Yellow Coconut Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting



Tender yellow cake is layered with fluffy cocoa buttercream, and all gently sweetened with the floral notes of raw honey.  Fresh milk, eggs with richly colored yolks, and dense coconut flour combine to make a cake of substance that won’t throw you into a sugar-spiral.  It is nice to enjoy your food without having to pay the price for it later!

This cake is moist, dense, and perfect for a birthday celebration or holiday.  Like my little boy’s birthday party!  I have missed having the yellow cakes from my childhood as I have gone through my real food transformation.  I only remember making cakes from boxes as a child.  I do not think it even occurred to me that I could make one from scratch.  Also, I just could never get it quite right with sprouted flour (though I am still determined to figure it out here!)

Update: This Yellow Butter Cake made with sprouted flour is my new favorite!  I cannot tell which one I like best, to be honest.

This is my favorite version of this cake, which is a riff I have been working on inspired by Jenny’s coconut flour cake here.  I have changed a few things, but it remains delectable and a sure crowd-pleaser.  In fact, I made an almond flour cocoa cake to go alongside this cake at the party, but everyone preferred this cake over the double chocolate option.

Make sure that you cut this cake thinly, since coconut flour is dense and contains a fair amount of fiber.  It will fill you up more quickly that it’s white-flour-made counterparts.  Savor each bite and do not feel guilty.  This is cake the way it was meant to be eaten!

Equipment Needed:

Yellow Coconut Cake
makes two 9-inch round cakes

one dozen eggs
2 1/4 cups milk* (find raw milk here)
3/4 cup honey (buy raw honey here)
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract (buy high-quality extracts here)
2 cups coconut flour (buy coconut flour here)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda* (buy aluminum-free baking soda here)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter two round cake pans, line with parchment circles cut to fit the pans, and then butter the parchment paper as well.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix eggs, milk, honey, and vanilla together until completely blended and smooth.  In a separate bowl, whisk coconut flour, baking soda, and salt together to get out as many lumps as possible.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine very thoroughly with a mixer.
  4. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about 40 minutes, or until slightly browned on the edges and the cake pulls away from the sides of the cake pan.
  5. Place the cakes on cooking racks until completely cool before you loosen them from their pans.  Run a knife around the edge and carefully turn the cake pan over until the cake comes out.
  6. Assemble cake by placing one cake on a plate, spreading with Cocoa Buttercream and stacking the second cake directly on top.  Then frost the entire cake with the rest of the Cocoa Buttercream Frosting (below).
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
makes enough for one double layer cake
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature (buy grass-fed butter here)
1/2 cup raw honey (buy raw honey here)
2 tablespoons brewed coffee**, cooled (buy organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee here)
2 tsp. vanilla (buy extracts here)
  1. Put butter and honey into a bowl on your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk at a high speed for 3-5 minutes until well-combined and light colored.  Turn mixer off and add cocoa powder and vanilla.  Start mixer slow until combined, then whisk on high for another 3 minutes.  Turn off, scrape down the sides of the bowl, unhook the whisk attachment and use to combine by hand.
  2. Chill entire bowl and detached whisk attachment in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Remove and whisk once more for 3 minutes.  Use to frost immediately.  Store leftover frosting in the fridge.

*If you are on GAPS, use coconut milk instead of milk and omit the baking soda.

**A small amount of coffee in chocolate recipes really makes the chocolate flavor pop.  You don’t taste the coffee, but the chocolate tastes better.  If you don’t want to use coffee, use a good quality coffee substitute, like Teeccino or Dandy Blend (though neither are GAPS-legal).  Weak coffee is GAPS-legal.  The coffee substitutes are kinder on your body (not acidic, no caffeine).  Pick whichever suits you best!

This post is a part of Weekend GourmetSunday SchoolMonday ManiaFat TuesdayTraditional TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayHealthy2day WednesdayReal Food Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise PlatterFull Plate Thursday, Fight Back Friday, and Fresh Bites Friday.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


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  1. Looks delicious! Will have to try this. 🙂

  2. I’m drooling! That frosting looks amazing. My husband’s birthday is Sunday – this may have to be on the menu…

  3. Have you tried this cake as cupcakes?? Do you think it would just take a different bake time?? I like doing cupcakes for kids parties, so much easier!!

