Gluten-Free White Coconut Cake with Coconut Frosting

This rich, coconut cake is decadent, moist, and tropical. It’s a classic cake for weddings and baby showers.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 3 hours 10 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 12


  • 1 1⁄2 cups brown rice flour
  • 3⁄4 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 1⁄2 cups coconut palm sugar
  • 2 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. coconut extract, divided
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 round 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine rice flour, arrowroot, xanthan gum, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well with a wire whisk. In a large bowl, beat the shortening until fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture, along with 3⁄4 cup coconut milk, applesauce, vanilla, and 1⁄2 teaspoon coconut extract. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake is beginning to pull away from edges and is light golden-brown. Cool completely on wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, cream together shortening, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining coconut milk and coconut extract. Frost cake and generously sprinkle sweetened coconut flakes all over. Chill for 2 hours before serving.