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Coconut Butter Cake with Coconut Frosting

My little girl is growing up! She turns 8 tomorrow and to celebrate the occassion I have updated a cake I used to make with nut butter back when we did SCD to make it LOD (low oxalate diet) compliant.  (Go here to read about oxalates). We each tried a small piece tonight and we all loved it. My husband declared that the coconut butter version is better than the nut butter version. When I used to make this with nut butter I would have SAD (Standard American Diet) eaters ask for the recipe. It is moist and delicious and you won’t feel a bit deprived.

This cake did not taste very coconutty at all.  I’m sure the coconut haters out there would be able to tell and probably wouldn’t love this cake but coconut lovers would be wishing for more coconut flavor. Most will just think it is a moist delicious cake and want a second piece.

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Coconut Butter Cake with Coconut Frosting

Warm your coconut butter till it is soft. If your honey is solid, warm it also to make it back into a liquid. Preheat oven to 300.

Method for food processor:
Blend the coconut butter and honey. Add butter, baking soda, and vanilla and blend. Add in the eggs last and blend until smooth.
Method for Vitamix or other high power blender:
Put in eggs first then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
Pour into a greased 9×13 pan or 2 greased 8×8 pans and bake for 40-50 min.  It is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Here is how it looks right out of the oven.
It does not fall as it cools like many nut flour baked goods can.
  • You can also add 2 bananas, mashed, for banana cake.
  •  Or 3/4 cup mashed butternut squash and/or ginger/cloves for spice cake.
  • You can substitute any type of nut butter for the coconut butter in this cake and it will come out very good (but it won’t be low oxalate). I have done it with cashew butter, walnut butter and pecan butter.  They are all very good.
Coconut Frosting
1 cup butter
1/8-1/4 cupHoney depending on how sweet your honey is and how sweet you like it.
2 cupsShredded, Unsweetened Coconut

In a sauce pan melt the butter and honey together.  Stir in the coconut.  Pour over the cooled cake and let cool on the cake.  Once cool it will thicken up and you can spread to make it even.  This recipe was just right to frost a 9×13 cake.

All mixed together in the sauce pan
Here is is after I poured it over the cake.
It needs to cool a bit to become thicker and more spreadable.
I didn’t want you to think you had ruined your cake if it looked like this.

I brought this cake to a gathering of like minded mom’s this morning. There are a couple of families following GAPS and all are trying to implement WAPF eating in some fashion so I knew I had a receptive audience. This cake was a big hit with the kids. I didn’t see a single piece laying off somewhere uneaten or handed back to mom (we’ve been doing this gluten free cake thing for many years. I know they can be hard to pass off on kids). The mom’s too said that they loved it and one coconut hating mom tasted the cake part and said it really didn’t taste much like coconut to her (in case you were wondering).  She also ate a whole piece with the coconut frosting and said that although it did have coconut she still liked it well enough to finish her piece.  I know that coconut is a flavor that some people just don’t care for so I wanted to pass that along if you are considering this for an event that you know a coconut hater will attend.

*You can buy coconut butter many places. It is also called Coconut Manna, Coconut Cream Concentrate, and Creamed Coconut depending on the brand you get. You can also make it yourself. You put Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut into your food processor and let it process for a very long time. It takes about 20 min if I recall and you will need to scrape down the sides several times. One nice thing about coconut is that it is low phytate and so it doesn’t need to be soaked to make it a beneficial food. Coconut butter is the whole coconut meat so it has lots of beneficial coconut oil in it.

This was featured on Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays.  Check it out!



  1. Yum! Thanks for sharing this. :)

  2. Wow – this looks great. I have made cakes, muffins and breads with nut butter but wasn't sure if coconut butter would work. I also didn't know you could make coconut butter in the food processor. wonderful news and I will be trying the cake and the coconut butter in the food processor soon. Thanks so much!

  3. This cake is awesome! My kids both loved it too.

  4. Just don't overheat your food processor. Ours required a cooling period part way through.

  5. I have been lamenting not being able to make nut butter baked goods because of the LOD and finally I decided to try this out with the coconut butter and I am so glad I did! I'm not missing out anymore!

