Coconut Milk Cake (Gluten-Free)

I enjoy making desserts that just so happen to be gluten-free. I served this cake at my wedding alongside a more traditional coconut cake, and this one disappeared almost immediately. The coconut flavor is very subtle and nutty, so if you prefer a more aromatic tropical flavor, feel free to add 1 teaspoon coconut extract to the egg yolks before mixing. Serve with some fresh-picked strawberries (or any seasonal berries), a dollop of lemon curd and perhaps some whipped cream.
March 01, 2015


Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9-inch round springform or cake pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom and grease again.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, ⅓ cup sugar, all 6 egg yolks and 3 of the egg whites (reserving remaining whites in a separate mixing bowl). Whisk by hand or use a mixer, until the mixture is a very light yellow color and has doubled in volume, approximately 4 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the remaining 3 egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and continue mixing until the whites hold stiff peaks.

Gently fold coconut milk powder into yellow egg yolk mixture. Then gently fold in egg whites.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 25–30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan. It will shrink quite a bit, yielding an 8-inch cake. Remove to a serving plate (making sure to peel away the parchment). When you’re ready to serve, top with fresh strawberries, lemon curd and a dollops of freshly whipped cream.

* Powdered coconut milk is available at most Asian markets or at

* Visit for Marie’s recipe for homemade lemon curd.

WINE PAIRING—Ezio Cerruti Sol Moscato Passito. Italy. A perfect complement to Maria’s cake, the fruit is grown organically in the Piedmont region, allowed to raisin on the vine, fermented naturally and then aged for three years in barrique (barrels). Extended aging gives it a subtle nuttiness, perfect with the almond flour, and its pineapple, citrus and honey flavors will sing with the coconut, lemon curd and strawberries. —Christin Aarons, Grapes & Grains, Barrington

Recipe by Maria Martinez, Owner, Illuminated Oven, East Providence


  • 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup powdered coconut milk*, sifted
  • 1 pint strawberries, washed and cut (optional)
  • Lemon curd* (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)
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