Gluten Free Almond Coconut Cake

by | Aug 30, 2018 | 20 comments

A few years ago when I was doing food photography and styling workshops, a gluten free cake I adapted from Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake cookbook (one of my favourite baking cookbooks) was a staple at morning tea. A simple almond and coconut cake that I tweaked to be just sweet enough with a generous lashing of lemon. It was so wildly popular at all my workshops that I would get emails requesting the recipe.

Gluten Free Almond And Coconut Cake - Cook RepublicGluten Free Almond And Coconut Cake - Cook Republic

I always sent everyone a photo of my hand scribbled recipe from my recipe testing diary, hoping they could read what I had written. Over the years, many friends and family scored that phone picture of my hand written recipe and they in turn served it to their friends who in turn loved it and requested the recipe. And so it went around. For all those who didn’t ask me but wondered when I would share the recipe, here it is at long last.

When you bite in to this cake, the two stand outs are coconut and lemon riding a delicious buttery wave. The rapadura sugar adds a rich caramel flavour. It is moist with a perfect crumb and delicious warm or cold. I must have baked this cake at least a hundred times (no jokes!) and it is so ingrained in my muscle memory that my body just knows what ingredients to pluck out of the pantry and the quantity to place in my mixing bowl. I can honestly make this cake on auto-pilot.

Gluten Free Almond And Coconut Cake - Cook Republic

Gluten Free Almond And Coconut Cake - Cook Republic Gluten Free Almond And Coconut Cake - Cook Republic

The cake itself is beautifully simple and you just can’t stuff this one up even if you are a novice baker. Because the cake is gluten free, you can’t under beat or over mix it. No matter what you do, it will turn out perfectly. I have added a few options and variations in the notes for you to try in case you don’t have certain ingredients or want to jazz it up even more. I hope you try making this. I promise you will love it so much that you’ll be baking it every week. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments/ratings below and don’t forget to share your cake pictures with me on Instagram using #cookrepublic. Happy baking lovelies! x

Gluten Free Lemon And Coconut Cake - Cook Republic


5 from 1 vote
adapted from Belinda Jeffrey's Mix & Bake cookbook. Tested : 50+ times
Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Course // Baking
Cuisine // Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 -10


  • 180 g almond meal
  • 60 g desiccated coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g rapadura sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder/extract
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 200 g butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • handful of almond flakes


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C (convention)/ 160°C (fan-forced/convection).
  • Grease and line a 20-23cm round cake tin with baking paper.
  • Place almond meal, coconut, salt, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
  • Add eggs and cooled butter to the dry mixture. Using a wooden or metal spoon, mix the cake batter until smooth and thoroughly mixed.
  • Spoon into the prepared cake tin. Scatter with almond flakes.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 40-45 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through the middle (centre springs to touch).
  • Remove from oven and cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving warm.
  • The cake will keep in a cool corner of your kitchen for up to 4 days and in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


  1. * Rapadura sugar is unrefined cane sugar. The water is evaporated from the cane sugar until it crystallizes, which makes the sugar truly unrefined. The molasses in the sugar cane give rapadura sugar its rich golden colour and caramel flavour. If you can't find rapadura sugar, the closest substitute would be coconut sugar followed by regular brown sugar.
  2. If your eggs are really fresh and a decent size, you could get away with only 180g butter instead of 200g. I often add butter ad hoc and try to reduce its quantity. I just ensure that the cake batter is not too dry (like a thick but moist pancake batter of droppable consistency).
  3. If you don't have desiccated coconut, coconut flour works well too. When using coconut flour, if you find that the batter is dry (very thick and won't drop from a spoon), then add an extra egg to make the batter loose and of droppable consistency.
  4. Make It Dairy-Free : Use cocoa butter instead of regular butter.
  5. Variation : Mix a handful of frozen berries before baking it for a summery/springtime picnic cake.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic

Find More Recipes By CategoryCake Gluten Free Vegetarian



I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Ilanit

    Hi, can I replace the butter with oil? If yes how much should I use?
    Thank you for a beautiful blog and recipes

    • Sneh

      Try 140ml light flavoured olive oil or macadamia oil. If the batter is stodgy and not very loose and of thick pourable consistency, then add another 10ml and see how you go? x

  2. v

    I really want to eat it right now. Any chance of making this egg fre as well?