  4. Ummm…My oldest is allergic to eggs so I guess that means more for me :-). I wonder if coconut oil would work in the frosting since he’s seriously allergic to dairy too. This looks amazing. One dozen eggs – makes me smile! :-).

  5. OH, Kendahl. This looks crazy amazing!! I’ve never even made cake before, but this is enough to make me go out and buy some round cake pans. I’m going on GAPS soon and I’ll be counting down the days til I’m off intro and can make myself some of this cake in celebration!!

  6. What a great looking recipe! My mom always used that coffee trick too. What also works, if you’re on GAPS (like me) or don’t want to use coffee, is half of a freshly squeezed orange. Same principle – orange flavor disappears if you don’t use too much, and the chocolate tastes chocolatier. 🙂

    • Really!? That is so cool to know. I will try that in my next batch of something chocolatey (I’m not a very good influence, am I? Eating chocolate all the time, mwahahaha!)

  7. Kendahl,
    This is a beautiful cake that would be just perfect for our dessert this evening. Your frosting looks awesome! Thank you so much for sharing with our 1st Anniversary Party at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. This great post is featured at Sunday Snippets this week! Thanks for sharing! Come and check it out!

  9. wow this is so so good!! I was totally surprised at how good this is! I used coconut milk since we are doing GAPS, and I really can’t even taste coconut, which is what I was afraid of. So so good. I cut myself a slice and one for my husband and I must admit, I’m eating his since he’s still at work…shhh, don’t tell! 😉 thank you for such a great recipe!

  10. This looks so amazing. I love coconut and have been trying to find a recipe that has coconut flour in it. Love it, love it, love it. Can’t wait to try it.

  11. Okay, I am very happy with this recipe and will use it again sometime!

    I made one cake and 12 cupcakes with the mix (a small layer of cupcake stuck to the paper cases, but were tasty (unfrosted) regardless! I am freezing 8 cupcakes for another day). I like that the cake isn’t super sweet like some other coconut flour recipes I have tried, perfect for my young children as a special treat.

    As for the chocolate buttercream frosting… Oh. My… where has it been all my life??! That was DELICIOUS!!!! And not sickly sweet like “normal” frosting/icing. Wow, wow, wow! Considering it is basically organic butter and raw honey, this is a perfect energy snack! I think this Mummy will keep a stash of it in the fridge to eat a spoonful now and then… a secret treat for the adults! 🙂 So good!!

  12. Totally love this!! I agree, where has this been all of my life?! Keep up the good recipes!

  13. I made this for dessert for yesterday’s church dessert. It was a big hit, and no one could even tell that it was healthy! Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. I used homemade butter that I whipped from organic cream–this frosting tops anything you could buy premade. Will be making this regularly! Thanks!

  15. Kathy Bowers says:

    I made this for my son’s birthday. He eats very healthy and I wanted to try a really healthy cake. It was amazing! My son loved it and I plan to use the cake recipe and try different frostings for variety!

  16. Uuuuuuh… This cake is the absolute most thing to ever dance across my tongue!!!!! My kids and hubby all flipped over it. We’re having it for the second time tomorrow to bring to my nieces bday party… Doin bdays real food stylie – byoc bring yo own cake 😉 The first time, my daughter cut the cake into chunks and served it layered with mixed berries and whipped heavy cream. Boooooy does THAT work out nicely. Gonna whip up your butter cream frosting for it this time. Im so freakin stoked. Gotta give a shout to my teenaged daughter who was the one who stumbled upon this gem of a recipe! Fab.

  17. Made this as cupcakes for a church dinner. They were fabulous. (Almost a cheesecake-like texture to the cake.) There was a little frosting left over. My daughter chilled it and then formed it into balls and rolled them in cocoa powder, then froze them. Amazing! 🙂

  18. thanks for posting recipes with real ingredients! I can’t wait to try it!!

    • I just made it, it was amazing! Even my husband who normally hates these types of receipes was about licking the plate clean. I made them (GAPS) in (2) loaf pans after halving the recipe (too much for 2 people), then cut the loaves in half and sliced them in the middle. Made a 4 layer cake with frosting in the layers only and on top (serves 4-5). I’ve frozen the other loaf for future use, but thinking it could be good for making french toasts. LOVE IT!!

  19. Just found this amazing recipe and the cake is baking in the oven as I type this!! I was wondering, for the icing is it 1 cup or 2 cups of butter? It says 2 sticks of butter but you can buy butter in 4oz and 8oz sticks. Thanks!

