Flourless Almond & Coconut Cake

May 31, 2021
10 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes one 9-inch cake
Author Notes

I almost over-baked this cake. I was sitting on the couch with the scent of almonds and coconut and sugar wafting around me and got distracted imagining a cake-scented perfume. I’d buy this one. I’d wear it every single day and I wager that I’d give Chanel a run for its money.

Lest you worry that one cake couldn’t smell insanely good and taste insanely good too, it does.

I found the recipe in an unlikely place: the organic grains and bulk foods section of the grocery store. I was looking for quinoa and contemplating a nice healthy tabbouleh salad and there—amidst the virtuous bags of teff and flax meal—I found a stellar cake recipe on the back of an almond meal bag.

This recipe plays off the idea of a classic flourless almond cake, but a touch of coconut flour gives it a depth of flavor that I loved. Coconut and almonds are a perfect match: Both are nutty and dense and pair well with sugar.

Something to keep in mind: This cake is very, very moist and you must chill it before slicing into it. Between you and me, forcing someone to wait and chill a cake before eating it is a unique form of torture, and I wouldn’t ask you to do it if it weren’t absolutely necessary.

It’s worth it! This cake is perfect. Eat it plain or sift confectioners' sugar over the top. I made a quick strawberry sauce by cooking frozen strawberries in a saucepan until they thickened and spooned it over my first slice. Vanilla ice cream would not be a bad move, and you also won’t go wrong if you split a slice in half, toast it, and pour heavy cream over top.

It's perfect for a dinner party and even better for breakfast the next morning. It's adapted from the back of the Bob's Red Mill almond meal bag. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs (one at a time), mixing until incorporated. Add milk and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond meal, coconut flour, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so. Once cool (in the pan or out of the pan, either works), chill the cake in the refrigerator. It is VERY moist and needs to chill slightly to firm up.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • okmosa
  • Chloe Hurley
    Chloe Hurley
  • Saima Sandhu
    Saima Sandhu
  • Jessy Li
    Jessy Li
  • Diana Zahuranec
    Diana Zahuranec