  6. we tried this cake–the banana version–tonight and, well, i will NEVER miss flour with this recipe! wowee! so moist, not too sweet, and really not tasting like coconut at all! I actually made mine with shredded coconut in the vitamix as you described (to make my own coconut butter first). My 5-yr-old LOVED it!! mind you, this is without any frosting even! I'm thinking of making some 24-hr-gaps yogurt, straining it, then adding some honey for a cream-cheese-frosting. I think it will be perfect. thanks so much for the recipe! btw, have you tried converting this into a coconut flour/coconut oil/butter recipe? (i just bought loads of flour!)

  7. So glad you liked it. I haven't tried to make it with coconut flour. Why mess with a good thing? I've got lots of other recipes I use the coconut flour in though.

  8. hey patty,
    i'm wondering if i can use creamed coconut, that comes compressed in a box and you add warm water to to make coconut milk, instead of coconut butter as i dont think i can get that in the uk.
    i wonder if it's all the same thing?

  9. Natalie,
    I think that sounds like the same stuff. Does it get soft if you warm it?


  10. its like this stuff
    (sorry not sure how to add a tidy link.
    its solid but then you can add hot water to melt it and make coconut milk, so yeh, maybe its similar?

  11. It sounds like the same stuff. I know Tropical Traditions suggests making coconut milk from their version of it.


  12. Made this with the bananas for dd 1st birthday, and it was a huge hit. Really, really moist. Just like banana bread the way I remember it pre-gaps. I didn't do the frosting b/c I ran out of coconut, so I added some gaps whipped cream and put in some blended blueberries, and that was good, too. Mine did sink a little. I added a few too little coconut butter b/c I ran out of coconut, so maybe that's why. But so yummy. DS (5) ate a bunch, came back an hour later to see only a couple pieces left and said, "Who ate all the cake? I only got (pause) 6 pieces!"

  13. LOL "Only 6 pieces." So glad you liked it!

  14. I’m wondering if I use a liquid measuring cup for the Coconut manna or solid measurement…
    I normally use a solid measuring cup when measuring for honey, so maybe coconut manna would be the same…?

    • Either one will work. Just make sure the coconut manna isn’t trapping any bubbles that will throw off your measurements.

  15. Thanks! :) I measured it as a solid and then melted it in a sauce pan. The cake came out wonderfully. I didn’t use up all the coconut shreds for the icing, it was pretty thick. The cake tasted very buttery…which means it tasted AWESOME!!! HAPPY EASTER!!!

    • So glad you liked it! Happy Easter!

  16. Looks beautiful! What is your opinion of digestibility of coconut cream compared to nut butter? I’m looking for some ideas on making highly-digestible baked goods for ds.


    • My guess is that they are pretty similar. Coconut cream is probably higher fiber than nut butter but nuts have way more antinutrients. So soaked and dehydated pumpkin seeds (no shell) made into butter are probably the easiest for everyone to digest (low oxalate, low antinutrients) but pumpkin seeds have a strong taste and are green so that can be off putting. We do well with coconut here (thankfully, at first my youngest couldn’t tolerate coconut) but I have to be careful or the fiber in it will stop me up so I limit myself to just one serving when I make this.

  17. I made the cake as written the first time, but without the frosting because I ran out of butter, and loved it! Eating dairy free currently, so decided to give it a try with coconut oil and it turned out great as well. The only problem is it’s so yummy I want to eat the whole thing :-)

  18. Tomorrow is my birthday (read: excuse to have cake) and this is definitely on the lists of cakes hubby can make. I only hope I have enough coconut cream and coconut in the pantry:-) Thanks for sharing.

    • You could cut the recipe in half and make an 8×8 cake if you don’t have a lot of people to serve. Also if you have shredded coconut you can make coconut butter.

  19. Thanks! I think I may be short on both the coconut butter and the shredded coconut, but hopefully there is enough to make the 8×8:-)

  20. My husband did end up making me an 8×8 of this cake for my birthday. It was fabulous when fresh made, but I think I liked it even more when it had been in the fridge and the frosting was cold and hard. I am wanting it just thinking about it–the sign of a great recipe. Thanks again for sharing the recipe!

