almond coconut cake

i put myself in charge of making a birthday cake for my friend, jack. he was turning 30 and his lovely girlfriend, kady, wanted to throw him a surprise birthday party. she's so cute. jack is less than a fan of dairy, so i had to get rid of the usual pound and a half of butter and cup of whole milk i typically put into a birthday cake.i made my favorite cake recipe, but subbed in coconut butter for the dairy butter, and used coconut milk to replace the cow's milk. the results? maybe better than the dairy based cake. the almond flavor came through very clean and uninhibited by the usual butter flavor. the cake came out quite a bit less brown than usual. coconut butter doesn't have as high a smoke point as animal butter, so the cake stayed very blond. coconut butter is also pretty neutral in flavor when you bake with it, so the flavor didn't come through so strongly, which i feared it would take over the whole cake. jack is also somewhat of a nature appreciator, going on mountain hikes and so forth. -so i made a nice outdoor scene, going against my ideas of making a raunchy, rudely decorated cake. -and believe me, i had some real nasty ideas.i used my collection of plastic cake decorations to create the outdoor scene. i made rocks (or deer poops, as brian calls them) out of almonds that i rolled in melted chocolate, then in cocoa and sea salt. i ate about 15 of them as i was waiting for them to cool, so i had to make more.., otherwise, this would have been a fast (and tasty) confection. i created snow with coconut, very creative, i know.

this cake would make a wonderful contribution to a holiday table, given that none of your guests are allergic to nuts. in that case, they would probably be offended that you are trying to kill them. you could always make this grain free chocolate cake with peanut butter ridiculous, that contains no nuts, unless you sneak them in to see just HOW allergic your guests are to nuts….. don’t do that. but do remember to begin the argument that peanuts are NOT nuts. holidays are great.

this recipe makes a 2 layer cake.

for the cake


1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/3 cup room temperature coconut oil

4 cups almond flour

1 cup coconut flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

8 eggs at room temp

1 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp vanilla

optional 1/4 tsp almond extract


preheat oven to 350f, position racks in center of oven. prep 2 round 8″ cake pans with parchment rounds and nice coating of oil.

begin by creaming coconut oil and sugar with electric mixer. once combined and fluffy, add coconut milk, vanilla, and almond extract (if using it) at a low-speed, until it is all wet and combined. add eggs, a few at a time, and let it slowly mix.

combine all dry ingredients together.

add dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

scrape batter from the sides of the bowl and continue to mix.

pour batter evenly into 2 cake pans, and bake for 35 minutes or so. watch carefully as nuts burn quickly.

let them cool for a bit before loosening edges from pans and inverting onto cooling racks. these cakes are best served the day after baking. time to dress up the cakes!

for the frosting


1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tbsp honey (or agave nectar)

1 tbsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt


slowly melt olive oil and chocolate in pot or mixing bowl over very low heat. i like to use my deep kitchen aid bowl for this.

stir, stir, stir.

when chips are melted, add honey, vanilla, and salt. once smooth and well combined, remove from heat.

stick bowl into freezer for 15 minutes. if it still looks shiny and drizzly and runny, stick it back into freezer for 10 minute increments until it no longer looks glossy. it should look dull and somewhat firm, but not hard. *if it gets hard, let it sit at room temp for a few minutes before you continue.

with mixer (hand blender works best here), fluff it. yes, it will turn into frosting, just have faith. it took a good 15 minutes or so of whipping with the hand mixer for this to turn into frosting for me. if it has been 15 minutes and the mixture is turning warm, stick into the freezer for a few minutes and try again.

layer frosting onto one of the cakes. place other cake on top, and continue to cover cake in frosting. it is easiest to frost this cake on the warm side of room temp. the frosting will stiffen up quite a bit if your kitchen is particularly cold. i like to spread it when it is soft and whippy.

throw some coconut and pretty decorations on top. light a candle.

happy birthday, jack! don’t fall down and break any of your old bones!


2 thoughts on “almond coconut cake

  1. I love cooking with coconut oil instead of butter! It’s true– everything made with coconut oil tends to taste a little more delicious…at least I think so.

    This cake is SO awesome! I love the deer and the rocks! What a great idea…

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