.
I made this cake twice, following the recipe exactly. I really wanted to love it but it was just ok. It was definitely cooked, but had a starchy taste/feel. Also I had a line of oil at the base of the cake both times which was a bit weird. This was not my first vegan cake, but first time with coconut oil in a cake – I have a feeling it’s the problem.
This reminds me that I never made the coconut bread posted here a few years ago.
Also my mother had the “I Hate to Cook Book”, and I remember the cockeyed cake. (Peg Bracken’s writing is very vivid.). This makes my heart melt.
MAKE THE COCONUT BREAD ALREADY! Sorry for the all caps, but her coconut bread can be changed up in many ways (as per the comments to that recipe) and either changed up or as-written, it is a favorite I’ve made again and again. :)
Hi Deb! Sending so much love for the food you make and share with us! I’m totally going to be thaat person right now and ask if there is a way to healthify this for a snack cake for my kids for after school? Love the idea that it is simple and quick. Looking for white whole wheat flour and maybe honey? Is it worth me trying or should I just go face the corner now?
Plush is the exact word i’d use to describe this cake! It is so moist and delicious. I didn’t have coconut oil so replaced it 1:1 with unsalted butter. Flavor wasn’t super coconutty but that was ok with me. Baked closer to 35 min before the tester came out clean. I used the glaze and then topped with toasted coconut flakes. It was delicious! I defintely put too much glaze on as the center became a little soggy but I will just adjust next time. My cake rose beautifully but as others said, the bottom became a little dense as it sat on the counter. None of these things stopped me from eating two pieces and packing a third for my lunch the next day :). Thanks, Deb!
This is not about the recipe! But it looks great….I’m still a buttermilk Gal. My comment was about the two excellent bits you posted on the weekly email – one about ‘food’ and our obsession with it; the other about carbs/bread. Both articles were well worth checking out, and re: bread, I am going to shower, get dressed, and head to Terra Breads (I’m in Vancouver) which does really good bread. Also just started a ‘no knead’ which will not get baked for a few days turning it sourdough. So thanks for the inspiration. A warning though – immediately after the excellent NYT ‘carbs/bread’ video, there is a super alarming video about the apocalypse which might make your readers anxious. ;-)
Thank you! For everyone reading along, you can sign up for the Smitten Kitchen Weekly Digest/Newsletter right here: https://smittenkitchen.com/subscribe/
It usually goes out first thing Monday mornings, and on Tuesdays if it’s a three-day weekend. And yes, that first article, whoa. I feel like I’ve wanted to read it for a long time.
Thank you so much Deb for this very timely recipe.
My daughter and her chef boyfriend are coming for Burns Night on Saturday. I’ve bought a vegan haggis plus tatties and neeps, decided on Jane Grigson’s curried parsnip soup for the first course but I was wondering what to do for pudding. I think that this cake, with some tropical fruit, will do admirably. So thank you, once again.
I was so excited for this 6 (7 or 8) ingredient cake. I just moved and my kitchen is in a state of duress and unpacking has halted for now. I had all the ingredients for this beautiful cake. I used the gram weights for measurements. I added about half a teaspoon each of vanilla extract and coconut extract. I used part coconut sugar and part toasted sugar (Stella Parks from serious eats). The cake was much darker because of those changes. I also couldn’t find my cake pans, so I baked it in a 9.5 in glass pie pan. Baked well enough, although it took more than the 30 minutes as others have noted. It did taste fairly metallic to me though, so next time, I’d cut the baking soda down.
If you want to substitute vegan butter for coconut oil, what would the amount be?
Same — 1/2 cup.
Yikes. Your narrative sounded like you actually tested this recipe, but this is not the first time I’ve tried one of your recipes and had a catastrophic fail. With this cake, I used exactly the ingredients, measured exactly, in exactly the dictated size cake pan, at exactly the temperature indicated, and about 3/4ths of the way through the bake time it started erupting “lava” all over my oven (which I had just cleaned last week, ugh). It kept erupting until about TWENTY MINUTES past the indicated bake time (the center remained steadfastly liquidy until then). The crusty stuff on the oven floor was dee-LISH, but holy crap what a mess. I’m serving what’s left of the cake tonight, I’m sure it’ll taste good, but it’s only half the volume intended and not exactly pretty to look at. So glad I tried it first. My best guess: delete the vinegar, maybe replace a little of the coconut milk with just a titch of yogurt instead. But not a recipe I’ll ever make for company if I need to use the oven afterwards.
That’s crazy. I’ve never heard of anything like this. Any ingredient changes? What’s your altitude?
And yes, of course I tested it, and more than once. Of course my goal is for the recipes to work for everyone.
I’m no scientist, but the erupting cake sounds like an amped up vinegar/baking soda interaction to me. Maybe something about the specific kind or brand of either of those ingredients, or a miscalculation in the amounts that were used? I read an article about the use of acidity in cakes, and learned that when in the order of things one adds the vinegar can impact the structure, lift, and browning of that cake, too. The chemistry of baking is fascinating.
I suspect this chemical reaction is also in play in the mystery of the sinking centers.
Maybe she accidentally used self-rising flour?
Altitude definitely is a possibility. I’m about 2000 feet above sea level in the mountains of Idaho. No worries about frustration — failures are how we learn — and I got a big fat reminder that well tested recipes such as yours still might not work for everybody. What hit me in this case wasn’t just that the cake fell, or wasn’t well received, etc., but that it just kept erupting and erupting. I used white vinegar, regular (not self rising) flour, full fat coconut milk, ordinary white sugar, ordinary baking soda, all measured out and put in the bowl in the order dictated, all used in other cake recipes. Thank you Deb and everyone else for your input. I love this site.
I made it as written, baked maybe 3 minutes extra, and added a cup of shredded dried coconut. Then topped with a delicious rum butter sugar caramel. Mine came out great.
I hear from your tone that you are frustrated, but snafus happen. Big deal. Scrub and cook on.
Erika, while it’s great that you acknowledge the frustration of not having the recipe come out as expected, your reply was a bit dismissive. Sometimes when you are excited for a recipe and have limited time/ingredients, it seems like wasted time when things don’t go very well. It’s great that your cake did work out! However, don’t use your experience to ignore others’ constructive criticism of a recipe.
The timing on this could not be better! I’ve been searching for a good coconut cake to use as the base for my dream birthday cake. Do you think this cake would stand up well to being stacked up to three layers and laced with lime mousse and passionfruit curd?
Yes, but I might just double it and divide it between three pans so it’s not too thick.
Made this in an 8-in square pan, measuring everything to the gram on a digital scale. After 30 minutes, knife came out clean but I left it in the oven with the heat off for 10 min for good measure.
Cake was fully cooked with a dense, plush crumb. The coconut flavor is very mild, even with the glaze and toasted coconut flakes sprinkled on top. Will consider using coconut sugar, coconut extract or lime zest in the future for more flavor.
Half of the people who tried it noted it was overly sweet, so I’d got for 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar the next go around.
That said, a very solid cake with a short ingredient list and minimal fuss!
made this…taste more like a corn bread (dense) then a cake and strangely smelled like corn.
I added vanilla and coconut extract and shredded coconut since ppl said didn’t have a strong coconut flavor. other then that I followed recipe exact (full fat coconut milk from can).
turned out good but I wouldn’t make if you are looking for a cake texture… and of course this is just my experience.
The same thing happened to me! I followed directions exactly and it smells and tastes like cornbread…not sure what is giving off that taste.
Any chance one could sub gluten free flour? Grazi
Nobody has reported back with results yet, but I bet if you use a good Cup4Cup-style baking flour mix, this cake should be more forgiving of the swap than others. That said, you won’t have eggs for structure lost by not having gluten. I’m sure someone will report back soon!
I just made this with my own combination of spelt, rice, and almond flour. Turned out GREAT!
Can this be made into cupcakes? What bake time would you recommend?
I thank you on behalf of my vegan daughter! I’m always looking for vegan treats I can make for her on her visits home, ones that don’t contain a lot of fake vegan versions of real stuff. This looks so good, like I’d even like it!
How do people think this would taste with some chocolate chips in it??? I like the nice pure coconut flavor but I love the coco-choco combo.
Disaster! My cake tastes like chemicals (this flavor has happened before with pizelles I made) and is slightly burnt because I had to wait so long for the center to finish – I’m so bummed 😭 what did I do wrong….?
Do I use unsweetened coconut milk?
Made this twice tonight! First time using what I had on hand and subbed in: olive oil, brown sugar, champagne/orange muscat vinegar, tsp-ish coconut flavor, light coconut milk. Baked for 30-35ish in a 9″ springform. Had the doughy center, flavor was delish, no glaze. Second time: “grassier” olive oil (I’m a rebel), 2/3c brown sugar, 1/3c coconut sugar, same vinegar, a little more coconut flavoring, regular coconut milk. Baked for 40 min. Looks a little darker in color than I wanted, but the doughy center is something I’m trying to avoid. Glazing and bringing to the office tomorrow! Will report back!
