Cakes might be at the top of my favorite sweets list. I love the juxtaposition of creamy frosting, sweet cake and the endless flavor options! When I cave into sugar cravings, 90% of the time it will be for cake. If you’re wondering, the other 10% goes to sugar cookies. More frosting, please!
I have given you a few naturally sweetened options for cake here, here and here, but I have only a handful of coconut flavored recipes on this site. That’s because I was not always a coconut lover. I was properly introduced to coconut after becoming a vegetarian. My diet expanded and my tastes blossomed to appreciate certain foods like coconut. Now today, coconut constantly surprises me. Every time I eat it whether it be in smoothies, desserts or salads, the more I like it!
Coconut contains a natural sweetness, like bananas and dates, that makes it so versatile in healthy goodies. This cake utilizes coconut in four ways: coconut milk and coconut flour in the cake, coconut cream for the frosting and coconut shreds to sprinkle on the top!
There are fantastic bakeries in every city across the US and incredible cake recipes to make at home, so naturally sweetened cakes need all the help they can get; they need to shine. Coconut adds the shine! It adds bursts of sweetness and flavor that compliments the dense, pound cake perfectly. This cake is ultra moist and loaded with a whole tablespoon of vanilla for maximum sweetness! The frosting is made sans butter for a cloud-like consistency from whipped coconut cream. Sprinkled with coconut shreds, it’s a coconut lovers dream!
This whole foods cake is full of natural and sweet ingredients that provides the perfect balance of texture and flavors. The dense cake holds up well with piles of juicy strawberries in between each layer of cake. Covered in the light whipped frosting, coconut and strawberries taste so well together! However delicious those two are, the sprinkling of lime zest is what really adds a special zing! It creates a delicious burst of citrus that has you coming back for more. In the words of Ina Garten, this is a strawberry poundcake with the volume turned up. Way up! Let us eat cake!
Gluten-Free Strawberry Coconut Lime Cake
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (can use vegan butter), at room temperature
1 cup Honey
6 Large Organic Eggs
6 Tablespoons Coconut Milk (leftover milk from canned cream in frosting recipe below)
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Lime Zest
2 1/4 teaspoons Double Acting Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Mix (I also like TJ’s)
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Position oven rack in center of oven. Oil or butter two 8-inch cake pans.
In an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and honey together until incorporated. It should be smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, lime zest and mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue mixing to incorporate. Add the baking powder, salt, and both flours and mix all together until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate but careful to not over-mix. Pour into the prepared baking dishes and bake covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 12-18 minutes (about 35-45 minutes total). Please do not over bake! Allow to cool. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and place cakes in the freezer to chill for at least 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, add the white cream portion of the coconut milk cans with the agave inulin. I used the coconut milk for the cake and you can store leftovers covered in the fridge for other uses. Beat cream with beaters until whipped and creamy. Add the two extracts to taste and whip until combined.
2 Tablespoons Coconut Shreds, or more if you love coconut!
1 teaspoon Lime Zest
1 1/2 cups sliced Strawberries, plus whole strawberries for garnish
Level cakes by cutting any high bumps in the cake for a smooth surface. Cut cooled cakes through their centers for four 1-inch thick cakes. Place one cake on a cake platter. Place about 1/3-1/2 cup of cream on the first layer. I wanted a naked look for this cake and didn’t need a lot of cake to frost the outer cake. If you would like the cake fully covered with frosting, please reduce cream to 1/4 cup for each layer. Cover cream on cake with an even layer of strawberries. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon lime zest over strawberries and repeat this process until the last layer. Place the last cake bottom side up for a very smooth surface. Frost cake with remaining frosting. Sprinkle with coconut shreds and place fresh, whole strawberries on top. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
Notes: For less coconut flavor, you can use 1 can coconut cream and 8 ounces heavy cream in the frosting and omit the coconut shreds on top. For best results, whip the two creams separately (the heavy cream to firm peaks) and then whip together to combine.
For ease, you can purchase coconut cream at Trader Joe’s that is only the coconut cream and you would only two cans but it has a very strong coconut flavor.