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Gluten-free vegan coconut cream cake on white plate

Vegan Coconut Cake

Moist and creamy vegan coconut cake with a coconutty sweet potato frosting which reminds of Raffaello! The recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free, and furthermore easy to make. This vegan dessert is the perfect cake for all coconut lovers out there and also a great birthday cake.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12


Dry Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup (160 g) apple sauce or 160 g peeled zucchini
  • 1 1/3 cup ml) (320 ml) coconut milk canned
  • 4 tbsp (80 g) maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar or apple cider vinegar


  • 340 g (1 medium or 2 small) (340 g) Japanese sweet potato (see notes)
  • 2/3 cup (160 g) coconut butter (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup (105 g) maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk canned
  • 4 tbsp (40 ml) coconut rum or use more coconut milk (see notes)


  • I recommend measuring the ingredients in grams on a kitchen scale.
  • Peel the Japanese sweet potato and chop into 1-inch cubes. Boil in water until fork tender. For this recipe, you will need 340 grams of cooked sweet potato (about 1 medium Japanese sweet potato or two small ones).
  • Meanwhile, process the oats and shredded unsweetened coconut in an electric spice/coffee grinder or blender. Then add all dry ingredients into a bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 356 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Grease two 8-inch (20 cm) or 7-inch (18 cm) cake pans (or springforms) and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Process the wet ingredients in a blender and pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk until combined.
  • Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. It can still be a little bit crumbly but shouldn't be wet! If you use just one cake pan the baking time will be much longer (about 50-55 minutes) but I definitely recommend 2 cake pans.
  • While the cake is in the oven, you can prepare the frosting. Simply process all frosting ingredients in your blender until completely smooth and creamy.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, frost it and decorate with coconut flakes. Chill in the fridge for about 3 hours before serving. Enjoy!


  • Please use shredded unsweetened coconut, also known as desiccated coconut. Do NOT use coconut flour, as it's completely different and dries out the batter! You could use 130 grams of ground almonds (or other ground nuts of choice) though.
  • Rice flour: Some people reported that they used regular flour instead of rice flour with good results.
  • Frosting: I used Japanese sweet potatoes for this recipe. Japanese sweet potatoes have white flesh and are much drier than orange sweet potatoes. They are furthermore sweeter and perfect for desserts. If you don't have access to Japanese sweet potatoes I would recommend making the frosting of my No-Bake Carrot Cake but make sure to increase the amount of ingredients by about 50%.
  • Some people commented that they used orange sweet potatoes for the frosting, which worked fine (I haven't tried it). Of course, the color of the frosting will be different.
  • The recipe calls for coconut butter, not coconut oil. The coconut butter can be store-bought or homemade. If you want to make it yourself, you will need to process about 3 cups of shredded unsweetened coconut in a food processor until it turns into coconut butter and has a creamy texture (which takes about 20-30 minutes, therefore I would recommend store-bought coconut butter.
  • If you don't want to use coconut rum, then use more coconut milk. You could also add a little coconut extract for an enhanced coconutty flavor.
  • You can also check out my Vegan Coconut Cups Recipe.
  • Nutrition facts are for one slice (of 12).
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Coconut Cake
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.