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Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake Recipe

Gluten-free Coconut Lime Cake in pan (photo by Yvonne Condes)

 Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake (photo by Yvonne Condes)

A friend invited us over last weekend for a Chinese/Vietnamese New Year Party. We were told to bring a picture of a loved one for the altar and a dish to share. Spring rolls, steamed pork bao, shrimp dumplings, and vegetables were taken so I opted for cake. I had limes and coconut so I came up with recipe for a Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake. Coconut and lime are popular in Vietnamese cuisine, which is how I tied it to the New Year that begins January 31st.

Chinese/Vietnamese New Year Altar

Our host put a piece of the cake (with one bite taken out, whoops!) on the altar as an offering. The cake was a hit at the party and I thought it was the best non-chocolate cake I’ve ever made*. The full recipe is listed at the bottom of the post.

To make the cake, combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

Dry ingredients for gluten-free coconut lime cake (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Then whip butter, sugar, eggs and coconut oil.

Butter, sugar, oil, eggs for gluten-free coconut lime cake (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients alternately with 1/3 of the coconut milk until combined.

Adding gluten-free flour to mix (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Adding coconut milk to mix (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Then spread into prepared buttered and floured 9-inch cake pans.

Gluten-free Coconut Lime Cake in pan (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. While it’s cooling, whisk 12 oz. of sweetened condensed milk with the juice and zest of 3 limes.

Lime zest and sweetened condensed milk (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Once cake has cooled, place on cake pan. Poke holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick or skewer and then spoon the glaze over the cake.  Don’t worry if the glaze doesn’t soak all the way into the cake. Place second cake on top and repeat.

Filling for double gluten-free lime coconut cake

Chill cake for a couple of hours and before you’re ready to serve, make the whipped cream frosting.

Whipped cream frosting for gluten-free coconut lime cake (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Frost cake and sprinkle shredded coconut on top.

Gluten-free coconut lime cake with whipped cream frosting (Photo by Yvonne Condes)

Serve and enjoy!


Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake


1 cup butter, softned
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon coconut oil
4 eggs
2 ½ cups gluten free flour (I use Trader Joe’s all-purpose GF Flour)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Xantham Gum
1 cup coconut milk

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
The juice and zest of 3 limes

Heavy Whipping Cream 8 oz box from Trader Joes, well chilled
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xantham gum in a medium size bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then add coconut oil until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add 1/3 flour mixture alternately with 1/3 coconut milk to the butter mixture until combined. Spoon into prepared baking pans. Cook for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean.

Let cakes cool completely on a wire rack.**  While they are cooling, make the glaze. Whisk together 1 can sweetened condensed milk and the juice and zest of 3 limes. Put first cake on a plate (see below) and poke holes in cake with a toothpick or a skewer. Pour half the milk/lime mixture on to the cake and try to push in the holes with a spoon. It’s okay if if the filling doesn’t soak all the way into the. Place second cake on top and repeat.

Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours. Before serving, make whipped cream frosting. Whip heaving whipping cream until it starts to get thick. Add cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Frost cake and sprinkle shredded coconut on top. Serve and enjoy!


*I had a gluten-free baking business for a couple of years and I’ve made a lot of cakes!

**Gluten-free cakes are fragile, more fragile than wheat cakes. To get cake onto wire rack, loosen the cake from the edges with a knife and place wire rack over the cake and gently flip. When it’s time to put the cake on the plate, flip it over by holding the plate over the rack and turning over (don’t try picking up the cake and putting it on the plate).


Yvonne Condes (760 Posts)

Yvonne Condes is the Editor and Co-Founder of She is a Los Angeles Mom of 2, former newspaper reporter, and occasional marathoner. Also find her at her personal Latina blog and @YvonneInLA and MomsLA.

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