Long time listener, first-time caller.
I made this cake a couple of hours ago, and just had a slice.
It turned out really well- very moist, and not at all cloyingly sweet.
I ended up making a vegan ganache to pour over it, instead of the coconut glaze, but otherwise stuck to the original recipe.
I’m always on the lookout for a good pantry recipe, and this fits the bill. Will definitely make again.
This is so good, Deb! And so easy to make! I made mine with a mix of spelt, rice, and almond flour. I used half the amount of sugar and added a bit of cardamom. It needed 40 min in the oven (I’m not at altitude). It looks beautiful. For the glaze I used honey and added a drop of vanilla and orange essence. The texture and the flavour are delicious! I also want to say how much I appreciate your website, Deb, it has the best design and layout of any of the recipe websites I use.
Made mostly as written — except used an 8-inch square pan (couldn’t find my 9-inch round pan), and added both a dash of vanilla extract and a dash of coconut flavoring (it’s an extract/natural flavoring hybrid from a baking website). Baked it for between 30-35 minutes, and kept it on top of the oven for the first 10 minutes of cooling time. This is definitely a very subtle coconut flavor, but the texture of this cake is to die for. Plush is the right word. And, folks who complain that it’s “too dense,” it might just be that you’re not acquainted with vegan baked goods, which often are more dense in my experience. And while this is a tighter crumb, it still manages to be extremely soft and moist, not dry or heavy in the least!
The center ever so slightly sank during the cooling process, but who cares? It’s fully baked and the glaze hides the imperfections.
Next time I may experiment with some lemon or lime zest and juice, to get a more obvious flavor to go with this miraculous texture.
Great recipe! I used a lot less sugar and a bit more coconut milk but it turned out great. Love how fast and easy this is to make!
If you were to play around with this recipe to make it a bit “fancier” – what would you do? I like it but can imagine it being the foundation for something even better.
Made this twice :) First time as mentioned above. The second time I swapped the coconut oil for hazelnut oil, and the coconut milk for almond milk. Folded in some dark chocolate sprinkles and topped with a dark chocolate and rum glaze. Both cakes were absolutely delicious.
Concerning baking time: both cakes were done after 32 min in the oven at 175 Celsius.
I made this cake last night, and it was pretty moist and dense (but still delicious!), and took probably 45 minutes to bake. I read lots of comments, and it seems for some it works great, and many other are having it come out too dense. I have a theory! I think I took too much time between adding the wet ingredients and getting it in the oven. The baking soda and vinegar reaction produces air bubbles, right? So if the whole reaction happens, and you’re still stirring, all the air bubbles are broken, and there’s nothing left to make it rise as it’s sitting in the oven. I’m going to try this again soon, and stir for a short time and get it in the oven quickly. I’ll let you all know if it works!
I think that you are right. I added the baking soda(bicarb to us in the UK) after the other ingredients and I noticed how it began to bubble. I think that it is imperative to get the cake into the oven very quickly.
Incidentally, my cake was risen but a little wet at the bottom after 35 minutes. So I let it sit at a lower temperature for another 6 minutes and it looks perfect.
I made this cake this morning. Based on another comment, I added one teaspoon of vanilla extract and coconut extract. I thought the texture was lovely, but the cake was a bit bland. I added the glaze while the cake was still warm, which I would do again. I’d make it again but I’d like to add some lime zest or another flavoring.
Baking this cake as we speak and my my how delicious that batter is! I love how allergy friendly this is for my son who is allergic to dairy and eggs. Do you think this recipe could be used for cupcakes as well?
This looks really tasty. I bet it would also be good with half a teaspoon or so of pandan extract added with the wet ingredients.
I can’t wait to make this cake! I’m not one to mess around with recipes before trying them once, but I’m considering using it as a base for some petit fours that I need to make for an event. The plan is to bake in a square pan, cut into two layers, and sandwich with something (maybe lemon curd?) before glazing. Do you think the texture will hold up? Too moist? Thanks so much!
This was excellent! I measured everything in grams and baked for 35 minutes total until the tester came out clean. Mine didn’t sink or remain doughy. We loved it!
This is my new go-to cake. So easy, moist and delicious. I used half coconut sugar and half granulated and made cupcakes in parchment papers because I wasn’t in the mood to prep a pan. I tried finishing a few with turbinado sugar, but prefer the coconut milk glaze. 5 star tasty!
Okay this is delicious. I added the zest of two limes and some juice, plus more lime juice in the glaze. I pulled it out of the oven at 30 minutes, put it back in for longer, and then forgot to set another timer; so I really have no idea how it baked for, but it had set up nicely by the time I remembered to check, and it’s just so good. The texture is…… “plush” is truly the word. Taking it to a work potluck tomorrow with a piece and a half already gone.
In reading the comments, I was a little nervous about the rise and underbaking that I ended up a smidge overdone at 40 min. The cake rose really nicely; I think the trick, as other, smarter people have called out, is to move quickly when adding the wet ingredients and getting it into the oven. I enjoyed the subtle coconut flavor (w glaze) and think it will go very well with a cup of coffee tomorrow afternoon… or morning.
I wonder if the variability of results is because there is such a difference in consistency between different brands of coconut milk? For example, I’ve noticed that Thai Kitchen brand full fat coconut is much thicker than other brands and the cream layer tends to separate. Regardless, I made this with a thinner, more homogenous type of coconut milk and it turned out perfectly. Unfortunately the can has gone to recycling heaven and I can’t remember the name. It’s true that it’s not super coconutty which is spot on for my family, but as others have mentioned there are a multitude of ways to ramp up the coconut flavour should you wish (e.g toasted coconut, coconut extract, malibu rum etc.)
Our 12-year old ate four slices!
Made it with the glaze in a Quiche Lorraine dish. Used Coconut butter instead of oil.
Worked well. We found it wasn’t all that coconutty but I will
make this excellent cake again. Many times!
I’ve made this twice now, it’s so good! The first time I subbed apple cider vinegar and there’s no noticeable difference between the two. It did take 35 minutes in my oven both times but maybe my oven is a bit cool?? (I haven’t taken her temperature in a while.)
Just a little question: did you use refined or unrefined coconut oil in the cake?
It looks really delicious. I want to do it. Thanks.
I made this, and was very impressed. Never would have guessed, it is vegan, judging from the taste. My test eaters (kids and adults) all liked it very much. I used rasperry vinegar, other than that I followed the exact recipe.
It took 45 min. in my oven and rose nicely.
This looks good. Any tips for keeping the glaze as pretty as yours too many times I make a glaze and it has small lumps, so I have to strain it but there has to be a better way.
I made this 5 min after it was posted on Facebook. I used vegetable oil instead of coconut oil. Result: plush and moist, love the texture. Baked in an 8-in round cake pan so it took about an hour – I do have a convection oven so it helped with even cooking. Taste: just coconut-y enough (I used full fat Thai coconut milk), sweetness was perfect because I made a brown sugar glaze using the rest of the coconut milk. The one thing I did not like was the oily aftertaste – I assume this is because of the vegetable oil, so I’ll try as written with coconut oil next time, or possibly butter if that still doesn’t do it. I have to say though: everyone else LOVED it. My friend asked for a quarter of the cake to bring home with her. My husband, who usually is not a huge cake fan, gobbled it up and asked for more. I don’t get it, but I’ll take it :) Thanks for the recipe!
I wonder if the variables in cooking time have to do with water content in the brand of coconut milk. No two are alike!
I made this tonight and really liked it! I made a 1/2 recipe, in a 6″ cake pan. I added lime zest to the sugar, and a small splash of coconut extract to the batter. I brushed coconut liqueur over the top, glazed it, and then added toasted unsweetened coconut to the top. My husband, a big coconut fan, especially enjoyed it.
I’m at high altitude–5000 feet–so I made high-altitude alterations: I added about 1 Tbs. of coconut milk to the batter; I reduced the baking soda by 25%; I reduced the sugar by 10%; and I baked it at 360 degrees. I don’t know quite how long I baked it for, but when I took it out, it was evenly golden brown and domed slightly on top; it bounced back in the center when I touched it.
Has anybody doubled it and baked in a 9×13 pan? Did it work out? If not, does anybody suspect it would be okay or a fail? Hoping to make it for a ladies night and think have more is always best :) Thanks!
FYI– I doubled it exactly and did it in a 9×13 pan. It was AMAZING and my friends lost their minds over it. Total hit. Will for sure make again like every day of my life. Thanks, Deb!
How do you store this cake?
Woah! Crisp. Loved your recipe. Thanks a lot for sharing. Internet is full of content and it’s very rare that you get the ones you actually intend to get. I being a foodie started Friends of Pho and the journey so far has been full of excitement. Thanks a lot for inspiring people like us.
would malt vinegar work here? what is white vinegar in the UK?!
