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A white frosted coconut cake topped with a chopped guava fruit and some guava curd.

Gluten-Free Coconut Cake

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes
  • Yield: 16 Slices 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


The ultimate cake for coconut fans. Made with both coconut milk and shredded coconut, this gluten-free and dairy-free coconut cake is packed full of real coconut flavor. Filled with tangy lemon curd, guava filling, and covered in a light whipped cream cheese frosting, it’s coconut cake heaven!



Coconut Cake

  • 1 can (398ml) coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 cup (120g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 ½ cups (400g) gluten-free flour blend *
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup (180g) vegan salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup (288g) granulated sugar
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • ½ cup (120g) vegan sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

Lemon Curd

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 1 large egg

  • ⅛ cup (24g) granulated sugar

  • ½ cup (118ml) lemon juice, freshly squeezed (approximately 3-4 large lemons)

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ¼ cup (60g) vegan salted butter, room temperature

Guava Filling

  • ¾ cup (400g) guava paste
  • ¾ cup (177 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice, freshly squeezed (approximately 12 lemons)
  • ⅛ cup (24g) granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 1 cup (227g) vegan salted butter, cold
  • 1 cup (227g) vegan cream cheese, cold
  • 7 cups (840g) icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


Coconut Cake

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the shredded coconut and coconut milk. Make sure the coconut is fully covered and allow it to soak for 1 hour. After it has soaked for 1 hour, strain the shredded coconut and set it aside. Save the coconut milk too as that will be used in the cake.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees and prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg whites and mix again on high for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the sour cream or yogurt, vanilla extract, and coconut extract (if using) and mix on high for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and turn the mixer on low.
  7. As the mixer is on low slowly pour in 1 cup (not the entire can) of canned coconut milk that was used in step 1 and allow the batter to mix until just combined. Be careful to not overmix the batter. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  8. Add the soaked shredded coconut into the cake batter and combine with a spatula until just incorporated.
  9. Divide the cake batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs and the cake edges begin to pull away from the cake pans.
  10. Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Lemon Curd

  1. In a medium pot combine the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, and lemon juice.

  2. Cook mixture on medium-low heat constantly stirring with a whisk until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. This should take approximately 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Add in the salt and butter and mix until fully melted and incorporated.

  4. Strain curd into a shallow dish to remove any cooked egg bits and immediately cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Let cool completely before filling the cake.

Guava Filling

  1. Cut the guava paste into chunks and place it into a medium pot.
  2. Add in the remaining guava filing ingredients and begin to cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  3. The guava chunks will begin to melt and the sugar will start to dissolve. Continue to stir. (If there are any stubborn guava chunks, you can mash them with a potato masher or a fork to speed the process up.)
  4. Allow the guava filling to gently simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. (The mixture should be smooth and without grit when rubbed between two fingers.)
  5. Pour the guava filling into a shallow dish and immediately cover it with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow to fully cool to room temperature before filling the cake.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and cream cheese together on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  2. Add in the icing sugar and salt and mix on low until combined.
  3. Turn the mixer to high and allow to beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each fully cooled coconut cake layer with a cake leveler or knife if needed.

  2. Place one leveled layer of cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately 2 cups of cream cheese buttercream.

  3. Pipe a buttercream border around the edge and fill with approximately ¾ cup of lemon curd.
  4. Place another layer of leveled coconut cake on top of the lemon curd and very gently apply a thin coat of buttercream to all of the cake. If the cake feels unstable or the buttercream is soft, stop here and chill the cake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the cake from the fridge and repeat step 4 but with the guava filling. Top with the remaining coconut cake layer and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the exposed cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  6. Cover the cake with a final layer of cream cheese buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother or Wilton cake comb.

  7. Decorate the cake as you please. I topped the cake with some leftover guava filling, shredded coconut, and large slices of guava fruit. Enjoy!

  8. Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


* Make sure the gluten-free flour blend contains xanthan gum. If it does not you will need to add in 1 tsp of xanthan gum.

  • Prep Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 676
  • Sugar: 67 Grams
  • Sodium: 211 Miligrams
  • Fat: 37 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 26 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 1 Gram
  • Carbohydrates: 85 Grams
  • Fiber: 1 Gram
  • Protein: 6 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 91 Miligrams

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