Coconut Cake

Serves 8 - 12

for the Cake
100g gluten-free plain flour
100g gluten-free oat flour
1 heaped teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
50g creamed coconut
250g dairy-free margarine
250g unrefined caster sugar
5 medium eggs, lightly beaten
50g desiccated coconut

for the Topping and Filling
150g dairy-free margarine
600g icing sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract

raspberry jam
flaked coconut for decorating

Preheat oven to 190°c / 170°c fan oven / 375°f / gas mark 5.
Grease and line two 20cm / 8in round cake tins with greaseproof paper.

Place the creamed coconut into a small heatproof bowl. Carefully place this bowl into a larger bowl half-filled with boiling water. Leave to one side to let the coconut melt.

Weigh the gluten-free plain flour, gluten-free oat flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir together then sift at least twice to fully distribute the baking powder. Alternatively blend together in a food processor.

Cream together the dairy-free margarine and caster sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg a little at a time. If the mixture splits, it will come together again with the flour.

Carefully take the small bowl of creamed coconut out of the water and wipe dry the bottom of the bowl. Fold the coconut into the mixture with a few drops of vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour and desiccated coconut and divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins. Spread the mixture into an even layer.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tins for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate then turn this onto the cooling wire so the cake cools the right way up or it could break in half. Leave to cool.

Lightly toast the flaked coconut and leave to cool.

Mix the icing sugar into the dairy-free margarine, a little at a time. Do not overbeat the mixture or it may split. Stir in a few drops of cooled boiled water until it reaches the required consistency. Add the vanilla to taste.
This is a lot of icing sugar. If you use less icing sugar to margarine, the mixture may split. Add a little extra flavouring to this buttercream. *see note.

Place one sponge onto a plate. Spread raspberry jam over the base of the cake and 1/3 of the buttercream.
Place the other half of the cake back on top.

Cover the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the buttercream. Place the toasted flaked coconut onto a large plate. With one hand, hold the cake above the coconut and press handfuls of coconut onto the sides and top with the other hand.


In all recipes requiring self-raising gluten-free flour, I advise stirring the flours together with the gluten-free baking powder then sift at least twice to fully distribute the baking powder. Alternatively blend together in a food processor.

Gluten free cakes are crumblier than other cakes but taste just as good. To cut neat slices, dip a serrated knife in hot water and wipe clean between slices.

You can make your own gluten-free oat flour by blending gluten-free oats in a food processor until fine. This may not turn out as fine as shop bought but is not as expensive.

Note: For dairy-free buttercream: Most dairy-free margarines are quite soft. You will need to add four times as much icing sugar to the dairy-free margarines or it will split. I recommend using Naturli block margarine, you will only need twice as much icing sugar to the block margarine. It is a lot tastier and doesn’t contain palm oil.