Coconut Cake with Chocolate Ganache {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Coconut Cake with Chocolate Ganache
This recipe almost seems like magic, the way that the shredded coconut combines with a few other ingredients to create a rich, flavourful cake with a moist crumb.  An advantage of this cake is that it doesn’t use any flour, which seems to be in very short supply these days…most people seem to be leaving the coconut on the shelf, which is lucky for us.  Another advantage is that it is very easy to make – everything gets thrown into the food processor and then poured into a cake pan.  The ganache is also very simple; the coconut milk is heated and then poured over the chocolate, and once the chocolate has melted, the mixture is simply whisked, cooled, and poured over the cake.

This cake has become our latest favourite – I’ve made it at least half a dozen times in the past couple of months, and have found that it rises best in a sturdy aluminum cake pan.   Using a vegetable-based butter, rather than dairy butter, also seems to produce a lighter, more tender texture.  Alternatively, a mild-tasting vegetable oil such as sunflower or coconut could also be used.  The decadent ganache is made with coconut cream, but you can also use a high-fat coconut milk, it just won’t be quite as firm.

The basis for this recipe comes from the Amazon preview for a coconut cake recipe in a book by Nicole Spiridakis called “Flourless”.  This recipe makes a single-layer, 8 inch cake.

Coconut Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

For the cake:

115 grams / 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
55 grams / 1/2 cup potato starch
130 grams / 2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams / 7 tablespoons vegan butter, such as “Melt”, cut into pieces, or sunflower or coconut oil
grated zest of one lemon

For the ganache:

120 milliliters / 1/2 cup coconut cream or milk (at least 14% fat)
85 grams / 3 oz bittersweet chocolate (I use Callebaut 70%)
pinch of sea salt

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease an 8 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Aluminum Cake Pan
I prefer to weigh the dry ingredients for this cake, rather than using the cup measurements, as not all cups are created equally (some cups measure 250ml, while others measure 240ml…it’s all very confusing).  So, if you have a scale, weigh the coconut, sugar, and potato starch and place each of these in the bowl of a food processor.  If you don’t have a scale, keep in mind that these measurements originated in an American cookbook, so a one-cup measurement will be about 240ml.  Add the remaining cake ingredients, and process for at least one minute, scraping down the sides once.

Cake Ingredients in Food ProcessorCake Batter in Food Processor

Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.  The cake is done when the top is just turning golden brown and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Be careful not to over-bake, as this will dry out the edges.

Baked Cake

While the cake is baking, chop and weigh the chocolate and place the pieces in a heat-proof bowl.  Heat the coconut cream to just under boiling and pour over the chocolate.  Sprinkle the pinch of sea salt into the bowl.  Wait for five minutes, and then use a small whisk to thoroughly blend the coconut cream and chocolate together.

Coconut Cream on Chopped ChocolateWhisking GanacheGanache
When the cake has finished baking, remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and let cool for ten minutes in the cake pan.  Then, after the ten minutes has passed, run a knife between the pan and the edge of the cake, remove from the cake pan, peel off the parchment and return to the cooling rack to let cool completely.

Baked Cake

Once both the cake and ganache have cooled to room temperature, pour or scrape the ganache onto the cake and spread evenly over the top.  If your ganache seems quite liquidy, you can place it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to firm up a bit.  The cake will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to four days.

Pouring Ganache on Cake

Printable Version:

Coconut Cake with Chocolate Ganache {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 115 grams / 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 55 grams / 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 130 grams / 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 grams / 7 tablespoons vegan butter such as "Melt", cut into pieces, or sunflower or coconut oil
  • grated zest of one lemon

For the ganache:

  • 120 ml / 1/2 cup coconut cream or milk (at least 14% fat)
  • 85 grams / 3 oz bittersweet chocolate I use Callebaut 70%
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

  2. I prefer to weigh the dry ingredients for this cake, rather than using the cup measurements, as not all cups are created equally (some cups measure 250ml, while others measure 240ml...it's all very confusing). So, if you have a scale, weigh the coconut, sugar, and potato starch and place each of these in the bowl of a food processor.  If you don't have a scale, keep in mind that these measurements originated in an American cookbook, so a one-cup measurement will be about 240ml.  Add the remaining cake ingredients to the food processor, and process for at least one minute, scraping down the sides once.

  3. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.  The cake is done when the top is turning golden brown and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Be careful not to over-bake, as this will dry out the edges.

  4. While the cake is baking, chop and weigh the chocolate and place the pieces in a heat-proof bowl.  Heat the coconut cream to just under boiling and pour over the chocolate.  Sprinkle the pinch of sea salt into the bowl.  Wait for five minutes, and then use a small whisk to thoroughly blend the coconut cream and chocolate together.
  5. When the cake has finished baking, remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and let cool for ten minutes in the cake pan.  Then, after the ten minutes has passed, run a knife between the pan and the edge of the cake, remove from the cake pan, peel off the parchment, and return to the cooling rack and let cool completely.

  6. Once both the cake and ganache have cooled to room temperature, pour or scrape the ganache onto the cake and spread evenly over the top.  If your ganache seems quite liquidy, you can place it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to firm up a bit.  The cake will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to four days.

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2 Responses to Coconut Cake with Chocolate Ganache {gluten-free, dairy-free}

  1. Thanks for posting! I tried the recipe and it’s excellent! This is a great cake, very moist, and not too sweet. I really like that it’s healthier, gluten free and very easy to make.

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