Would malt vinegar work here? What is white vinegar in the UK?! thank you :)
How timely this recipe is for me! I just arrived at my vacation house in the Bahamas and immediately found a coconut so I could add some fresh coconut to the cake batter. YUM! Love this. So easy, so moist, not too sweet. I will be making this again. I also bought some bananas to make your banana/chocolate marble bread when the coconut cake is gone.
Truly loved this! After reading comments, I upped the flavor with 1/4 tsp of almond extract (kind of like an almond joy?) and increased the cooking time by 5-10 minutes…always test your cake because every oven is different! SK’s olive oil chocolate cake always requires more time in my oven too. I don’t think the coconut glaze is optional and also think the cake is far superior topped with toasted coconut flakes. There are a lot of other directions you could take it. Come to think of it, in the almond joy vein, you could top it with he chocolate glaze from the olive oil chocolate cake and then top it with the coconut flakes….oh no, I have to make it again. Oh, also…maybe even better on day two, still good on day 3:)
I made this for my department lunch, but instead of the glaze listed I made a quick lime glaze. My co-workers (and I) loved the cake. Not too sweet, very soft crumb, and the lime glaze gave it a nice bite. I didn’t weigh my ingredients, just used the measurements as listed and I think the cake took about 38-39 minutes in the oven. After reading some comments I was a little nervous, but the cake turned out perfect. Thanks for this easy and delicious recipe. You’re my favorite!
I need to try this. I wonder if this would be a good option for a pineapple upside down cake? It would be a nice combo I think. With a big cup of Kona coffee…off to check airfares to Hawaii.
I think it would be good for pineapple upside down cake tastsewise!
I made this today, and it was lovely. I did the coconut milk glaze and added toasted coconut shreds. Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe!
So tasty and easy, thank you, Deb! I did some experimenting, when I used full-fat coconut milk, it needed to bake twice as long and was super dense (but still tasty).
The trick is to use coconut cream! I got a little can of coconut cream (organic) from Trader Joe’s and the cake baked just like Deb’s photos in 30 minutes.
Interesting…did you use the full 1 1/2 cups?
Yes, I did! I also forgot to mention I reduced the coconut oil to about 1/3 cup (my jar ran out) so that could be too.
I baked this early in the morning (before coffee!), then glazed it after work and let my daughter go crazy with all my white/silver sprinkles. I made it exactly as written, using light coconut milk. Mine baked for exactly 25 minutes and it turned out perfect.
Saved this recipe from your post on Instagram because of the coconut aspect, and now that I’ve read the full recipe, I’m excited to find that it’s a version of wacky cake! My husband’s family make wacky cakes as their usual birthday cake, and my husband LOVES coconut—this is going on the celebration menu this year.
Mine took a full 50 minutes to cook at 375° (my oven bakes a little cool so I always up by 25°). Was nicely golden and risen but had sunk dramatically by the time it was cool. Texture very dense and claggy. Taste was ok but texture inedible sadly.
Thanks for your comment… but I had to look up the meaning of “claggy”! According to Google: DIALECT•BRITISH tending to form clots; sticky.
What a great word! But not what you want in a cake. After reading about all the “fails” (including yours), I decided not to chance it and followed the advice of another reader, along the lines of “Bake the [SmittenKitchen] coconut BREAD already!” I’ve done so, and will submit my report at the end of the evening. (It’s wrapped up and ready to go to a friend’s for dessert.)
Delicious!! Had everything in the pantry, came together super quickly, and was so much better than I anticipated. Coconut-averse family even loved it, too. Toasted coconut chips on top for the win.
Fab! I poured over a rum sauce rather than the glaze.
I failed making this in every way possible. I have no idea what I did, but it’s been in the oven for an hour and it’s still raw in the middle. I’m looking at your beautiful pictures and they are mocking me, while my hunchback raw in the middle cake yells at me from the kitchen.
Super easy to make, and great texture, but the flavor was a little too subtle for me. Next time I would try adding some vanilla, coconut or almond extract to give it a little extra boost.
I just made the cake in a 9 inch springform pan. It came out perfect, but yes: I cooked it much longer than 30 minutes. I’m glad I used coconut oil since the coconut taste is very mild (but perfectly so). I usually mix in whole wheat type flours, but for this cake I only substituted a bit of the white for spelt and barley and a tiny bit of buckwheat. It came out great. Thank you for a fun recipe.
I love smitten kitchen and have made so many recipes from here over the years. Deb’s recipes are basically bulletproof…but this cake was a huge disappointment. It turned out to have the taste and texture of an oily sponge; we couldn’t eat it. I am now making the jacked-up banana bread (extra jack) to console myself.
After reading the comments, I baked this longer than I would have otherwise. I thought I might have overbaked it, since it was a really deep golden brown (darker than in the pictures) but it turned out perfectly on the inside. I used 10g less of the coconut oil because that’s what I had after scraping out the jar and that was fine. It has a beautiful texture and a lovely, relatively mild coconut flavour. I cut down the sugar by about 75g due to personal preference, but I did add the glaze, which made it quite sweet. It was delicious with a dollop of plain yoghurt. I would definitely make this again, and maybe even add a little cinnamon to complement the coconut.
Mine baked in 25 minutes but barely rose and ended up flat, yet tasted wonderful. The glaze came out very runny and soaked into the cake, which overall reminded me of ‘basbusa’ (a delicious Middle Eastern semolina cake).
This is one of the easiest and most delicious cakes I’ve ever baked! I can’t believe it’s vegan. I served it to some coconut haters and they went for seconds.
This recipe made 12 nicely domed cupcakes. I baked them for 19 minutes (which was probably 2 minutes too long, but they were raw at 14 minutes) and they’re soft and plush with a bit of a firm top. Made as written except for I added some almond extract. I made a glaze with key lime juice, coconut milk and powdered sugar, a great vegan option!
Like others mine didn’t turn out very well. I used full fat coconut milk and virgin coconut oil. The batter was VERY thick, definitely more like a biscuit dough and it rose about half as much as Deb’s picture. The texture was nice, but the flavor was a little bland and very metallic. I made the glaze and sprinkled with toasted coconut which salvaged it a bit but not much. The leftovers are sitting sadly neglected on my counter-even my 2 and a half year old, who has never met a sweet she didn’t like-didn’t finish her slice-sad!
Like others, I will try with less baking soda/bicarb and maybe low-fat coconut milk so it is a bit more runny. I also *barely* liquefied the coconut oil, so I would hear it more next time so it is more fully liquid. I was so excited about this cake because I absolutely LOVE the chocolate olive oil cake. Definitely not a hit on the first try, but I will try again. Thanks, as always, for all of your wonderful recipes Deb!
I made this yesterday. It took around 43 minutes in my oven (I checked it at 30 and 35). It is mildly coconut-y, just enough that my husband said “what’s in this?” I think it tastes even better today. I loved that I had everything for it in my pantry.
Mine came out delicious & fluffy! About the doughiness…I added the vinegar at the very end and stuck it in the oven immediately so that the reaction of the baking soda + vinegar = rise would occur while baking. I found my bake time closer to 40 minutes but we have a crappy oven. In the past I’ve made vegan cakes and I’ve found that it’s important to work quickly & have my oven preheated and ready to go. Hope this is helpful!
I just made this with a couple substitutions to accommodate my pantry – canola oil instead of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar – and I love it. I think that the coconut flavor is really only derived from the coconut milk and oil, so it is really mild.
Mine just had kind of a soft coconut tang, probably because I used canola, and it was nice but very subtle. This is a fantastic snacking cake – soft but holds together well. I think it’ll fare well refrigerated too. The glaze is a bit sweet for me on its own but works beautifully with the soft cake and gives it more of a coconut flavor.
Forgot to mention – I baked mine for 30 minutes and put it into the oven immediately after mixing in the vinegar and pouring it into the pan.
Made this using the recipe to the letter and it was totally delicious! I worked very fast after combining wet and dry ingredients to get it in the oven quick, and it rose beautifully. Highly recommend!
Delicious! Moist, light, delicate crumb, we loved it. Very mild coconut flavor which is perfect because I’m the only coconut lover in my household. I followed the directions exactly. I didn’t time the cake but baked it until a toothpick came out clean (the edges of the cake were golden). I made a chocolate glaze instead because my family thinks nothing counts as dessert unless it has chocolate. Sprinkled with coconut flakes. Definitely a keeper – love that everything I needed was in my pantry.
I made this tonight – I used a 9 inch loaf pan, as I could not find my round pan, so it took quite a bit longer to bake, but it was worth the wait! It was nice and crisp on the outside and very plush on the inside. I had never made a vegan cake before, but I would definitely make this again! I think in the future I would add a splash of vanilla.
I am a huge fan of Deb’s chocolate version of this cake, so I wanted to give this a try. It is a lovely, versatile white cake. I used some tips I learned from baking the chocolate cake more times than I can count – cut baking soda to 1tsp, reduced sugar to 170 grams, and added a bit of vanilla extract. This might be my new go-to white cake. Also, highly recommend thermometers for those who felt their cakes were underdone — if you wait until the cake is 165 in the center, you’ll be all set (I split mine into 2 9 inch rounds to make a layer cake with raspberry jam and chocolate ganache, and they needed close to 30 minutes in the oven, that is, much longer than the chocolate version). I skipped the glaze to make it into a layer cake but would recommend a coconut frosting of sorts, or adding some dried coconut to the batter if you want a stronger coconut flavor. Thank you!
