Chocolate Coconut Cake Recipe – Gluten Free

*This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, potentially nut free and soy free)* Substitutions below*

Chocolate Coconut Cake

©Jessica Caracciolo


Cake ingredients (Makes two 8 inch cakes):

  • 3 cups gluten free brown rice flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 4-6 oz standard size unsweetened applesauce container/cup
  • 2  cups sugar
  • 1 cup [quality] cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs (or vegan egg replacer)
  • 1 1/2   tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4  cup(s) rice milk
  • 3/4 cup(s) coconut milk (coconut milk that you find in the milk section near the rice milk in the store. Not real canned coconut milk)
  • 1 cup allergy free chocolate chips (see substitutions below)



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine all wet ingredients in a small bowl. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate, large size bowl. Next combine wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl. Whisking together until batter is smooth. Add in chocolate chips and mix through.
  • Prepare two cake pans by spraying with a non-stick spray. Spoon or pour mix into pan. Cook until inserted toothpick (or butter knife) come out clean, about 30-55 minutes depending on your oven. Do this for both cakes.
  • Let cakes cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Coconut Frosting Ingredients: (enough for 2 cakes)

  • 4oz butter substitute – leave it cold solid butter (do not melt it)
  • 4oz coconut oil softened
  • 6-8 cups confectioner sugar*
  • 4-8 tablespoons coconut milk* (do not use rice milk- it doesn’t set)
  • 4-6 tablespoons vanilla extract (taste as you go)
  • Sweetened shave/flake coconut

*use more or less depending on how you want the texture to be. Start by using the minimum and use more as needed.

Frosting Directions:

  • Place butter substitute and softened coconut oil in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter/oil together until it is a creamy texture. Start adding confectioner sugar one cup at a time, also add 1 tablespoon coconut milk and vanilla extract as you go. Keep adding confectioner sugar and milk until you obtain the desired frosting texture. Taste as you go and add vanilla as needed. Keep this frosting refrigerated as it is perishable.

Cake Preparation Directions:

  • Apply frosting on cooled cake. Apply to bottom layer first, adding the second layer of cake and then proceeding to frost all the way around.
  • After you are done frosting the cake- use shaved/flake coconut and gently/lightly press the coconut onto the cake with your hands.
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator as the frosting is perishable. And this will help the cake and frosting set.


Your batter may seem very thin compared to what you are used to if baking regular goods. Rest assured, even if it looks too thin, it will likely come out fine.


  • Eggs for egg replacer.
  • The oil can be basically any oil because you are making a cake. You can also combine oils – for example: 1/2 part coconut oil melted 1/2 part canola. Using some coconut oil will make the flavor be even more coconut flavored.
  • If you need a soy free non-stick spray, I think Pam for Grilling is still soy free. It doesn’t have any grilling flavor or anything.
  • Sugar can usually be cut back by 1/2 and it will still taste fine, it will just be less sweet.
  • The flours combination can be exchanged. As long as there is a total of roughly 3 cups of flour then you are fine. Some flours will not work – like almond meal flour. Some flours that will work are: quinoa flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, and/or Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour. You don’t want to only use one flour if using only quinoa flour because it will have a dirt or earthly taste and smell. Mixing 1/2 and 1/2 or 3/4 and 1/4 works just to off set that a little.  The best bet I have found is to use the GF all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill is also DF, SF) as primary and mix the others in.
  • Milks for the cake batter- you can use: rice milk, almond milk, unsweetened almond milk, or soy milk.
  • Milks for the frosting – almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk. Rice milk doesn’t set in frosting.
  • Frosting butter substitute needs to be cold and not melted so it keeps together better. You can soften it a little in the microwave but don’t melt it completely or it will take a long time, in the fridge, to set.
  • Enjoy Life® Chocolate Chips are free of 8 common allergens.

If you have any questions please contact me. I know what it is like to be free of many allergens and how hard it can be baking and cooking this way. I am happy to help you if I can.