Monday, 16 January 2012

Gluten/Dairy Free Spiced Coconut Cake

As I continued to clear my store cupboard of ingredients I stumbled upon a bag of dessicated coconut I bought a few weeks ago. Now, I love coconut cake as much as anyone else, but it got me thinking if I could maybe spice it up a bit, so I've come up with this. I think the spices really compliment the coconutty flavour and the sponge is dense, sweet and moist. I've given mine an extra hit of ginger but you can balance it however you like. I also used some orange zest for fragrance but you can substitute some orange extract, lemon zest, even a bit of booze if you'd prefer! Oh and finally although not initially intentional this one is both dairy and gluten free, so if you are anti either of those you can fill your boots!

Prep time: 10 Mins
Baking time: 60 Mins
A little oil for greasing
400ml Tin of Coconut Milk
225g Dark Soft Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs
2tsp Mixed Spice
2tsp Ground Ginger
The Zest of 1 Medium Orange
1tsp Baking Powder
250g Dessicated Coconut
200g Ground Almonds

Right, so to start preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease/line the base of a 23cm springform tin. In a large bowl whisk together the coconut milk and sugar (Probably best to use a hand whisk for this), then crack in the eggs and continue whisking until combined. Add in the spices, zest and baking powder then whisk until nicely combined. Using a wooden spoon mix in the coconut, followed by the ground almonds then pour the mixture into the tin, giving it a little jiggle to even out the mixture. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 60 minutes, until the top is a nice even brown and a metal skewer can be cleanly removed from the middle. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then turn out onto a plate ready for serving. One final point of note, be extra careful when turning the cake out as the moist sponge is a little more fragile than normal!


  1. Dear Mr Gentleman Baker.

    Would this cake be suitable for subsequent decorating for a first birthday cake? With the boys first birthday coming up in a couple of weeks, I need to bake a cake and decorate it for both small and grown up people to consume with tea (only the grown ups for the hot beverage!).

    Having only ever baked a Christmas cake before now, I am on the look out for a birthday cake recipe that isn't out of an Annabel Karmell book and can be baked by someone who has never made a sponge cake before...figured you're the best person to consult on such matters!

    yours, smilingly, Sarah xxx

  2. I'd probably say no on this one as a celebration cake. I'd say it's a bit divisive, especially if coconut isn't your thing. How about the orange and almond cake I posted a while back? I've made this for a couple of birthdays and it goes down a treat (As long as they are ok with nuts)

  3. its divisive? didn't know cakes could be so disagreeable with people :)

    Had a look at the other cake - it looks more complicated than the coconut cake, but at least all the ingredients are familiar. And, having watched Heston on telly the other day I am now armed with the knowledge of how to melt chocolate in a seductive fashion. I also like that Yotam bloke, but never done any of his recipes cos there are so many damn ingredients!

    mmmm, i will give it a go, will let you know the outcome in a couple of weeks.

    Oh - question - will it be OK if I bake the cake the day before and ice it on the day?


  4. Hi Sarah

    It has unusual tastes and textures going on that is great for gastronauts such as you and I, but could be challenging for kids or the less adventurous! I recommended the Ottolenghi one as it's much more of an all rounder (Mainly because it has chocolate on top!) and is honestly a doddle to make. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw the ingredients list myself but it is honestly very easy. The other great thing about it is you can make it the day before and even ice it 24 hours later as the syrup keeps it so moist. So that should suit your requirements.

    If you're still a bit worried let me know the sort of cake you're after and I'll sort you out with an easy recipe to match. No problem!