I made this cake yesterday and followed the advice to cook it until 165. I tested it in 2 spots (hit 167) and it was still runny and undercooked when we cut into it. It baked for 35 minutes and the edges were nicely tanned, almost brown, so I thought it was done.
The icing was delicious, I added a dash of coconut extract. I’m inspired to try and find another simple coconut cake recipe here to brighten up winter.
I made it. I didn’t love it. It baked up fine, and the texture was great, but the flavour felt like there was something missing, maybe if I added some extract or something to round it out.
My husband was like “It’s vegan isn’t it….” (with a sad face) after having a taste, so maybe not one to make again. It was however great for making with my little as I could let her lick the whisk after making it as food poisoning not so much of an issue with an egg-free cake!
I loved your before, but I love you more now! – One of your many happy vegan followers.
What brand of coconut milk and what brand of flour did you use? My cake came out doughy, oily, and not very coconut-y, and I’m wondering if it’s because of 1) the coconut milk having a different oil content/less fresh flavor than what you used and/or 2) using Gold Medal flour, which I think has less protein (less gluten?) than King Arthur, for example. I love these ‘crazy cakes’ and would love to get this one to work!
I used a Thai brand of coconut milk and Gold Medal flour. You can try this again with a tablespoon or two less oil and see if it’s more to your liking.
Mine did take longer as others have noted, more like 35 minutes, but then was fully baked. It did sink in the middle, which was sad because I loved the rounded top of the one in the photo. Definitely not much coconut flavor, even though I mixed some unsweetened coconut flakes into the batter to try to give it a little boost. I sprinkled more on top. It’s definitely very moist! If I make it again, it will be with something more to boost the flavor… extract or maybe something like lavender?
Thanks for a non-chocolate recipe!! I appreciate that!
I loved how easy this cake was to throw together. The tester came out clean after about 30 minutes but once the cake cooled I was underwhelmed by the crumb—it was really dense and claggy and hard to swallow without a glass of milk. But amazingly on day two, the crumb had evened out and it was a delicious cake! Definitely plush and soft, and perfect with raspberry sauce on top.
I made this last night. The texture was almost the same as the chocolate crazy cake (I used half coconut oil and half veg oil because I ran out of coconut, added a splash of vanilla extra, and used full fat coconut milk. I was completely underwhelmed by the flavor, unfortunately. I debated putting glaze and coconut chips on it, but I might do a chocolate glaze instead. Bummer, but I am debating adding coconut to the batter on a second try.
Deb, I am a big fan of yours. I am inspired by everything you do.
I just made your plush coconut cake. I love the easy recipe . The cake was adorable and moist, but not much flavor. I think an addition of vanilla, almomd extract and sweetened coconut to the batter would be an improvement. What do you think ? PA
Thanks for thinking of us non-chocolate lovers! This looks amazing!
I made this today to combat the -28 degree weather (-49 windchill!). It turned out beautifully. I did adapt to use 1 tsp baking soda instead and added lemon juice and zest to the glaze (because I had a sad lemon that was on the edge of heading towards the compost bin). I used an 8 inch square glass cake pan and it took about 45 minutes. I would describe it as being almost pound cake like texture.
Fantastic! Thank you. I’ve been looking for a springy vegan yellow cake for so long. Best by a mile. (Big fan of your chocolate olive oil cake.) I made cupcakes—recipe made 11 (oddly enough) at about 25 minutes in my oven. I did add vanilla (1 tsp), as several suggested, as well as a bit to the glaze. Topped with flaked sweetened coconut. A+
LOVE this cake – thanks, Deb…I have a love/hate relationship with Coconut Milk…long story…but after immersion blending it a bit, it was fine when I whisked it in with the rest of the ingredients…didn’t have any left over for the glaze(which may be why I had to cook the cake 5 extra minutes!)…so instead for the glaze, I used part lemon juice (had already some squeezed) and some water so that it wasn’t too strong. Light and a bit citrus-y, not too strong. Then toasted Trader Joe organic unsweetened flaked coconut to sprinkle on top. The cake was divine – my husband and daughter tried to find the right description of the texture of the cake – somewhere between cake and macaroon! A keeper and delicious. (PS – had workmen in the house while it was baking and they kept asking what was in the oven!! – they are back today and will get a sample, which they are very happy about!).
This had a weird aftertaste for me. Not sure if it was the coconut milk? Otherwise the texture was good.
Me too! I think it was the baking soda? I’m not sure if that’s just me, or a common thing. Tasted sort of chemical-y. Wondering if others had that experience…
Mine too! tasted strongly of baking soda. I followed the directions but I must have done something wrong
I had the same problem with the center sinking. I baked it 30 minutes, the toothpick came out clean, and it felt like the center was springing back when I pushed it gently. But as it cooled it collapsed. Nevertheless, I glazed it and sprinkled it with some coconut powder (very finely grated unsweetened coconut) that I bought at the Asian grocery. I served it with fresh berries. It was a bit heavy but we all liked it. Sometimes simple cakes are the best.
I <3 this cake!!! I made it as above about a week ago. My husband ate the whole thing in 2 days and promptly requested another. Last night I had a friend for dinner who has a coconut allergy, and I was out of sugar! I replaced the sugar with 3/4 cup of honey, the coconut oil with olive oil, the coconut milk with almond, and added a splash of orange blossom water and some orange zest to the batter. The glaze was icing sugar with a tablespoon of fresh oj. The batter was very thin and the bake time was a good 15-minutes longer. The cake got quite dark too so I was a bit worried. But it turned out so light, fluffy, moist…delicious! This has now become my go-to cake recipe. Thanks.
I’m happy I finally found a vegan recipe on your site! I’m a longtime reader but since I decided to go vegan, I almost gave up baking!
I will try this once I’m back home. Thank you.
Sadly, this recipe was a flop for me. I measured out all ingredients, baked for 40 mins until edges were golden but ended up with a gummy/oily texture that made the cake inedible. Loved the concept and seems to work out for some, but mine ended up in the compost bin. You can’t win ’em all!
Got excellent results using 9# pan, refined coconut oil, Chaokoh full-fat coconut milk (no separation, no stirring necessary), new baking soda, and a 30-35 min. baking time. Only mention the brand here because the coconut milk appears to be the variable most likely to impact results.
I made this and it was perfect and delicious! I even made it gluten free (using King Arthur 1 to 1) and it was just lovely, nice plush texture and so moist. One thing I did was mix everything together except the vinegar- I folded that in very last until just incorporated and the immediately poured it into the pans. Used two 6 inch rounds for a wee layer cake. Baked them for about 35 minutes. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks, Deb!
I had all sorts of coconut old and young and many different types of coconut cake, however, I have not tested such cake. In my childhood we did not had electronic blender but a very effective tool to get the coconut out of hard shell. I wish someday I will have one like this.
I added a 1/2 teaspoon of anise extract and it was delicious! I did need extra baking time and covered it with foil for the last 10 minutes so the top wouldn’t burn.
It was divine and lovely to have a cake to put together on a moment’s notice. I had similar issues as many (sunken center, slightly doughy texture toward the middle). We loved it and devoured it. Took the fabulous suggestion to make chocolate ganache with the remaining bit of coconut milk, spread thinly all the way to the edges. I topped it with some whipped cream (1/2 c cream whipped with 2 TB powdered sugar and a couple of drops of almond extract) and dolloped it in the middle, disguising the sunken middle. It hasn’t been mentioned yet- could the sinking/raw issue be at all due to how well shaken the coconut milk is? I shook mine pretty well (heated for a few minutes in the oven first, thanks to the commenters), but there were still a couple of globs on the bottom. Could it be that it might have been just separated enough to make it not set up right? Also, I wondered if the temperature of the coconut oil (and coconut milk?) was too warm when I added it- could that have influenced the texture? As is, I adored eating it and would have had thirds if we had not had company around the table.
Can I use lime juice instead of vinegar?
I made this cake to take to work and everyone really enjoyed it. The texture is great. It’s moist and firm with just a bit of give…somehow plush is a good adjective for it. Sweetness is spot on too. There’s enough to taste like a dessert without being overkill.
However, the coconut flavor is VERY subtle. I can only detect it because I know it’s supposed to be a coconut cake. I made the batter with coconut milk and coconut oil but it’s just not enough to come through. I think the cake would work even better with a little extract added to make it into a vanilla or almond cake instead of barely-there coconut.
Get ready folks….. I think I nailed it!
1.) I liquefied the coconut oil and emulsified the coconut milk by putting the jar/cans in a pot of simmering water on the stove for a few minutes.
2.) I doubled the recipe, used Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Milk, and added unsweetened shredded coconut to the batter.