73 Reviews

Lori R. November 27, 2022
Your recipe shows the cake topped with frosting
and sliced peaches - what type of frosting did you use?
okmosa April 7, 2021
I bought a bag of almond flour on sale and my 19yo saw the recipe on the back of the bag. So then I picked up some coconut flour and am glad I did instead of sub AP flour. This is like a coconut macaroon (one of my faves) in cake form. I used the bag recipe, and however tasty this is, I will try reducing the eggs to 3 like this recipe and reducing the butter somewhat. I feel it was definitely too moist and a little greasy. And I will keep the salt in; it needs it.
Chloe H. March 16, 2021
Hi, I've made this recipe 3 times now and it's delicious! I've doubled it for a birthday party as the gluten free option and everyone loved it. I cooked it for about 50 minutes because it was double and then turned the oven off and let the residual heat do a little drying so it wouldn't burn.
eileen February 6, 2021
Made this cake and wow!!! I had no coconut flour so I used a bit less AP, added thick shred coconut and almond extract instead of vanilla. Next time will make it with listed ingredients. Thank you for my new night tea cake!
AgnesP123 January 28, 2021
I tried this recipe of yours. This cake is simply delicious. Thank you for your generosity sharing the recipe with so many. I do have a few questions. Just checking - the eggs would that be medium sized eggs preferred? and as for the butter, this is room temperature butter? Thank you for the explanation about how differently the almond flour and coconut flour are and the buffer time of leaving the batter some 15 mins before baking. My cake had a dip in the middle. Not sure what might have caused it. Any advice is helpful. By the way I am in Asia time zone.
Chloe H. March 16, 2021
When I make this I put in an extra 1/4 or half teaspoon of baking powder and it works very nicely. The almond meal and coconut flours are heavier than normal flour so I usually add a little more baking powder than recommended on most GF recipes.
Fatima March 23, 2020
Just made this with 1/2 the amount of sweetener (I used monk fruit) and it is delicious). Wondering if the cake freezes well. Has anyone tried?
DonnaOP December 25, 2019
This has become a family favorite! Not only is it gf for those of us who must, it is easy, delicious, and amazingly (forgivably!) modifiable. Today it will be served with a lemon-blueberry compote and whipped cream after our Christmas dinner. Thank you for such a great recipe!
Anne-Marie July 21, 2019
This is our new go-to recipe for a keto diet sweet snack with no sugar - with modifications. I make them as muffins, as they freeze well and you can just pop one out and thaw whenever. Modifications: use 1/4 c. ricotta or sour cream in place of 1/4 c. of the butter, substitute 1/2 c. powdered monkfruit sweetener for the sugar (the brand we use is Lankato), use almond flour instead of almond meal, reduce cooking time to 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
Saima S. March 13, 2019
Hi; I just tried this recipe... and my cake dipped in the middle. It just sank s it was baking. Any ideas to remedy this. Tia
Jessy L. December 5, 2018
I made this recipe with slight turned out fab! I followed one of the recommendations in the comments. Put some yoghurt in place of butter but not all. The only thing that failed was the cake didnot rise enough perhaps something to do with egg size or should have been mixed for longer. But I am happy it is my first cake recipe to do since i started on Keto diet.
Lilla May 2, 2018
aren't almond meal and almond flour 2 different things? Almond meal is coarser and has skins on the almonds.
Chloe H. March 16, 2021
Here in Australia almond meal is quite soft and has no skins and I've never been able to find 'almond flour' in any supermarkets. Perhaps it's different elsewhere? I make this with almond meal and it works beautifully. Once I was made it with half ground almonds with my food processor because I didn't have enough shop bought almond meal left and that worked great too so I don't think it really makes much difference as long as you put enough baking soda in.
Diana Z. May 24, 2016
I added 3/4 C grated coconut, and used a 10 inch springform pan (wrapped with tin foil in case of leaks), baked at 375 for 50 minutes, covered with foil for all but 15 minutes to keep it from burning. Turned out well. Very tasty, definitely better in the fridge. I'd experiment on this recipe in the future--adding more coconut, or flour, or maybe less butter? Substitute part of the butter for ricotta or Greek yogurt? Because rather than moist, it felt heavy/fatty/buttery, to me.
ellen July 13, 2016
you had me at heavy/fatty/buttery… :)
this cake is amazing! the 1st time i made it, i subbed coconut milk for the milk & coconut extract for the vanilla- plus i added a 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. it was super moist & yummy & you can taste the coconut & the almond. tonight i made it sans coconut by subbing all-purpose flour for the coconut flour & almond extract for the vanilla, plus the 1/2 tsp. kosher salt again. i like the all almond version better! this is a very simple, delicious cake. i also made it in a 9-inch square cake pan, so i could cut it into small squares. i cut about a 1/4 inch in from all the sides (to avoid the curved, dark edge pieces plus, hello, cake scraps) & cut the middle into 36 small squares. you don't even need frosting- just set them on a pretty platter & give them a dusting of powdered sugar for a lovely finish!
Lauren's P. April 21, 2016
Since Passover and my niece have a birthday the same night, this will be her Birthday Cake. I might add some toasted coconut and perhaps a basil strawberry compote? Or another suggestion to make it more festive??
Posie (. April 21, 2016
Oh I love the basil strawberry compote idea! I really love serving this cake with lemon curd and ice cream, but any sort of fruit compote or curd would be absolutely excellent. I'd probably leave the batter as is, because it's so lovely, but you could also make a quick coconutty frosting. A seven minute frosting (I have a recipe for that on this site) with shredded coconut would be delicious too.
jenny April 20, 2016
Made this today, following the original recipe aside from using almond milk instead of the regular milk. It had a nice texture, moist and golden on top, but the taste was very bland. Would go with others suggestions of adding flavours such as coconut or lemon.. Could also do with a pinch of salt. Has anyone else had any real successes? I fancy adding fine espresso grounds and cardamom for something much more memorable!
jenny April 21, 2016
I tried this again - I made a coffee syrup, and used a 1/4 cup of that in the batter (along with 1/4 cup yoghurt instead of the milk, reducing the sugar in the original recipe accordingly), and then put in 2 tsp ground cardamon. I put chopped walnuts on top of the cake as it went into the oven, and poured the rest of the coffee syrup over the top when it came out. Oh My God! OK, it is nothing like the cake the original recipe had in mind, but it is one of the best cakes i've ever made :-)
Posie (. April 21, 2016
Haha love it, way to get creative!!
Jenny April 2, 2016
Do you think it will be okay to use entirely Almond meal? I don't have coconut flour but I do have shredded coconut...
jenny April 21, 2016
I often sub shredded coconut for coconut flour in cake recipes, and aside from giving a more pronounced coconut flavour, it doesn't seem to have any adverse affect on the cake itself so go for it :-)
Luz March 12, 2016
Just made a dozen cupcakes using this recipe and it turned out lovely. Rose quite high, but with a nice golden crust. Also added some gingerbread spices to it as well. Baked for about 20-25 minutes and topped with cold unsweetened coconut cream. Yum!
Sue January 30, 2016
I make it with honey always. When using honey you just use baking soda (due to the acidity in the honey) and I lower the temperature slightly and watch it quite closely since honey makes things darken more quickly. It's worked out very well each time.
Sara B. November 17, 2016
Wonderful suggestion for honey in lieu of sugar. I am going to try this!
Ghazzzit January 7, 2019
Hi Sue, how much honey do you use in place of the sugar? Do you modify any other proportions so it isn't too wet?
Suzy January 29, 2016
has anyone tried reducing the sugar and/or swapping for something (slightly) healthier than white sugar? if so, how did it go?
Stacy G. April 7, 2019
I replaced the sugar with 1/4 cup of stevia and it tasted great.
Amanda I. January 8, 2016
Is anyone else having a problem with this not staying whole- it looks beautiful out of the oven ( smooth, brown and golden on top)and after it cools and chills and you go to cut slices or remove from the pan-the bottom always separates from the top and it turns into a crumbly, though delicious, mess. ideas? Thoughts?
lynn September 13, 2015
What can i substitute for the coconut flour? I can't do coconut. Thanks so much!