Deliciously perfect vegan coconut cake from scratch! Paired with a vegan coconut cream frosting. Simple to make and looks so professional!
I rarely share personal stories on our site, but this is one I wanted to share for this vegan coconut cake recipe.
Coconut, in my opinion, gets a bad rap. It’s not usually one of those hate it or love it foods that people immediately think of; however, it is completely a hate it or love it food. So many people have said that they just can’t stand the taste or smell of coconut anything.
I thought growing up, that I was one of those people. My mom didn’t like coconut and therefore by default, I didn’t like coconut either.
I remember that at almost every gathering or holiday, my grandmother would make a coconut cake. For years and years, I would never try it because, by default, I didn’t like coconut.
I was well into my 20s before I would actually ever end up tasting that cake and I immediately regretted all my life’s choices. How did my mom not like this cake? It was delicious.
Today, we are recreating for you a vegan coconut cake that reminds me perfectly of my grandmas’s cake, without adding in any dairy or eggs.
Watch How to Make Vegan Coconut Cake:
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What ingredients do you need for Vegan Coconut Cake?
There are 2 parts to this recipe: the cake and the frosting. For this recipe you need the following ingredients:
- Cake flour (can sub all purpose)
- Vegan sugar
- Dairy Free butter
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
- Coconut extract
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Full fat coconut milk
- apple cider vinegar
- powdered sugar
- dairy free milk
- coconut flakes
How do you make Vegan Coconut Cake?
Even though this egg free coconut cake looks fancy, it’s actually very easy to make.
To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll out parchment paper and trace around the bottom of 2 9-inch round cake pans. Cut out the circles and place at the bottom of your pans. Using butter or coconut oil, grease the sides of your pans liberally. Lightly dust with flour all around. Set aside.
In a bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes. Because most vegan sugars are more coarse, don’t skip this step. The length of time is important to break down the sugar.
Next, add in the applesauce and mix just until combined. Then add the extracts and mix again.
Pour the canned coconut milk and apple cider vinegar together in a small bowl.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the coconut milk mixture. Mixing just until combined. See video if you need more direction on doing this.
Fold in coconut flakes.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let the cakes cool for 30 minutes in the pan. Then, turn them onto a baking rack to finish cooling completely before frosting.
Tip: If you need to speed this process up, you can let cool for 10 minutes, flip out, wrap cakes with saran wrap and place in freezer until cool. Usually about 30-45 minutes total. Wrapping them keeps the heat in and stay moist.
For the frosting – Combine powdered sugar and softened vegan butter in a bowl with a mixer. Then, add in the extracts and mix together. Finally, Add in one tablespoon of milk at a time until you get your desired spreadable consistency.
Spread a layer of frosting between the cakes and then all around your cakes. Carefully pat handfuls of coconut flakes onto your cake.
*We left the top of the cake in the photos open so you could see the frosting; however, you can put coconut flakes over the entire cake.
Can I make this Top 8 Allergy Friendly?
You can swap out the flour for Measure for Measure flour from King Arthur. (Note, we haven’t ourselves made this vegan coconut cake gluten free; however, we’ve had successful trails work with this flour.
The butter should be soy free. Earth Balance Soy Free in the red tub is out favorite for that.
Any dairy free milk can be used.
If you are in the US, then coconut is a tree nut allergy; however, if you are in other parts of the world, it is not.
Therefore, technically, you can’t make this Top 8 Allergen free because coconut is not a swappable ingredients. Otherwise, besides the coconut, it is am allergen friendly cake!
Can you prep Dairy Free Coconut Cake ahead of time?
This vegan coconut cake lasts best stored covered in an air tight container or cake stand for 4-5 days! The bigger issue is let’s see if you can make it early and not delve into it! Yum!
WHAT ARE OTHER VEGAN CAKE RECIPES THAT I SHOULD TRY?
Just because you have food allergies or preferences, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to have great tasting desserts. We’d even venture to say that these are better than their “normal” counterparts. These are some other dairy free cake recipes that you should try:
- Vegan Strawberry Cake
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vegan Lemon Pound Cake
- Try these vegan vanilla cupcakes in a cake pan
- Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
Pin this Vegan Coconut Cake for later:
Vegan Coconut Cake
For the Cake
- 3 cups cake flour (can sub all purpose or GF- See post notes)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups vegan sugar
- 3/4 cup vegan butter
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract (*If almond allergy, omit)
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out parchment paper and trace around the bottom of 2 9-inch round cake pans. Cut out the circles and place at the bottom of your pans.
- Grease the sides of pans liberally (spread butter or coconut oil). Lightly dust with flour all around. Set aside.
- In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes.
- Add in applesauce and mix just until combined.
- Add the extracts and mix again.
- Pour the canned coconut milk and apple cider vinegar together in a separate bowl.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk. Mixing just until combined.
- Fold in 1/2 cup coconut flakes.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven. Let the cakes cool for 30 minutes in the pan. Then, turn them onto a baking rack to finish cooling completely before frosting. (*See post notes if need faster).
For the Frosting
- Combine powdered sugar and softened vegan butter in a bowl with a mixer. Add in the extracts and mix together. Add in one tablespoon of milk at a time until you get your desired spreadable consistency.
- Spread a layer of frosting between the cakes and then all around the cake.
- Carefully pat handfuls of coconut flakes onto cake.
- Store cake covered at room temperature for 4-5 days.
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