3.) I baked the cake in a buttered and floured BUNDT pan for 50 minutes at 350 degrees on convection mode.
4.) I added lime juice and zest to the glaze. (game-changer)
5.) I sprinkled toasted unsweetened coconut over the top.
And voila! A superbly moist cake: not too dense or gooey; slightly sweet but not sickly. (If you like a sweeter cake, add sweetened coconut to the batter.)
After reading all the comments I was wondering if a Bundt was the way to go!! Thanks for braving it first!
Hi Deb! I don’t know for sure yet, but I think I know why this might not be turning out. Mine is still in the oven, but I’m guessing it’s going to sink in middle like some others’ have done.
I think the problem is the amount of batter. My favorite vegan chocolate cake has almost the exact same proportions, same sugar, flour and oil….. But it makes TWO 9 inch rounds, not one. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t realize this sooner and make mine in two, but I’m going to try again (I know, having cake around again will be torture!!) and test it out. I can tell you that this one smells amazing! It’s for my birthday, and my husband made it (with help), we’re putting vegan chocolate ganache, toasted almonds and those yummy coconut chips on top ala almond Joy. Even if it’s not perfect I know it’s going to taste great.
Update: this cake is SO good!! It did take longer to bake, but it didn’t sink at all. Because we were nervous about it being underdone/sinking, we just left it in over after about 45 minutes and turned over off. That, by crazy luck, was perfect. Nicely domed top, crunchy actually, like a cookie, in a really good way. The taste is mild, just sweet enough. I think we’ll add a bit of vanilla next time. It’s several days old by now and just tastes better every day. We frosted with coconut milk dark chocolate ganache, and added Dang coconut chips. Will definitely make again, just like we did this time. (Perhaps irrelevent, but we’re just shy of 5000ft)
I’ve made this twice now, and while both times it’s been delicious, the second iteration was vastly improved in flavor and texture by the necessity of using 100g of dark brown sugar when I ran out of granulated. Also baked the second cake for a solid 40-45 minutes, which I think further contributed to the improved texture.
I made this and it was decent! Mine came out a little bit sweet/rich for me (to be clear, I liked it! But I would find myself snacking on a piece and then needing milk to wash it down, and then I would repeat the whole process a few minutes later).
It didn’t cave in the center, but it did sink a little bit all over after I took it out of the oven – it seemed reasonably set (a tester came out clean), but maybe it could’ve used a couple more minutes? The crumb was a little bit dense and fairly rich/moist, kind of like a pound cake. I made a glaze by melting dark brown sugar (~1/2 cup) with the remaining coconut cream; it did not win any beauty contests but tasted good.
Serving suggestion for anyone who might be reading: I had one slice with a blueberry compote (aka frozen blueberries microwaved until bubbling with a little bit of added sugar) and that was delicious!
In case it wasn’t clear, I think that if I made this again, I would make it pretty much the same way, but err on the side of doneness (my cake was so moist that I have a hard time believing that another minute or two would have dried it out!) to see if that helped it keep its height.
Delicious! Made this last week in the midst of the polar vortex. Failed to ask hubby if he liked coconut, but he has eaten most of the cake, so I take that as a yes! Not too sweet, so a perfect snack or finish to a meal without feeling weighted down. Love that it is vegan for my friends who are vegetarian/vegan inclined.
Hi all – I’ve made my cake and it seemingly worked out well! As I contemplate my next steps (glaze and whatnot), I’m reading through the comments. Perhaps the folks who still have a runny batter after a half hour are using Coconut milk from those aseptic cartons (like almond milk), rather than the canned almond milk from the Asian aisle? Something to consider. In any case, my cake is amazing looking after 40 minutes in the convection oven. No drooping at all. Cooked all the way thru. Will report back after having a slice :) Have a good night!
Final report: OK, so the batter was thicker than cake batter, but still spoonable. It rose nicely, and I had no drooping issues as it cooled. I brushed on some Malibu rum and made the coconut milk glaze. Even with these additions there was no noticeable coconut flavor, however it was moist. Actually, the flavor and texture (with the rum and glaze) reminded me of a pancake(!). Not a big fan of pancakes, so this wasn’t my favorite. But if you are a fan, and are able to get the results I did, you’ll probably like this :) Super easy recipe though.
Made this and was so easy and delicious!
Can this be bade with coconut flour or Almond flour?
Yay, cake! Double yay, vegan cake! I made this almost exactly as indicated, adding only about a tsp of vanilla each to the batter and glaze (and some sprinkles on top for cuteness). As previous commenters suggested, I made sure to get it into the oven immediately after mixing the wet and dry ingredients. It was good to go at about 35 minutes: nice and golden, and the center didn’t sink. My husband and I both really enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to having a chilled slice with my coffee tomorrow morning. Thanks, Deb!
I lack cake making experience here and forgive me for asking. Is making a glaze and frosting the same? I want to make the cake double layer and frost the middle and top before covering the cake with a vegan fondant. ( 1st birthday cake for my 1 yo :) ).
Glaze and frosting are not the same. Glaze is thinner, runs down sides. Frosting is thick enough to spread. I’m not sure what you use under fondant, but if directions say frosting, this glaze wouldn’t be the same. Happy birthday to your baby!
You got me at the title = plush coconut cake sounds almost too good to eat. I’ll certainly be giving this one a try.
I loved this! Subtle flavor (like snacking cakes usually are, in my opinion) but awesome texture. That’s what I loved about it. Mine baked up fine in 30 mins, in Boston in a rental (aka subpar stove). This is a great base cake recipe to build on–I saw someone recommend mini choco chips. Yes! Or vanilla. Lime. Rum. I think lemon would be nice, too. Dulce de leche as frosting instead? Raspberries dotted in there? So many fun ways to get creative with this cake.
Bookmarked this to try next weekend – I might make it with matcha and white choc glaze!
The cake was delicious, perfect recipe! I hope you post more vegan recipes 😍.
I’m using this as a base for a mostly-vegan friend’s birthday cake and I just did a test run with goji berries, lime zest, and shredded coconut and I wish it were her birthday now because I need somebody to take it away from me immediately–it’s too good! I swapped out the coconut oil for vegetable oil because, well, I’m on a budget, but I would love to see how it enhances the coconut flavor next time I make it.
I made this exactly as written and it was a great success! I had seen some comments from people who had trouble with the recipe, so I was extra careful when baking, letting it get to a beautiful golden brown color. The texture was perfect and really moist. The idea of using coconut milk in the icing is so delicious, can’t believe I never thought of doing that!
i made this last night with a few minor changes and it turned out p e r f e c t l y!
i misplaced my baking soda so I quadrupled (!!!) the called for amount with baking powder which seemed high, but i do what google tells me to. i also cut the sugar by 1/4 and it was the perfect sweetness for me.
it baked for roughly 45 mins, and was perfectly baked, no doming or gooiness in the middle. honestly it was probably the best looking cake i’ve ever baked. would make again!
sorry tripled* not quadrupled! all in all, 4.5 tsp of baking powder :)
I made this cake twice this week & both turned out great! Followed the recipe exactly with the exception of some added vanilla extract (my coconut oil is refined so it does not have much coconut flavor). Used brand new baking soda and 9 inch cake pan and baked for about 40 minutes until center was set. Drops a little after it cools but made for a great birthday cake this week with some added sprinkles in the batter. Great simple recipe – thank you!
Deb! Love you, love your site. Any chance you’d like to take advantage of a complimentary proofreader? :) Feel free to reach out to me if so.
I made this and it was great. For me the coconut taste was quite faint though more vanilla. I also put freeze dried raspberries on top with the icing. It fascinates me how coconut milk and oil can provide such a lush texture.
Excellent cake and very easy to make. I was 1/4 cup shy of the coconut milk needed for the recipe so I added heavy cream. Worked perfectly. Will definitely make this again, It’s incredibly moist and I love how it’s mixed by hand in a single bowl.
Hi Deb — I’m excited to try baking this today, but I couldn’t find any parchment paper locally today. Do you have any alternative suggestions for this specific cake? Thanks!
I’ve made this twice now, including on St. Valentine’s Day (with a variation your ‘bodega-style egg and cheese sandwich’ for Valentine’s Day dinner), and just wanted to say thank you. It’s so easy and so delicious, and the perfect way to impress my vegan NYC hipster classmates without trying. I added in some shredded coconut to the base and icing, and it couldn’t have turned out more perfect.
Dang it! got a doughy cake as well. It rose beautifully and cake tester came out clean. I am still eating it though. You can’t go wrong with flour and sugar. I don’t taste the coconut too much for those who are worried about the flavor. I would add vanilla or another flavor extra, but wondering why didn’t turn out like Deb’s.
I baked this yesterday as a vegan option for a meeting. Baked in a 9 inch pan, added 1tsp of vanilla, and used reduced fat coconut milk. The texture of the cake was moist but the flavor was off. It tasted too floury and bready (?) somehow, like eating raw dough. My cake tester came out clean so I don’t think it was underdone. Just not my favorite.
