Gluten-free coconut cake has to be the most popular cake I make. When I developed this recipe I had trouble getting the coconut flavor to survive the baking process. But canned coconut milk along with plenty of coconut extract does the trick. This cake is dairy-free, gluten-free and soon to be one of your favorites. It passed my taste test when it became one of my most requested cakes by people gluten-free and not.
Gluten-Free Flour Blends
I have used several different gluten-free flour blends for this gluten-free coconut cake and they all worked well. My custom blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours with some starches is my favorite. Some of the depth of flavor in this cake comes from the variety of gluten-free flours I use. I know it’s a little more of a hassle to have a bunch of different flours lying around but I think it’s worth it. And us strictly gluten-free people really need to branch out beyond the regular rice flour blend. Vitacost.com has a big selection of CERTIFIED gluten-free flours at great prices and has all the flours I use in my blend.
Here is my special flour blend that I love for this cake recipe and many more of my gluten-free recipes:
- 1 c sweet white sorghum flour
- 3/4 c millet flour
- 1/4 c brown rice flour
- 2/3 c potato starch
- 1/3 c tapioca starch
If you prefer a store-bought blend, I like King Arthur Flour All Purpose Gluten-Free flour the best. See the notes in the recipe for a super simple DIY gluten-free flour blend or my blog post on gluten-free flours. You can save quite a bit by making your own flour blend.
Coconut Cake Ingredients
To get a noticeable coconut flavor in the cake, canned coconut milk is key. Be sure that you use regular, not light coconut milk. In addition to the coconut milk, I use 2 TABLEspoons of coconut extract.
Shredded Coconut – I like to coat my gluten-free coconut cake with a combination of unsweetened toasted and untoasted coconut. With a sugary frosting, I feel like sweetened coconut is too much. To toast the shredded coconut, place it in a dry pan and toss until it begins to turn golden. Remove from the pan as soon as it browns! The residual heat of the pan will burn it quickly.