    • Hi Megan, it’s supposed to be one cup of butter. I hope you managed to figure it out in the meantime! I updated the recipe to be clearer, so thank you for pointing this out.

  20. I just made this recipe as cupcakes. Oh.My.Goodness. They are delish. I must say, this recipe restored my belief in using coconut flour. I have NEVER had anything turn out well that I have made using coconut flour. (Unless I was trying to make bland tasting paver stones that can manage to both chip my teeth and soak up every last drop of moisture in my mouth. In that regard, I have had many successes.)
    That all changed when I stumbled upon the recipes of a coconut flour Goddess. You have tamed the coconut flour beast. For that, I thank you!

  21. Ummmm – have so totally done something wrong here……….. The mixture curdled and went really thick – more like a dough. It’s in the oven now and smells amazing, but I don’t have high hopes of it holding together. Any idea what I may have done wrong??

    • It should be really thick. It always surprises me, and I’ve made it several times!

      But as for the curdling, I can’t imagine why it did that. Did you blend it really well with a food processor or an immersion blender? Coconut flour is very hard to mix in smoothly, so the clumps could possibly make it look curdled?

  22. Tiffany says:

    Can you freeze this cake with frosting and all. Want to save leftovers?

  23. Kelly Gurski says:

    Just made this awesome cake, I was a bit worried about 12 eggs in one cake, but it is BEAUTIFUL, thank you so very much for sharing. xxoo

  24. For cupcakes? Can you half the recipe? How long should they bake if cupcakes? Can’t wait to try this for my son’s birthday! 🙂

  25. As a GAPS legal coffee alternative you can you dandelion root coffee. I think it’s healthier too!

  26. Kendahl, how would the frosting hold up outside at a picnic for a few hours? I’m thinking of doing it today… Hoping I’m catching you available. 😉

  27. Kari Martin says:

    I made the icing, but neither the cocoa or the honey dissolved. With this being the case, it was bitter. I put the whole thing over a double broiler and heated it until dissolved, stuck it in the fridge and beat it again when it was cold. It worked great this way. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Keesha Doss says:

    I already have this cocoa power (… wonder if it will work just as well as what you recommend? I might try it. Altho I’m nervous to substitute. :o( The brand is International Harvest and it says it’s certified organic raw sun dried cacao powder. Off the top of your head, can you think of a reason why it WOULDN’T work? :o/

  29. Awesome frosting! I made a half batch today for a round chocolate cake.

  30. I am planning on making this for my daughter’s third birthday. She has asked for a PINK cake, so I am planning on adding some natural red food coloring to the batter. I will let you know how it turns out!

    Also, I plan on making this ahead of time. Will it keep on the counter in a 70 degree kitchen under a cake plate?

  31. I’m also planning on making this for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. I’m thinking I should make a practice cake, to make sure it comes out right. My husband seems very enthusiastic about the practice cake idea, for some reason. 😉 Anyway, my question is, how many people does this cake typically serve?

  32. :’D I’m ecstatic right now.
    I’m too cheap to use a whole twelve eggs in a cake, even for my own birthday, so I used egg replacements. I haven’t known egg replacements to go so hot in baking, but I dove in with a combination, and it *worked*. This cake looks fluffy and tastes *wonderful*. I took a nibble from the edge of a layer to test that. 😛
    Used four real eggs and subbed the rest with this stuff:
    1/2 cup applesauce + 1 tsp. baking powder
    6 T. Flax meal left to gel in *reduced liquid + 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
    3 Gelatin eggs (3 tsp. gelatin + 9 T. cold water + 6 T. and 3 tsp. boiling water)
    *I reduced the liquid by 1/4 cup, since the applesauce adds some moisture.

    My first Paleo birthday! It’s complete! I have a lot of memories associated with yellow cake and chocolate buttercream, so this is just perfect. Thank you so, so much for this phenomenal recipe! <3

  33. Thanks for this yummy post! What are your thoughts of subbing almond milk?

  34. I made this for my son this week as he doesnt like super sweet cakes. It was delicious and everyone loved it! We even had it for breakfast because hey…. its coconut and honey!!! xoxo thanks!

  35. Hi! When do you add the coffee in to the frosting? Is it when you put in the cocoa powder and vanilla? I do not want to mess this up! It looks amazing!


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