Gluten-Free Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 servings

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It’s another big day here on The Recipe Rebel.

My first one-layer cake.

one layer gluten free coconut cake on parchment paper topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles

I know, I know – what’s the big deal? I just always find that a 2 or 3 or 4 layer cake gets a few more oohs and aahs, you know? And apparently I work for oohs and aahs.

But I thought maybe sometimes people look at a multi-layer cake and think, “too much work,” so I thought I’d keep it simple today.

So I mentioned when I made this Mexican Chocolate Cake that I was really intrigued by this idea of naturally flourless baking. Both of the recipes are from the cookbook Flourless by Nicole Spiridakis, and if you’re interested in naturally gluten-free baking, you need to get this book.

overhead image of gluten free coconut cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles

I’m not trying to sell you anything, I’m just saying the way she comes up with flour substitutes that you can find in your own pantry is amazing. Since I’m not gluten-free, I don’t have a whole slew of specialty products to bake with.

I wanted to try another one of her recipes for an Easter dessert, and I saw she had some carrot cake cupcakes. I tried them out, and they were good – the texture was great and they were super moist – but they had a stronger carrot flavor than I’m used to.

And I’m just not one who eats carrot cake for the carrots. You know?

slice of coconut cake on white plate with a bite taken off the end

So I skimmed through all of my dog-eared pages and came across this coconut cake. The hubs and I both really like coconut, so I decided to give it a whirl.

I have found that my blender can get these flourless cake batters smoother than my big expensive food processor, and I really recommend finding something that can get it super smooth.

The other great thing about making the batter in the blender is that you just dump it in, turn it on, and then pour it right out into your pan. It’s way easier!

I didn’t have the full amount of coconut required for the recipe, but I remembered that she used oats as a flour substitute in the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake, so I threw in a few oats to make up the difference. I added the corn starch to the blender last so that it would have an easier time getting the coconut and oats smooth.

I was a little nervous when I pulled it out of the oven. It looked good, and the toothpick came out clean, but it didn’t look 100% like a regular cake. I flipped it out onto a wire rack and saw that there were some indentations in the bottom that I’d never seen in any other cake.

When I cut into it I could feel that it had a somewhat dense texture, and I wasn’t sure if it would be too dry or chewy.

Let me tell you, it is not dry at all! It is a denser cake, but I’ve made regular wheat flour cakes with a similar texture. It is not at all like a crumbly, cheap cake mix. It is super moist and has great coconut flavour!

With a slather of cream cheese frosting, it’s perfect for Easter or Spring!

*Note: I used a small amount of oats in this recipe because I didn’t have the full amount of coconut. If you need the cake to be entirely gluten-free, make sure you use certified gluten-free oats. Otherwise, use the full amount of coconut (and no oats).

*Update: April 6, 2015: I made this again for Easter with all coconut and no oats, and we loved it again! It’s definitely an easier way to get a fully gluten-free cake than buying certified gluten-free oats. You could make it either way and it would be awesome.

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Gluten-Free Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 1 vote
Gluten-Free Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: a super easy, naturally flourless cake that’s moist and full of coconut flavor! Perfect for Easter or Spring!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 10 servings
Calories 374cal


  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup instant or quick oats
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch


  • 4 oz cream cheese ½ package
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 cups powdered icing sugar to reach desired consistency


  • Line an 8” round pan with wax or parchment paper and grease the pan and the paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • To a blender or food processor, add eggs, butter, vanilla, coconut, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. Don’t be afraid to let the mixture process for a good 3-6 minutes – you want it as smooth as possible.
  • Add in the corn starch and puree until smooth and combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs (but never batter!).
  • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the frosting, combine cream cheese and vanilla in a stand mixer (or use a handheld) until smooth. Add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Frost cake when completely cooled.


*Use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free cake

Nutrition Information

Calories: 374cal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 0.7mg

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Recipe adapted from Flourless by Nicole Spiridakis.

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Jen says

    This is a simple but amazing gluten free cake. Loved how it was to prepare, no fuss.
    It freezes beautifully. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  2. sophie says

    so if we cannot have oats, we use 2 cups shredded coconut?
    can potato starch be used in the place of corn starch?

    • Ashley says

      Yes you can replace the oats with coconut! I made this again and am going to post some additional notes. I’ve never worked with potato starch before so I can really say how similar they are. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out!

5 from 1 vote

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