I made this today but I didn’t have coconut milk so thought I’d risk sweetened condensed coconut milk instead. It came out like some sort of golden, caramelised, vaguely coconut-y sticky toffee pudding – it’s amazing!
This was really delicious. I made it in a loaf pan and it took about 45 minutes to bake fully. No issues with soupiness in the middle. I liked the subtle coconut flavor and that it wasn’t overly sweet. We kept talking about how delicate its crumb was. It sort of condensed over the next few days though, and became a little more dense and dry. I would definitely make it again if I knew we’d be eating it in the first day or two.
I wonder about subbing in some or part coconut flour, but I know coconut flour to be very “thirsty” and most likely would need more liquid. Thoughts?
This was lovely! I toasted some extra coconut to sprinkle over, and served it with homemade raspberry sauce. It was a big hit, and kept well. We had the last pieces warmed up a bit and they were delicious, too.
I love the fact that this only has seven ingredients. I tried this and my own was perfect my family loved it!
Any modification necessary for high altitude? Elevation here 6,000+ feet. I’m not going to read 300 comments to see if it’s already been asked.
I’m thinking the brand of coconut milk is the culprit here because this turned out so wrong. Doughy and greasy. When I touched the top, my finger was greasy. Gotta go google a quick cake recipe now for my son’a six month birthday dinner tonight (he won’t be eating any).
What kind did you use?
I made this with vegan chocolate chips and a vegan icing-like glaze (the texture was kind of like a thick chocolate donut glaze) I threw together and am afraid I will never be able to replicate (icing sugar, coconut oil melted with a few vegan chocolate chips, dash of salt, vanilla, and vegan cocoa powder), and it was lovely – soft and gooey without being oily, and with a subtle coconut base flavour. I used a rectangular pan and it took 50 minutes to fully bake. By the next day it had gotten a bit denser and heavier, but that didn’t stop us from finishing it.
I have made the cake for my birthday. I switched coconut milk to cow milk, as I didn’t want the coconut flavour. Also, I added the zest of a whole lemon and lavender. Another tweak is that I baked it in a rice cooker (dorm life, ugh). It came out beautifully: moist, not overly sweet and a little heavy, that’s how I like my cakes!
Thank you for the recipe, it’s so lovely even from the rice cooker!
I’ve been vegan for 12 years and a follower of your blog for maybe 10 – And I just wanted to say that this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten! I used to vegan bake quite a bit, but honestly got bored with it – everything starts to taste the same. This tastes like a cake! A really delicious cake! And it’s so easy. I also used ACV b/c I was out of regular, as well as a square pan – and everything was fine. Took me about 32 minutes – any more would’ve been too much, any less too little. PS: I often veganize a lot of your recipes!
I made this yesterday and while it baked just fine and the texture was great, I could definitely taste the flour. Any thoughts on how to fix that?
What cake pans do you recommend? One with a hinge side? 9×2 or 9×3?
I used a regular, non-springform, 9×2-inch cake pan. 9×3-inch would work too. As would springform.
you refer to this coconut cake as vegan but you use all purpose flour…could you use a gluten free flour like almond flour (not coconut) in same proportion and receive same result? thank you
This was delicious! I added 1 t of vanilla to the batter, used 1 t of baking soda, and added toasted sweetened coconut to the top. Huge hit – it was a little dense so I’m wondering what could be done to make it lighter?
I finally got around to making this today. The results were delicious! My batter was a lot thicker than what yours looks like in the picture, but I’m not sure why. Not that it matter when it came out so springy and moist. I weighed all my ingredients and cut the sugar by 40 grams (I’m constantly fiddling with cake recipes to see how much I can cut the sugar by without messing with the texture). It needed about 35 minutes to bake all the way through. Thanks for such an easy mid-week indulgence!
I have had so much fun with this cake!
I find it takes between 40 – 45 minutes to bake.
I’ve been playing with flavours using this as a base recipe and swapping the oil and liquid.
Orange and poppy seed:
Use orange juice and add 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds.
3 mashed bananas and between 1/2 – 1 cup of water. Add 40g chopped chocolate and 80g chopped walnuts.
1 1/2 cups of liquid left over from poaching quinces, if it is sweet decrease the dry sugar.
1 cup water, 200g grated carrot, 50g currents/sultanas, 50g chopped walnuts, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg.
“Plush” is such a great way to describe this cake! Slightly sweet and wonderful mouthfeel.
The first time I made this in my oven the center was a little underdone (but still tasty). I adjusted to 325 degrees for 40 minutes and it was a perfect bake.
After glazing, I added some shredded coconut and chopped almonds that I toasted ever so slightly — it was a big hit! Thanks for this easy recipe with ingredients I almost always have on hand.
If we double the recipe would it work in a 9 by 13 pan? I love the idea of bake once, and get double the cake…. if it’s possible please advise and thanks! I would love to know how we can tell which cakes might be easily doubled and which would not work? What is the criteria?
You can double this in a 9×13 pan. I can’t speak for all cakes, but most cakes like this — a classic layer, fairly moist/plush — for an 8-inch square or 9-inch round will double well in a 9×13.
OK. Today is the double coconut cake day want to come over for some coconut cake and an espresso? I was thinking of topping it with a dark chocolate glaze–memory of the Mounds chocolate bar I used to love when we traveled from Canada to the US.
This invitation is without an expiry. Thanks for the quick reply!
Will it cupcake?!
Can anyone comment on how to store this cake? I’d like to make it in advance of a Saturday evening party. Can it be made a day or two advance? Should it be stored in the fridge or on the counter? Covered or not covered? Thanks to any and all who may see this and respond!
I often do counter no covered or fridge.
To follow up on my experience: this cake was fantastic! I doubled the recipe using gram measurements, and used just under what the doubled recipe called for of baking soda to prevent any of the metallic taste references from other commenters. I used regular everyday all purpose flour and granulated sugar, Arm & Hammer baking soda, Whole Foods 365 brand cans full fat coconut milk, Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar, Morton kosher salt for the sea salt (in the same volume), Dr. Bronner’s extra virgin coconut oil, and Domino confectioners sugar for the glaze. I made the cake in a 9×13 glass dish, and made sure that a skewer came out 100% totally clean and dry in several areas before deciding it was “done”. The cake was a light, golden brown color all over. I made the cake in the evening so I let it cool on a rack to start, then left it on the counter overnight with a piece of tin foil just laid over the top (not crimped around the edges) so as not to sweat. In the morning I made the coconut milk & powdered sugar glaze and poured it all over. And added colored sprinkles! I then left the cake on the counter uncovered until the party in the evening. It was warm and humid in the kitchen so the glaze only just set, but that was no bother to anyone. To accompany the cake I took 2lbs of fresh strawberries, thickly sliced, and boiled them with 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the juice of 2 small lemons, then simmered it for around 30 minutes. I stored that in a glass jar and ladled big spoonfuls over the top of individual servings, cold from the fridge. The combination of the room temp cake and cool tangy-sweet strawberries was bonkers good. My cake was not raw in the middle, the top didn’t sink, the texture was right, and the whole thing was as easy as could be. I stored leftovers in a sealed Tupperware on the counter and it stayed perfectly moist. I hope this report helps someone else bake with confidence! The vegans at the party were thrilled to have something they could dive into, and the rest of were too busy scarfing it down to consider how it was made. Truly so, so good!
Even with a number of swaps this cake was still DIVINE. Tons of compliments. Per suggestions in the comments I did a little less baking soda. Used a bit of spelt flour because I didn’t have enough all-purpose. Didn’t have coconut milk but had goats milk that was nearing the end of its life and decided at the last minute to infuse it with lavender. Used some honey because I didn’t have enough sugar. My my, so scrumptious.
Could I use coconut flour instead of all-purpose?
Definitely not a one to one sub with coconut flour. It’s super absorbent!
Just made this cake (while waiting on hurricane Dorian). I loved how simple it was to make. I used Trader Joe brand coconut oil (used 1/2 cup measuring cup not weight) and Trader Joe coconut milk. My cake baked for almost 30 minutes, perfect rise to it and didn’t sink in the center. The only negative was that it had a baking soda after taste to it and not enough coconut flavor.
I’ll definitely make this again but maybe try to decrease the baking soda and add coconut extract.
I have made this several times and it has been a hit at work and at family gatherings. People could not believe this is a vegan cake. I don’t like using baking soda, so I always use baking powder instead (I simply double the amount of soda the recipe calls for). I also top it with toasted coconut flakes, which gives it an added coconut flavor.
I did try making it with all almond flour once and the whole thing just exploded in my oven like a volcano :) Will be making this with GF flour next week, hoping it works.
In short – great recipe, as most others on this blog.
Data point: I used Chaokoh coconut milk and baked it for 40 minutes in a 9-inch pan, and it was perfect. It was probably done at 30 minutes, but I wanted to be sure. I love this cake!