  21. The only sweetener my daughter can have is stevia or small amounts of dextrose/glucose. Any thoughts on how to adapt the recipe to leave out the honey? Thanks

    • I’m not really sure because I am not familiar with baking with stevia. The cake will work if you leave the honey out completely but it won’t be sweet, so if you know how to bake with stevia and want to experiment go for it. You won’t make the cake fall or anything like that if you do.

  22. I made this for my daughters birthday party, and man, it’s AWESOME! Thank you so much for this recipe.

  23. I do all my baking by weight now. Would you be willing to share your scale measurements? The cake and options look great. Thanks for sharing.

    • I’m sorry I don’t do much baking by weight and do not know the weights for these ingredients. Only the baking soda and coconut flakes are dry ingredients anyhow. Do you measure wet by weight?

  24. hi patty,

    you say you do the coconut cream in ounces. wd u mind sharing pls. i’m british so we do most things by weight and as my cream is a hard block it wd make it easier to judge how much i need.
    many thanks
    (i have made this a few times, love it, but is always a bit different prob due to this guesswork!)

    • Yes 9 oz weight is about 9 oz wet measure. (1 cup+ 2 tbsp)

  25. so how many oz is 2 1/2 cup coconut butter? sorry, i cant work it out!

    • Oops I didn’t look closely! I thought this was for a different recipe. Sorry about that non-helpful answer. Ok that would be 20 oz.

  26. I made this as cupcakes and they turned out beautifully! Took about 25 mins at 300.

  27. hi again Patty,
    I’m thinking about making this with cocoa butter for a chocolatey cake. what are your thoughts? do you think i could replace some of the coconut oil or maybe the coconut butter to make this work?

    • You certainly can replace the coconut oil with melted cocoa butter. I’m not sure how chocolatey that will taste though since it is the solids and not the fat that really have that chocolate flavor. If you add cocoa powder for a chocolate flavor that will effect the texture but I’m not sure if it will be enough that you need to add anything to balance it out or not. My family can’t have chocolate so I haven’t ever tried it.

      • thanks Patty, we are also LOD, so it will just be a hint of chocolateness maybe with pureed dates as sweetener with the honey. will let you know how it turns out. maybe i’ll add some banana too!

        • me again,
          just wondered how long does this cake keep fresh? may be a hard question to answer if it always gets eaten up on the day!

          • It seems to keep like other cakes. You can freeze it if you want to keep it a long time. I often make cupcakes and then store them in the freezer for my kids to take to birthday parties.

  28. Patty, I need something (NOW!) for my baby’s 1st birthday, and I’m thinking I could make this work. However, I haven’t given him honey yet, and I know they say no honey before age 1 which I guess means at age 1 it’s suddenly okay…but if I do give it to him soon, I’d prefer to give a tiny bit at a time, not the amount that is in most baked goods. I’m wondering if I could make up that amount of liquid by using bananas (I’m actually looking for a banana cake for his smash cake anyway, so I came here to see if you had a recipe for coconut butter banana cake!). I saw that you said it’s okay to add a couple of bananas, but do you think it would work to use all bananas instead of any honey? I would probably half the recipe, and put a smaller amount of the batter into a dish to make a little smash cake for him. And any idea for a frosting for 1-yr-old without honey? He LOVES avocado, so I thought about somehow mixing avocado and banana to make a frosting, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t look very appetizing (not that he cares, but it wouldn’t look too pretty for photos!). :)

    • Hi Tara,
      Just so that you are aware the “no honey before 1” issue has to do with botulism risk. Honey can contain small amounts of botulism spores which could kill a tiny baby but are fine for a normal sized 1 year old. The risk has to do with the size of the person ingesting it. There isn’t anything magical about that first birthday and honey. It is just a reasonable cut off that people can remember and that will keep virtually all babies safe.

      That said, I have made this cake using dates instead of honey. Dates are about half as sweet as honey so you can either double the volume or have a half as sweet cake. When measuring the dates I have found that weighing is the easiest way. 8oz of dates by weight is approximately 1 cup of dates. Or you can pit the dates and pack them into a measuring cup to measure them.

      I do not know how bananas would compare for sweetness. I have added them to add banana flavor but I never cut back on the honey I used when I did that and it did not taste overly sweet. I would guess that bananas about about half as sweet as dates and so you might need 4x as many bananas as honey and that would then add a lot of extra moisture to the cake that may make it not cook well.

