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Coconut Cake

I was recently in a Cuban restaurant in NYC and there on the counter was a white, tall, fluffy coconut cake. I wanted it bad. Given my aversion to refined sugar I couldn’t order it, but it got me thinking about the bag of unsweetened coconut, cans of coconut milk, bottle of coconut extract, and jar of coconut oil in my pantry closet and my mind was off to the races.

But when I got home and looked at recipes I was surprised to discover that none of the recipes called for much in the way of coconut other than sticking some shredded coconut on the icing after it was all done. That didn’t seem right. How can you have coconut cake without coconut? So, I started working on taking traditional recipes and substituting a coconut product into it in every way possible. Does it call for milk? We’re using coconut milk instead. Does it call for vanilla extract? We’re using coconut extract. Does it call for butter? Yep, we’re using coconut oil instead.

Did you know that coconut oil is solid at room temperature? And that it’s used as a replacement for butter in many vegan baked goods? And that it’s delicious? Well, it is. Since I wasn’t going to be throwing dried coconut at the icing I went with a loaf pan style for the cake and topped it with a glaze. It’s good.

Coconut Loaf Cake


  • 8 oz coconut oil, 1/2 cup
  • 2/3 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk, I used “light” which had less fat
  • 1.3 oz unsweetened dried coconut


  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar


  1. In the work bowl of a stand mixer blend together the oil and sweetener until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the coconut extract and beat.
  4. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add in half of the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix. Add in the milk and mix. Add in the other half of the flour and mix.
  6. Add in the coconut and mix.
  7. Spoon into a greased and floured loaf pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  9. Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a rack to cool.
  10. When the cake is cool, whisk together the glaze and pour 1/4 of it over the cake. When it dried, pour the next 1/4 over it. Repeat with the remaining glaze until it is all used.
  11. Slice and serve.

Number of servings (yield): 12

Meal type: dessert