I made this using Bob Red Mill’s GF 1-1 Flour and it didnt work out so well. Super dense, I baked it for an extra 20 minutes to let it come together and it doesn’t smell so great!
I didn’t substitute anything else & I’m in Toronto, so not sure about sea levels from here.
Will try it again, with regular flour soon.
any suggestions for a vegan/soy free frosting if i were to turn it into a two layer celebration cake rather than an everyday cake for a friend with some allergies????
this was delicious! i read through all the comments and was nervous it wouldn’t turn out, but omg it’s hard not to just eat the whole thing! i doubled it for a bundt and it was ready at 60 minutes, after checking at 45. used a tester and a thermometer. i did have to make a few changes/additions based on my pantry: i ran out of ap flour at just under three cups, so used gluten-free flour for the rest. i also ran out of coconut oil at 1/2 a cup, so used ghee for the rest. then i only had one can of coconut milk (why did i double it? i had enough of everything for the recipe as written – oh right, someone really wanted it in a bundt) so i used cow milk for the rest. tasted the batter and decided it needed more flavor so i added 2t vanilla, 1t lemon extract, the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime, & 1/4t almond extract. deemed it delicious, added the vinegar and got it in the oven asap. i was concerned it might be dry (based on comments) so i used a lemon/lime sugar syrup when i unmolded it after 30 minutes and then did a citrus glaze when it cooled. tbh we didn’t wait until it was fully cooled to try it, but we found it delicious nonetheless. definitely plush, v moist, with a pound-cake like crumb. it’s so good! i’ve no idea why it didn’t turn out for everyone, but i can’t wait to make it again!
I made this as written. It took about 5 minutes longer than called for in the oven but was moist and delicious and a lovely golden brown color. My husband took one bite and said “Jesus.” Now that’s a compliment. The only thing is that I didnt add enough powdered sugar to the glaze so it was a little runny, but that’s on me. Will be making this again for sure. Thanks for the vegan recipes, we love them!
I forgot to mention that I also added a splash of almond extract to the cake, which really pumped up the flavor. Highly recommend that!
What about adding some mini chocolate chips??? I love coconut with chocolate….
I smiled at the instruction to warm the coconut oil to liquefy – my coconut oil has been liquid since spring here in Oz! Will definitely be making this – looks wonderful.
Fun fact, if you forget the vinegar this will taste awful! Back to the store for more coconut milk 😂
I made this pina colada style: zest of 1 lime rubbed with the sugar in the cake, plus a splash of vanilla extract in the cake with the wet ingredients, then for the glaze I used equal parts lime juice and coconut milk plus about a teaspoon of rum. It was a big hit!
I love coconut so I thought this would be a winner, but I found it doughy and unpalatable. I was surprised because I’ve loved every other smitten kitchen recipe I’ve made.
Great cake. My husband adores it and so do I.
I baked it twice already.
I now declare it a staple Household cake.
Thanks so much for the recipe!
This is good! Much appreciated by guests who can’t eat eggs and miss cake. Have made it three times. You really have to use the full fat canned coconut milk or it doesn’t work. Don’t use coconut milk in the carton. You also have to be really careful about the bake time and watch it like a hawk. It is easy to under bake (which is gluey in the middle but still edible), but I have never had it come out dry. I think it tastes better with citrus zest in the batter.
Hi Deb! I LOVE this cake! I would like to make it into a layer cake, using two 8-inch pans to create 4 layers. Any tips here? Should I straight double the batter recipe to make for a thicker cake in the smaller 8-inch pan, making it is easier to divide in half? If so, any idea how much longer to bake it? Would appreciate any tips or thoughts you have! Thanks!
You could probably double it. The baking time in each pan won’t be terribly different, so I’d check in on time and then give it longer from there if needed.
Thanks very much, Deb! You’re the best =)
I made this cake for the first time a few days ago and it was gone in a day. Me and my whole family loved it!
I had the idea of making it a layer cake, so I doubled the recipe and baked it in the same 9-inch round I used the first time around. At around 40 minutes in the oven, the cake was domed, very golden brown all around, and had cracked a bit in a few places around the dome. A toothpick came out completely clean.
I took it out, as it seemed done and I didn’t want the outside to overbake or dry out. Once cooled, the cake collapsed quite a bit in the center, and when I went to divide it into two layers, I discovered that the center of the cake was very gooey/battery.
Should I have split the batter between two cake pans, or is it possible to do in one but with a different baking temperature?
I also noticed that the bottom of the cake was slightly wetter then the rest.
Appreciate any input!! I still have a lot to learn :-) But thank you for this great vegan recipe, it’s delicious!!
Yes, when doubling the recipe i would put it in two cake pans. I recommend trying it again!
I added lemon juice instead of the vinegar ( 3 tablespoons ) and used a lemon glaze and it was wonderful. Have made it 4 times and it gets gobbled up.
I was curious about these wildly divergent comments, so I tried it, with variations. I subbed one cup of flour for whole wheat flour, reduced the sugar by 1/3, used grapeseed oil instead of coconut oil, and added 1 tsp. of almond extract. Baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It rose nicely, didn’t sink in the middle, no weird texture issues (not doughy or cornbready), no chemical flavor, and no metallic taste. The texture is indeed plush. I like it. It’s a nice snacking cake with tea, with a nice mild flavor.
In case anyone is wondering if the above variations ruined the cake, it sort of did. It tastes good as changed, but it’s boring and needs frosting or something.
My daughter made this cake, and it turned out beautifully! Just as described, and she added toasted coconut flakes on top. She did measure every ingredient by weight, and was careful to cook the cake thoroughly. A very easy, pleasing vegan dessert!
I had no idea this cake was so controversial when I made it! My husband was sent to the store for coconut cream and came back with a giant vat of coconut oil, which I have never used. I followed this recipe to a T with zero substitutions, except I greased the 9-in round with Crisco and didn’t use parchment paper. I have always needed to add at least 50% bake time to all of SK’s recipes as Deb’s oven is apparently much more efficient than mine is. This one needed more like 45 minutes of baking in my oven; I didn’t trust the clean toothpick test and went by sight instead. It came out great! The middle was cooked through and the edges were brown and slightly crisp. The flavor without icing was not great. The icing (I added a little bit of vanilla) made all the difference… this was very similar in taste and texture to a cake donut. I couldn’t really discern any coconut flavor at all, but didn’t miss it. I stored the cake in tupperware on the counter and it kept great for 3-4 days. To put it delicately… this cake has an odor. Almost like a fishy/body odor. It was noticeable every time we opened up the tupperware, but it didn’t stop anybody from having a piece. I’m undecided on trying it again, but I wasn’t disappointed.
I love your recipes but this one did not work out. The baking soda measure is off and the cake turned out very bitter even with the sweet frosting on.. I had to pitch it :-(
Deb this cake is wonderful. Thank you. I used to make something sweet once a week from your site or book, but a few years ago we left for six months of cycling in Europe and hiking in the US Southwest (we live in Victoria, BC), and I transitioned to a fish + plants diet along the way.
It was too overwhelming to figure out how to substitute egg and dairy, and we had a lot of travel time in the last three years so I was away from my kitchen anyway. I came across your chocolate vegan cake last week and made it. It’s one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever made.
I added cardamom, and used water. Next time I’ll use coffee too. My partner still eats eggs and dairy and has always loved “plain” chocolate cake. I’m making your s’more cake, lighter-than-air-chocolate cake, gramercy tavern gingerbread non stop November – January, and he’s “I like plain. NO sprinkles.” I used sprinkles this week to divide the chocolate cake evenly, so he wouldn’t eat my half.
Today I made THIS cake and added vanilla powder, lime juice and zest to the glaze. It is delicious. I’m going to love having these two simple blank slate but perfect as is cakes in my repertoire. They are so wonderful. Thank you for sharing these.
Yours was the first blog I read regularly, and ever made more than one or two recipes from. I have made 100+ of your recipes. Thank you for evolving your content, and always sharing so many “I tried this, don’t do this, do it any way you like”, you’re wonderful to learn from.
Thinking of you often in New York and sending love.
we had to put it in longer. the cake in the oven.
we had to put it in LONGER than a hour. is that supposed to happen?
Wondering about adding in some fresh blueberries for a coconut-blueberry cake with a lemony glaze?
My sister, who is kind of a vegan, made this cake and I (not a vegan) expected it to be typical vegan, but it is soooooo freaking good I could eat the whole thing. It is amazing. Thank you so much!!
I’ve had better results with King Arthur’s GF All-Purpose Flour. Expensive, but well worth it for the occasional cake.
It is winter and my coconut oil in the pantry is solid. Is the coconut oil measurement pre-liquification? Should I measure out 1/2 C solid coconut oil and then melt it and use it?
Is there a way to make this gluten free as well? What would be your recommendation? We have a gluten, diary, soy free child. Thanks so much!
Hi Deb-I’ve made this wonderful cake several times now, each time with a metallic taste (noticed other commenters with same problem). My soda is not expired-any thoughts on this?