    • Sneh

      I am working on a vegan version of this recipe at the moment and hope to share soon. You could try chia or flax eggs instead of regular eggs? To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water. Mix together, and let sit in your fridge for 15 minutes to set up and thicken. x

      • Deborah

        5 stars
        I used 100g of muscovado sugar ( I ran out of brown) the first time I made this cake & it was so delicious that I always use this sugar. I also use 140 ml of light olive oil instead of butter. It is always a pleasure to make & eat this wonderful cake. Thanks Sneh.

  3. Colette

    I just love almond meal. I could easily toss all the regular wheat flour out and just use almonds!

    This cake is so lovely, Sneh. I’ll make it tonight. I can see us grab a slice here and there for snacks.

  4. Shibani

    5 stars
    The cake and styling looks heavenly.. both almond meal and coconut are my favourite
    thanks for sharing it..

  5. Rachel

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this cake. I made it for a dinner party and it got rave reviews! Going on the make again list 🙂

  6. Irene

    This was beautiful! I’ve made it twice in 2 days!! Thanks so much!

  7. Esther

    5 stars
    I made this recently and can’t wait to make your variation with cocoa butter next. Loved it and so did everyone else who tried it! Thanks again as hard to find a regular recipe that suits everyone 🙂

  8. Andrea

    5 stars
    This cakes is just gorgeous – thank you Sneh 🙂 I served it for dessert with creme fraiche and fresh raspberries on Saturday night and it was a big hit. This will definitely become a regular around here 🙂

    I’m a big fan of Belinda Jeffrey too (she was my mentor in a Tasting Australia risotto competition many years ago!)

    We’ve been trying to reduce our sugar consumption as much as possible to improve gut health and inflammation as my daughter and I both have autoimmune diseases. I was interested to see that Belinda’s original recipe had 250g of sugar, and you have successfully cut it down to 150g, so I tried reducing a little further to 125g and thought it was still sweet enough. I might try going a little lower again next time – being aware that I might affect the texture and moisture if I go too low though.

    Thank you again – she says polishing off a slice for morning tea 🙂

  9. Abigail Margaret

    I have now made it 3 times! Super easy! Will definitely make again. I just found that it only needed 40 minutes in my oven, so keep an eye on it around this time

  10. Simi

    5 stars
    Thanks for this fabulous recipe, Sneh! It was delicious.

  11. Annie

    5 stars
    Just made this cake and wow, it’s DIVINE – beautiful thin crust on the outside, dense and moist on the inside – tastes a lot like something my mum used to call treacle pudding! I didn’t have any butter so used coconut oil, reducing a little as per notes. I reduced the sugar to 130g and it because of the toffee flavour of the rapadura, was plenty sweet enough – will reduce more next time. I didn’t have vanilla so omitted that. I also used 2 limes instead of lemon zest (would increase to 3 next time). Thank you, delicious!

  12. Amy

    5 stars
    I made this dairy free with coconut oil and it turned out beautifully.

    • Sneh

      sounds delicious! thank you for your lovely feedback x

  13. Deborah Drexler

    Can this cake be frozen? Thank you

    • Sneh

      I haven’t tried it before. But I don’t see why not. If you are freezing it, I would recommend baking in a smaller loaf tin, so you get tall rectangle slices which will make it easier to handle after thawing (in case you need to reheat or toast). This is a moist cake and the round shape wouldn’t be conducive to freezing.

  14. Cynthia

    Hi, I don’t like the flavor of coconut (I know, I shouldn’t have clicked on a coconut recipe, my fault), can I substitute those desiccated coconut with gf oats?


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