Vegan Triple Coconut Cake
Did you see the words Vegan Triple Coconut Cake and think “No thanks, I'm out” because it is 1) vegan or 2) coconut? I don’t blame you. We’ve all had our share of dry and tasteless cake that we immediately regretted eating.
Since there are no calorie refunds, I am picky about the cake I put in my mouth. It better be good and it better be worth it. I assure you this one is both, thanks to coconut milk.
When I was a kid we lived in Hawaii. I thought only tourists drank coconut milk, usually through a straw stuck into the shell. So imagine my surprise when tetra paks of it hit mainstream grocery store chains a few years ago.
Contrary to what my seven-year-old self imagined, coconut milk is not the liquid that is found inside a coconut. That translucent liquid is coconut water. And that is what those sunburned visitors drank just before they got the runs.
Coconut milk is made from grated coconut pulp that has been simmered with water to create an opaque liquid that looks like cow’s milk. Depending on the amount of water used, the resulting milk can be thick (coconut cream), thin (coconut milk), or really thin (lite coconut milk).
What is it used for, besides annoying the barista at Starbucks? Coconut milk is an ingredient in many Southeast Asian dishes such as tom kha kai (Thai coconut soup), nasi lemak (Malaysian rice dish), and soto (Indonesian soup). Some Latin American and Caribbean cuisines use it, too.
It is super delicious when used in desserts. This cake uses coconut three ways: milk, oil, and shredded flakes. The milk adds moistness and a subtle coconut flavor without being overpowering.
Plus, it keeps this cake vegan.
Common sense says we need eggs and dairy to make a delicious cake. We talked recently about wacky cakes, which disproves all that. It is possible to put together a cake worthy of any celebration and have it be vegan.
What makes a cake vegan? No animal products. So that means no butter, no milk, no eggs, no gelatin, and no milk chocolate.
That sounds like a buzzkill but read on.
Vegan cakes rely on
- baking soda or baking powder combined with an acid like vinegar for the lift, or leavening, that cakes need in order to be fluffy.
- vegan mayo and oils to provide fat to make the cake tender.
- water or plant-based milk to provide moisture.
- egg substitutes like ground flax seed or aquafaba.
There are many scrumptious cake recipes that just happen to also be vegan, and this is one of them.
- You will not use the whole can of coconut milk. It’s tempting to just dump the remaining few tablespoons into the cake batter, but don’t do it because the batter will be too wet. Save the tablespoons of milk for the glaze.
- Don’t overmix. Like most vegan cake recipes, you want to stir the wet and dry ingredients together until they just come together, then pour them into the pan. Your cake will be fluffier and less dense.
- Ovens vary and so do oven temperature calibrations. Start checking on the cake at 35 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may need another 5 to 10 minutes.
Many thanks to Smitten Kitchen for the plush coconut cake recipe.Print
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup liquefied coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups full- or low-fat canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp coconut milk (leftover from the can)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup toasted shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350F/176C. Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and greasing the sides.
- Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients: liquefied coconut oil, coconut milk, and vinegar. Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together just until they come together.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and peel away the parchment. Set the cake on the wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, leftover coconut milk, and vanilla together until smooth. Add more milk if needed. Pour the glaze over the top of the cooled cake. Garnish with toasted coconut.
Keywords: vegan triple coconut cake