Coconut layer cake with coconut lime curd - this vegan coconut cake is amazingly soft and delicious. Two layers of one-bowl, eggless and dairy free coconut cake topped with fluffy coconut buttercream, tangy coconut lime curd and toasted coconut; coconut heaven!
This is a cake for true coconut lovers! Two layers of soft, moist coconut cake filled with smooth, creamy coconut buttercream, coconut lime curd and toasted coconut flakes; and it is all VEGAN!! (Though you would never be able to guess, it is so good!).
The cakes are super easy to make and you only need one bowl. They get their coconut flavour from coconut milk, coconut oil (make sure you use virgin, not refined which has no coconut flavour), desiccated coconut and a bit of coconut extract (which is totally optional if you can't find it, they are still delicious without it.).
I wish that I could take credit for the genius idea to make coconut buttercream using creamed coconut block; but that honour goes to the very talented Charlotte of Charlotte's Lively Kitchen whose blog you should definitely check out!
The creamed coconut (NOT coconut cream - very different thing) gives the buttercream a wonderful coconut flavour, but because it is solid at room temperature it means that the buttercream isn't too soft.
If you aren't able to get hold of creamed coconut then this cake would also be delicious topped with whipped coconut cream. (Though it won't keep as well.).
I also filled the cake with some of my vegan coconut lime curd which is optional but highly recommended. The lime cuts through the richness of the coconut a little, making this cake even more moreish! My vegan lemon curd would also work well.
A scattering of toasted coconut flakes on top provide a nice contrast in texture as well as making the cake look pretty and adding even more coconut flavour!
If you want a more simple coconut cake for snacking rather than celebrations then I also have a recipe for a one-layer vegan coconut cake which is amazing too!
How To Make Vegan Coconut Layer Cake:
(For ingredients and full instructions see the recipe card below)
*For the best results make sure that you follow the recipe closely. As always, I highly recommend using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup conversions. Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough for baking and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.*
To make the cakes, place the flour, cornflour, desiccated coconut, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir with a balloon whisk until well combined.
Add melted coconut oil, coconut milk, vinegar, vanilla and coconut extract (optional) and mix until well combined but be careful not to over-beat the batter or the cakes can become tough.
Divide the batter evenly between two 20cm/8inch tins (I use a scale for accuracy) and bake for about 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then carefully turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave them to cool completely.
To make the buttercream, first melt the creamed coconut block. This can be done either in short bursts in the microwave, stirring regularly; or over a low heat in a pan on the hob. Don't let it get too hot. Set aside to cool (It shouldn't re-harden, but you don't want it to be warm to the touch or it will melt the butter).
Place the softened vegan block butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sifted icing sugar and whisk until it is smooth and fluffy.
Whisk in the cooled creamed coconut a little at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once all of the coconut has been added you may find that the buttercream is a little bit soft. If it is then not to worry, just pop the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes or so until it has firmed up then give it another whisk before using.
Alternatively, if you find that the buttercream is too firm, you can whisk in a little bit of coconut milk, no more than a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
Decoration wise, it really is up to you. I piped on blobs of the buttercream using a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle (full disclosure - it is not the best buttercream for piping so you won't get sharp peaks if you use this method.) then piped blobs of coconut lime curd in between the buttercream.
You could also simply spread it over the cake if you prefer then drizzle over some of the curd (if using).
How Long Will It Keep?:
I think that this coconut layer cake is best eaten on the day it is made but it will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days. Do not refrigerate unless it is very warm out as the buttercream becomes very firm in the fridge.
Can I Make It In Advance?:
The cakes can be baked in advance and frozen, individually wrapped. Allow to defrost at room temperature before using.
The buttercream will keep in the fridge for up to a week but it will become very firm and you will need to let it soften at room temperature for a while before re-whipping it.
Which Ingredients To Use For The Best Vegan Coconut Cake?:
Using the right ingredients for this vegan coconut layer cake is very important for the best result.
- Coconut Milk: you need to use full fat TINNED (canned) coconut milk, NOT the drinking variety which comes in a carton as this is very watered down.
- Coconut oil: virgin/unrefined coconut oil is best as it contributes to the coconut flavour of the cake. Refined coconut oil will work, but as it is flavourless it wont bolster the coconut flavour. If you don't have coconut oil then the cakes should still work using sunflower oil instead.
- Vegan butter: You MUST use a solid block type of vegan butter/margarine for the buttercream, NOT the spreadable kind in a tub which has too high a water content and is likely to split. I love Naturli Vegan Block which is available from Sainsbury's; but Stork block will also work. In the US use Earth Balance buttery sticks.
- Creamed Coconut: This is the stuff that comes in a solid block, usually in a cardboard packet, and can be found in the Asian or Caribbean section of most supermarkets (or on Amazon). Do not use coconut cream by mistake as this is much too soft.
If you want to make the cake exactly as I did then you will need a half batch of my vegan coconut lime curd.
If you tried this recipe why not tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
Vegan Coconut Layer Cake
- 300 g (2 ½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 30 g (3 Tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 60 g (¾ cup) unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 225 g (1 cup + 1 Tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
- 120 ml (½ cup) melted coconut oil
- 360 ml (1 ½ cups) full fat coconut milk (the tinned kind not the drinking variety) room temperature
- 3 tsp white wine or cider vinegar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp coconut extract (optional)
- 150 g (scant ⅔ cup) vegan block butter (NOT the spreadable kind) (I used Naturli vegan block)
- 225 g (2 cups) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
- 150 g (5.3 oz) creamed coconut block (the kind that comes in a solid block NOT coconut cream in a tin)
- a drop of coconut milk if needed
- ½ batch vegan coconut lime curd (see post above)
- 25 g (½ cup) coconut flakes
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease two 20cm/8 inch round cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
- Place the flour, cornflour, desiccated coconut, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir with a balloon whisk until well combined.
- Add the melted coconut oil, coconut milk, vinegar, vanilla and coconut extract (if using) and mix until well combined but be careful not to over-beat the batter or it can become tough.
- Divide the batter evenly between the tins and bake for about 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then carefully turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, melt the creamed coconut block. This can be done either in short bursts in the microwave, stirring regularly; or over a low heat in a pan on the hob. Don't let it get too hot. Set aside to cool.
- Place the vegan block butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sifted icing sugar and whisk until smooth and fluffy.
- Whisk in the cooled creamed coconut a little at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once all of the coconut has been added you may find that the buttercream is a little bit soft. If it is then not to worry, just pop the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes or so until it has firmed up then give it another whisk before using.
- Alternatively, if you find that the buttercream is too firm, you can whisk in a little bit of coconut milk, no more than a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Toast the coconut flakes in a pan over a low heat until golden.
- To assemble the cake, place one layer on a serving platter or cake stand. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and the coconut lime curd (if using) to a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle.
- Pipe blobs of buttercream all over the cake layer then pipe dollops of the lime curd in the gaps in between the buttercream blobs. (Or you can just spread over the buttercream and drizzle over some of the lime curd).
- Place the other cake layer on top and repeat the piping of the buttercream and lime curd, Scatter over the toasted coconut and serve.