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A moist and delicious Vegan Coconut Cake that’s made with coconut milk, coconut oil and shredded coconut. If you’re a coconut lover, you’ll adore this recipe.
BOLD STATEMENT: this vegan coconut cake may be my favorite recipe of the past several months. I know that's a crazy thing to say, but it’s true. Consequently, this cake was 100 percent inspired by my Triple Coconut Bread recipe, a recipe that Miguel and I devoured in 24 hours. Though I love bread, sometimes you just need cake.
Ok, so WHY is this vegan coconut cake my favorite, you ask? Well let me tell you.
- It can be made with whole wheat flour OR all purpose flour
- It's perfectly moist and vegan-friendly
- It uses three kinds of coconut: coconut milk, coconut oil and shredded coconut
- It's topped with the BEST coconut oil icing
- Most importantly, it's made with easy-to-find ingredients.
Dairy free coconut oil frosting
- coconut oil
- vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
I tested several different icing options, but the coconut oil and powdered sugar icing ended up being my favorite. I tried a variety with coconut cream and another with coconut milk, but they didn't compare.
Tips and FAQs
Plan on making the icing the same day you’re going to serve the cake. Since the icing is made with coconut oil, it will harden when it’s placed in the refrigerator (still tastes delicious though!). Of course you can make the cake in advance, just wait to make the icing so that the texture is smooth like buttercream icing.
How long will this stay fresh?
This cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days, though because the icing is coconut oil-based (and coconut oil hardens), I do recommend consuming it within 24 hours.
Don't forget the finishing touches! This cake can and should be topped with shredded coconut and maybe even fresh fruit. The result is a delicious, dairy free, super moist cake!
More vegan cake recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Vegan Coconut Cake
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or sub all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cane sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut plus more for topping
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 14 oz. coconut milk (1 can)
- 1 cup applesauce
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
for the icing:
- 1 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar or more
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Line two 8" cake pans with parchment paper and set aside. Alternatively, you can grease them with coconut oil.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and shredded coconut into a large bowl and set aside.
- Next, melt coconut oil in microwave or over stovetop; set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine milk, applesauce, vinegar, and vanilla in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring with an electric mixer before adding in the coconut oil; combine everything.
- Pour batter evenly into cake pans and bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, using a toothpick to test doneness.
- Leave cakes in the pans for 10 minutes before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack. Wait until cakes are completely cooled off before icing them.
- While the oven is still hot, place approximately 1 cup of shredded coconut onto a baking sheet and "toast" for 5 minutes or until coconut becomes somewhat golden in color; set aside.
- For the icing: melt coconut oil and then pour into a large bowl; stir in vanilla and powdered sugar with an electric mixer; the texture should be similar to buttercream icing (i.e. thick and creamy).
- Use a knife to remove the "dome" part of each cake and then ice the top of one cake before placing the second cake on top of it and icing that cake. Use icing to cover the entire cake and then top it with toasted shredded coconut.