Oh Deb! I love your recipes… but PLEASE remake this one and tell us what you did that made it work!? I followed your recipe to the letter and the gram, but its got such an odd texture, tastes metallic, and is generally more like a bitter, soggy pancake than anything wonderful. There are so many “I made it” reviews like mine that I think it warrants more notes/another trial on your end. Because your recipes are always so magical and accurate … just wondering what we are all doing incorrectly??
Things to consider:
– is your baking soda expired?
– could you have used too much baking soda? (since measuring spoons are notorious for inaccuracies)
– recipe calls for you to “whisk batter until smooth” after adding the wet ingredients – but due to vinegar/soda chemical reaction, you don’t want to overmix. I suspect overmixing in search of smoothness is the issue for many flat/sunken cakes.
Looked at a few other “wacky cake” recipes online, and these seem to be consistent sources of trouble for commenters/recipe testers.
– baking a vinegar/soda cake in aluminum pans can contribute to metallic taste.
Made this last night!
– did a 1/3 recipe, baked in 6-inch cast iron ~20 minutes. Flour, sugar, oil measured by grams for more precision.
– used apple cider vinegar for convenience – would use the white next time for potentially slightly higher acidity
– added a splash of vanilla extract for flavor since my coconut oil was refined
– added a T or 2 of water, since batter originally mixed up to a drop biscuit dough texture and recipes say to “pour” the batter. Wasn’t quite pourable still, but didn’t want to go off-recipe too far.
– used Chaokoh canned coconut milk (since it seems brand may account for some result variations)
– added rainbow sprinkles to make it funfetti style (needed some color in my day!)
Distracted, I thought I had overbaked the cake, especially with the darker color than in the SK pictures, but it turned out beautifully after all – soft, plush, and moist. I did get the slight chemical taste from the baking soda – might be attributed to the vinegar switch, but will cut down slightly next time to mitigate any potential measuring inaccuracies. I didn’t have any issues with an uncooked core, collapsed center, or gummy texture – likely due to preheating the (toaster) oven, waiting to mix in the wet ingredients until right before baking, and erring on the side of overdone. Definitely want to get some virgin coconut oil for the next bake, for a little more coconut taste.
This was a delicious snacking cake to have on hand as a quick and special treat – my entire household was delighted with it. Alas, no feedback on how long it lasts, as the six slices of my mini-cake didn’t even make it to 24 hours. Super happy to have had this treat – and it was so easy to mix up with pantry ingredients that it’s likely to happen again on short notice!
I made this yesterday with a few modifications. I reduced the sugar to 150 grams using coconut sugar. I added the zest of one lime in the batter and 1 Tbsp of lime juice. I put about 20 frozen raspberries on top just before putting it in the oven (I just gently pressed them into the batter). To the glaze, I added some more lime juice and a bit of zest. Then covered it with toasted coconut. It was absolutely delicious. The raspberries melted into the batter puddling up into little fruity bites that worked perfectly with the lime/coconut flavor profile.
I think it would work equally as well with blueberries, strawberries or blackberries. I also think lemon juice/zest with would work with either of these berries.
Would this work if I doubled it and baked it in a 9×13 pan? And if I add a bunch of sprinkles to the batter will it look like funfetti? My 4 year old has very specifically requested a funfetti cake with no eggs that is shaped like a unicorn lol
Yes yes, it will.
I made this, with some alterations, turned out lovely!
The most important change is that the ratio of baking soda to vinegar as given in the recipe seemed off–usually you’d use more vinegar, and I think that’s what’s causing the baking soda taste a lot of people are commenting on. I used 1tsp baking soda, 1tsp baking powder, and 2tbsp of vinegar, and that seemed to work just fine!
I…also cut the sugar by half, because “mildly sweet” is relative, I suppose. Aaaand used melted butter instead of oil, because I’m a disaster.
Also folded everything together with a spatula instead of mixing, as recommended by several folks further in the comments–and thank you for that, if any of you may read this!
Hope this helps someone!
I’m tempted to make this cake as a 2-layer 9in round cake for my son’s 2nd birthday and then using the Monkey Cake fudge butter cream frosting. Would that be crazy?
I would likely use butter instead of coconut oil because I don’t need it to b e vegan.
Any tips or suggestions if I do that? (ps. I’ve been making a lot of banana bread/cup cakes lately with your Jacked Up Banana Bread recipe, so I’m ready for a break and I LOVE coconut).
You definitely could. I think you might only need to 1.5x it for two layers, since it’s on the tall side, but that’s more about the proportions you prefer.
This was such a crowd pleaser! The texture was fantastic, one of the best vegan cakes I’ve made (made sure to not over-stir as others mentioned!). Not very coconut forward, but this worked well for my crowd.
I added confetti sprinkles (that didn’t really keep their shape but bled into the batter, any ideas how to stop that from happening anyone?) and a simple vegan chocolate ganache (70% chocolate, leftover coconut milk, teeny bit of powdered sugar and salt, and some oat milk). Took about 35 mins in the oven, and was properly inhaled by all. Thank you Deb and all for the useful tips!
Literally never commented before but I have to say that I’ve made this as an Old Fashioned cake by swapping out vegetable oil for coconut, adding the zest of two big oranges, a bunch of shakes of angostura bitters, and a teaspoon of bourbon, then adding orange juice, bitters, and more bourbon to the glaze. It’s now the only cake I’m allowed to bring to family gatherings. Thanks, Deb!
Can this be made as cupcakes?
How long do you recommend cooking the cupcakes
Probably between 18 and 25 minutes.
Baked for 45 mins. Top was golden brown and crackled. Knife came out clean. Nicely risen. Then the cake fell. It was dense and under cooked.
Hello Deb! Excited to try this. How would you recommend storing it / how long would it keep?
This recipe turned out great in cupcake form! I got 13 cupcakes that were filled slightly more than 3/4 of the way, baked at 175 degrees celsius for 20 mins. Uniform rise with the barest hint of a dome, and no problems with sinking. Following one of the ideas here, I pressed in a blackberry which created a lovely jammy puddle in the middle. I think the trick (as many people have cleverly stated) is to whisk together your dry ingredients + coconut oil + coconut milk till smooth. Then add in the vinegar, and stir briefly before getting it into the oven asap. The final texture was truly plush and moist although it was very greasy on the bottom. I’ll try reducing the oil next time.
Absolutely LOVE this plush coconut cake – I’m getting ready to make it for at least the 10th time!
I made this cake yesterday and my 16 year-old son said it was the best cake he’d ever had. Just thought I’d share the compliment to your recipe!
Ooo! I make a vegan cake similar to this with lime juice and lime zest, can’t wait to try!
Looks great for a vegan cake! If only it came gluten free so that I could serve it to my most annoying of friends (food-wise.) This one will work for some of those friends, though-thank you.
I searched through all 59 mentions of coconut oil and still haven’t found my answer. What kind of coconut oil did Deb use? The kind that has coconut flavor (virgin) or the unflavored one (I think that’s refined). In one comment she said she thought virgin was the only kind used for cooking so maybe that means she used virgin?
Have you tried it with any GF flours?
Made this cake after seeing it on IG and loved it. I wasn’t sure if the oven should be on fan or regular heat, so baked on regular heat. Baked for 40min and not batter came of when I tested it. After cutting into it it shows that the cake is undercooked and it hasn’t risen very well. It is pale as any, but the flavour is really lovely and subtle. I didn’t have enough coconut oil so was about 80g butter and the rest was coconut. So easy to make that I will definately try it again and hope that I will have better results with the baking time.
Thank you so much for making this recipe SK! I made this tonight with gluten free flour (bob’s 1 to 1) and it’s absolutely perfect! I’m planning on using this as my base for future cakes and might experiment with adding almond or vanilla extract or raspberries like others have mentioned. So happy to have a go to gluten free & vegan cake recipe <3
This sweet cake was fantastic! I added about 1t of coconut emulsion to the batter and used Swiss meringue buttercream as icing (I also added a few drops of coconut emulsion to that as well) and I toasted some sweetened coconut to put on top. Great snacking cake and looks beautiful on a countertop.
Really delicious cake and simple to make! I used a springform pan and it worked well. After icing, I sprinkled toasted coconut flakes on top.
I made this today. After reading the comments I was careful to make exactly as written with the exception that I made 12 cupcakes. They took 25 minutes to bake and came out beautifully. They were moist and subtly flavored. I appreciate being able to adjust the sweetness level with the glaze. Thank you Deb for the lovely recipe – love that it’s also vegan!
I’m a big fan of the depression cake. Nice texture with this one, but all I can taste is baking soda. I see there are other comments along the same line. I wonder what causes that and how to prevent it. This was a lot of bowls, cups etc as opposed to the original one-pan wacky cake. Disappointing- I’ll stick with the original.
Super tasty. I made it for my father in law’s birthday and had make a second one the next day it was such a big hit. It did take about 40-45 minutes of baking time, maybe because it was in an 8 inch pan.