Lots of people have tried it now and no one thinks it’s a gluten free cake. This is just a delicious cake! I love the coconut + lemon + almond flour combo and the elastic and chewy crumb. Bonus: pretty much the quickest and easiest cake recipe I know.
Lemon coconut almond cake
This is an easy to make and delicious to eat cake. Put everything in a bowl and stir! No need to whip soft butter or break out an electric whisk. Its texture is comparable to that of the fan-favorite orange cake, both bouncy and moist. And taste! I love, love, love the coconut and lemon combo.
Ideas poured in from my local cafe, and I’ve been eyeing the Lemon Coconut Cake Bars for years. He’s my imitator. Actually, I don’t know if they’re gluten-free. Mine is, because I’ve never come across a flour cake recipe with a fluffy crumb like one made with almond flour.
What you need for this lemon coconut almond cake
Here’s what you need to make this lovely cake:
- Almond meal (aka ground almonds) – This is raw almonds that are blitzed into a fine powder. Easily found nowadays, sold in the dried fruit & nut section and health food section of grocery stores. Or make your own by blitzing raw, unpeeled, unsalted almonds in a powerful blender (I use a Vitamix) until it becomes a fine powder. Almond flour can also be used (not as common here in Australia). It’s finer so gives the cake a slightly fluffier texture and less almond flavour. Hazelnut meal can also be substituted though you’ll have lovely hazelnut flavour instead of almond.
- Butter – The fat in this recipe, gives it a beautiful buttery flavour.
- Baking powder – This is what makes the cake rise.
- Eggs – Make sure they are at room temperature so they incorporate more easily into the batter.
- Coconut – Desiccated coconut which is finely shredded, unsweetened coconut. Standard shredded coconut (which is like fine strands) will work but you’ll get more coconut texture in the cake. I don’t think coconut flakes (shavings) will work in this cake, it’s not absorbent enough.
- Sugar – Use caster / superfine sugar if you can because it is finer so it will dissolve easier. Otherwise, regular / granulated sugar can be used.
- Vanilla extract – For flavour. Not to be confused with artificial vanilla essence which is…well, artificial. So not as nice!
- Lemon – We are only using the zest in this cake, for beautiful lemon flavour. Because the zest is where all the lemon flavour is – the juice is mostly just sour.
- Flaked almonds – for sprinkling on the surface. Adds lovely texture to the cake, looks good and protects the surface from browning too much. But you can skip it you don’t have it!
- Salt – Standard inclusion in most of my sweet recipes these days. Just a touch, to bring out the flavours in this cake. Doesn’t make it salty!
How to make lemon coconut cake
Put everything in a bowl and mix! How much better would life be if all baking recipes were this simple? ? ? (Although my waist size varies).
- Melt the butter in a bowl using your microwave.
- Wet ingredients – Whisk in all the other wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, sugar – yes, sugar is considered a wet ingredient in baking because it liquifies when mixed with other wet ingredients).
- Dry ingredients – Whisk in the almond meal, coconut, baking powder, salt and zest.
- Pour it into a 20cm/8″ lined round cake pan. DO NOT skip lining the pan! Even greasing very generously is not enough to stop it from sticking to the pan, no matter how non-stick you think your pan is. (As you might have guessed, I’m speaking from first hand experience here).
- Bake 40 minutes – Sprinkle the surface with almonds then bake for 40 minutes at 180°C/350°F (160°C fan) or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool for 1 hour before cutting to serve. I was a bit impatient in early versions and found that because the cake is quite moist, it can appear undercooked if you cut it while still warm. (But it’s not undercooked, it just looks that way if you cut while still hot!).
Serve it plain!
While some cakes I recommend with a dollop of whipped cream, ice cream, or other similar toppings, this cake stands on its own. Excellent flavor (lemon + coconut and a hint of almond) with a very moist crumb that almost no flour cake can replicate.
So this is a great cake for morning tea at work, book club, school bake sale, etc. Simply slice and serve. Gluten intolerant people can also enjoy it.
Honestly, don’t bake a gluten-free cake just because you need to. I made it because it’s a great cake and it’s one of the easiest and quickest cake recipes I know.