Lemon Coconut Butter Cake (gluten-free)

I can’t get enough lemon these days: lemon water, lemon pasta, lemon rice, lemon vinaigrette, and my newest recipe – lemon butter cake. 

photo 2-5Lemon Coconut Butter Cake (gluten-free)

Makes 1 loaf

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ C Cup4Cup Gluten Free flour (or use ¾C cake flour and ¾C all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ½ C Demerara or raw sugar
  • ½ C  sour cream 2% fat, room temperature
  • ½ C unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 ½ sticks of butter (6 oz.), room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1t lemon oil (or zest from 2 lemons)
  • 1 fresh vanilla bean
  • ¼t baking soda

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 C confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-3T freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ of a large lemon)

Directions: Before making this recipe, gather the eggs, measure the sour cream and butter, and allow time for them to come to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, coconut, and baking soda. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on, combine the sugar and butter and whip until light and creamy. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and use a knife to run down the length and scrape out the black seeds inside. Add to the bowl with the sugar and butter. Drop in the sour cream, eggs, and lemon oil (or zest) and beat for one to two minutes until light and airy. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, beating on low until combined. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, testing with a cake tester at 50 minutes. When the cake tester comes out of the cake cleanly, remove the cake from the oven. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert cake and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar and fresh lemon juice. Whisk with a fork until smooth. Put your cooled cake onto your cake plate and drizzle the lemon glaze over the top of the cake.

Optional: Garnish with lemon zest.

Gluten-Free Pineapple Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting


It’s time I started baking again. I love the comfort in baking – the precise ingredients, the blending of flavors, and oh! the aromas wafting through the house. Baking brings everyone to the kitchen. Carrot cake has that earthiness and grounding quality that warms the soul this time of year.  I’ve updated my recipe with gluten-free flour (better for you if you have any inflammation in your body or are celiac) using Cup4Cup, and substituting coconut oil for organic canola oil (coconut oil is miraculous). I use less cinnamon and sugar than most carrot cake recipes because I want to taste the individual ingredients and not be overpowered by the strong taste of cinnamon and sugar.

Gluten-Free Pineapple Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes one 9″

cake Ingredients:

  • 1¾C Cup4Cup gluten-free flour
  • 1½C turbinado sugar
  • 2t baking soda
  • 1½t cinnamon
  • 1t salt
  • 1C flaked, unsweetened coconut ( I use Bob’s Mill brand)
  • ½C currants
  • 1C chopped pecans
  • 4 free range eggs, beaten
  • 1C melted organic coconut oil, cooled
  • 2t vanilla  (I like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar vanilla)
  • 2C shredded carrots (about 4, depending on their size)
  • 1C crushed pineapple, drained (1 can)

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and dust with flour (or use Baker’s Joy spray) a 9″ round springform pan. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, flaked coconut, currants, and pecans. Stir to combine.

In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: beaten eggs, melted and cooled coconut oil, vanilla, shredded carrots, and pineapple. Stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour into the prepared springform pan and bake for one hour. Remove from oven, cool for 3-5 minutes and release the cake. Invert cake on a cooling rack or your cake dish. Cool completely before frosting the cake.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4C confectioner’s sugar
  • 1# cream cheese (two bricks), softened at room temperature
  • 8oz. of unsalted butter (two sticks), softened at room temperature
  • 1t vanilla extract (I like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar vanilla)
  • 1t natural lemon flavoring

Directions: Set your mixer to high and cream the softened butter and cream cheese in a mixer until smooth and creamy with no visible butter lumps, about 5 minutes. Stop the motor to add the vanilla extract and lemon flavoring. Whip to combine. Stop motor and add two cups of the confectioner’s sugar, cover the bowl with a towel (to keep sugar from dusting your entire kitchen), turn the motor to high, and whip the confectioner’s sugar into the butter and cream cheese until completely incorporated. Stop the motor again, add the remaining two cups of confectioner’s sugar, and whip until smooth and creamy and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if you need to. Refrigerate until ready to use. If it’s too hard to spread when it’s chilled, let it rest on the counter for fifteen minutes and then frost the cake.

Sprinkle the top with a little shredded coconut and lemon zest.