Coconut Cake

My daughter Kaisa had her 6th birthday.  As usual she told me what she wanted for her cake.  Since she had declared what this was not long after her 5th birthday I was curious to see if her request had changed now that a year had passed.  It had.  In many ways I was relieved since this request was less elaborate than the previous one.  She wanted a “white cake in one layer with lime icing and strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries on it and a 6 candle.”

To complement the lime icing I added coconut to the cake.  I only had two types of flour (I prefer to use a blend of three), so the coconut helped with the texture of the cake and livened it up a bit.  Here she is cutting up over the cake before we cut it.


The berries went well with the cake.  If you wanted to continue the citrus theme you could put slices of lime, lemon, or orange instead.  Kiwis and/or pineapple would go well with that combination.  Or you could use only one type of fruit instead.


The recipe is from the Joy of Cooking.  It is based on the Coconut Milk Cake Cockaigne and the icing is a simple buttercream with lime juice and zest added.  I added extra coconut and substitited it for part of the flour.  If you don’t care for lime, you could replace it with vanilla extract instead.  If I made this cake again I would use a three flour blend instead of the two.

The original recipe calls for making the cake in three 23 cm (9 inch) layers, so if you’d rather do that the cake makes enough batter to do so.  The layer of icing is thin but it makes up for that in taste.  If you prefer more icing, then double the recipe.  If you make the cake in three layers, you will have to double or triple the icing depending on how thick you like it.


Coconut Cake with Lime Icing

200g (2 cups) shredded coconut

220g (2 cups ) gluten-free flour blend (I used arrowroot starch and tapioca flour)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

170g (3/4 cup) butter

225g (1 cup) caster sugar

3 eggs

175 ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk or milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to180C (350F).  Grease or line a 23 cm (9 inch) by 33cm (13 inch) tin.  Sift the dry ingredients together.  Cream the butter and sugar together.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar alternately in three parts with the coconut milk or milk (dry, wet, dry, wet, dry).

Add the coconut and mix until well blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewere inserted comes out clean.  Let cool on a cooling rack.

Lime Icing

115g (1/2 cup) butter

110g (1 cup) icing sugar

juice and zest of two limes or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream butter until smooth.  Add icing sugar, sifted if you like, and cream until smooth.  Add lime juice and zest and blend until smooth.  (If you use an electric mixer, it will take out any lumps easy).


cherries, blueberries, and raspberries (about 17 each for the large cake)


Ice the cooled cake with the lime icing.  Arrange the cherries, blueberries, and raspberries around the edge of the cake, one each alternating in a pattern.  Add candles and enjoy with a big grin!



    11 Comments to “Coconut Cake”

  1. on 20 Jul 2009 at 4:54 pm Rosie Newman

    Wow! The cake looks great and Kaisa looks very pleased with it… I remember when my daughter turned 6 and she wanted pink frosting on her cake… thank goodness strawberries are a natural food-coloring! Another great gluten-free baking source blog with tips, recipes, etc.:

  2. on 14 Sep 2009 at 3:33 pm Willa

    Hi Rosie,

    I’m glad you like the look of it :) . Yes, Kaisa was pleased and it made me very happy that she liked it ^^. Yes, thank goodness for strawberries! Thank you for the comment and the referral. Keep having fun baking :) .

  3. on 04 Dec 2009 at 10:12 am ReadHowYouWant

    Wow, she sure looks happy :) What a great birthday cake!
    I do like coconut, but my favorite desert is coffee cake. My friend made a recipe from Living Gluten-Free for Dummies and posted her reaction (amazing!) and photo on I know what I’m doing this weekend–baking! Now I just have to decide which of these two cakes to make first…

  4. on 11 Jun 2010 at 1:56 am Marcos Galtarossa

    Very nice recipe, I placed 16 new recipes in the page above

  5. on 26 Sep 2010 at 8:41 pm geraldine

    hey Rosie,

    the cake looks fantastic.. and I am pretty sure that it taste good as it looks.. :)

    thank you for sharing it with us..

  6. on 07 Feb 2011 at 2:45 am Cakelaw

    Your daughter is adorable, and you can sure be relieved that she didn’t choose an elaborate Dolly Varden or something. The cake looks fabulous – and coconut and lime is a winning combination!

  7. on 28 May 2011 at 10:42 am glutenfrei

    very good the cake is great

  8. on 23 Oct 2011 at 11:57 pm Dianne

    What a great looking cake and very imaginitive on the part of both you and your daughter, well done :)

  9. on 13 Sep 2012 at 12:59 am Damenjeans

    Excellent, thanks for the great recipe.

  10. on 07 Jul 2013 at 2:37 pm Maris Russell

    Yum! I will try this for our next birthday. Here is a little gf humor from my bunch! Hope you enjoy.

  11. on 06 Jan 2014 at 11:11 pm Shari @ Simply Shari's Gluten Free

    Sounds yummy! I haven’t made anything just with tapioca and/or arrowroot in ages. It must have turned out light!

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