      I hope that helps.

      • Hi Patty, Thanks SO MUCH for replying so promptly. Your explanation does help. Somehow I figured that 1 year must be a safe cutoff or they wouldn’t recommend it, and yet it seems strange to go from NO honey to putting a cake in front of him to smash and eat…though in reality, I’m guessing there will be more playing than eating. :) And I like the idea of using coconut butter instead of coconut flour, since coconut flour is so high-fiber (and we didn’t start solids as early as many people do, so we’re not really doing high-fiber things yet). So I think I’ll go ahead with the cake – and that way it’s a cake everyone can enjoy instead of doing something separate for the adults. But I just read one of your earlier comments above where you said that the cake will work without any honey. I often cut back on honey in recipes and it is just fine for me, as the whole amount is often too sweet for my taste. So I’m wondering about cutting back the honey in this cake, but my question then is whether it makes it less moist. I certainly don’t want to give my little one something that’s harder to swallow – I know I’ve been prone to nearly choking on coconut flour baked goods, which is another reason I’d prefer to go with the coconut butter instead of flour. Have you tried the cake with maybe 1/2 the honey, and if so, how did it turn out, moisture-wise?

        • This cake is very moist thanks to the butter/coconut oil and the coconut butter plus the eggs. The honey does make it even moister but really even without any honey at all the cake is not dry.

          • Great! Do you think that using half the amount of honey would result in a cake that would be enjoyed by relatives who usually eat SAD-style (super sweet) cakes? Or would it seem more like plain bread/muffins? I’d like to make one version that is suitable for baby (never had cake), me (can’t stand it too sweet) and family (who are used to “regular” cakes). Maybe I can make one batter for baby and me and one for those who like it sweeter. I’m thinking of making a smash cake by putting the batter in a couple of small Pyrex storage dishes (maybe the 2-cup size) and stacking them for a 2-layer cake. What would you suggest for frosting? This one looks yummy, but I’m wondering how I would frost the sides of a layer cake, since it has to be poured on. Is there another frosting recipe you would recommend? Also, if I make the cake tonight for tomorrow, does it need to go in the fridge overnight or can it sit out at room temperature?

          • When I make it with the regular amount of honey SAD eaters love it and ask me for the recipe. They also sometimes comment on how it isn’t too sickly sweet. Half sweet probably would not taste like cake to them.
            There is a cooked buttercream frosting recipe on GAPS Diet Journey that you can use. I have made it and it is quite good. I do usually refrigerate the cake and esp if it is frosted you want to be careful that the frosting won’t melt.

  29. Gotta question for u lady!! Haha i wanna make a pink cake. Could i add a cup of pureed strawberries? I saw u posted about adding bananas and squash so i figured it would work. I really wanna use ur recipe since the coconut butter bread came out fantastic. Id like to make a pink icing too so im thinking id do a strawberry buttercream with shredded coconut. Let me know if u think this could work!! Ive been eating some very sweet strawberries so im trying to work them into desserts. Thanks!

    • Yes you can I think. Sometimes strawberries aren’t so pink when cooked so I can’t promise that the result will be a pink cake since I haven’t done it myself. Let me know how it comes out!

  30. hey patty, do you know how many servings this makes? it will be for a family of 4.

    • It depends on how thick you slice it.

  31. seriously the best cake i’ve ever had!!! i made a strawberry buttercream and and layered and frosted the cake with it. i also made a strawberry jam filling. it blew everyone away at easter!! i really went overboard with it and couldn’t stop eating it! i wish i could post a picture of it here because i took a ton!

  32. just had to tell you this is my favorite cake. i cannot count how many times i have made it since i first commented. i’m making it again for christmas!

    i have made a few versions so far:

    an almond flavored cake with apricot fruit filling and almond flavored icing.
    a vanilla cake with strawberry date filling and strawberry icing.
    a banana flavored cake (added 2 bananas), raspberry date fruit filling, and maple buttercream frosting
    a pumpkin spice cake with pumpkin pie spices (a little canned pumpkin), lemon curd filling, and cream cheese frosting.

    it is so versatile and all these random adaptations work SO WELL. i always stick to the basic recipe but i did use sunbutter in one of the cakes when i ran out of coconut butter and it turned the batter bright green!


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