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    cakes Recipe vegan

    Easy Coconut Cake That Just Happens to Be Vegan

    vegan coconut cake shot from above

    Smitten Kitchen’s Plush Coconut Cake is EVERYTHING! Now, I’m not vegan nor have I ever been, but something really caught my attention with this cake when Smitten Kitchen posted it a few weeks ago. Maybe it was the use of the word PLUSH in the title? I mean… it’s totally the right word to use… it’s dense and moist and a delight to eat!

    Vegan Coconut Cake
    Are you a fan of TONS of frosting? I AM!

    The second thing that made me want to make this cake was that my friend Patti Paige of Baked Ideas… a.k.a. Cookie-Master… a.k.a. like the best cookie decorator in the existence of decorated cookies… made this cake the very same day that Smitten Kitchen posted the recipe. You see, it’s THAT kind of cake… the kind of cake that you have all the ingredients for in your pantry. Just a few simple ingredients!

    The THIRD thing that actually made me bake this cake was that my husband and I randomly got invited to a vegan dinner party last week?! That’s literally never happened to us! So this was all meant to be. My Spanish husband always tells me “nada es casual”.. “nothing’s an accident”.. and I think he’s right!

    vegan coconut cake 3

    So when I made the cake for the party it was a total HIT! Everyone enjoyed it so much… or at least they said they did! It’s like the densest and super-moist cake. It’s got lots of coconut flavor without being too much. I want to play with the recipe a bit over the next few times I make it. I think it could be great with diced fresh strawberries in the batter or maybe try using part almond flour? We’ll see!

    slice of vegan coconut cake

    Let’s talk frosting… I’M THE #1 CRUNCHY SUGARY FROSTING FAN. I know that not everyone is! When I made the cake for the dinner party I made a nice frosting with confectioner’s sugar, almond milk, vanilla, and a bit of solid coconut oil as the fat. It was wonderful! But I’m not giving that recipe here because I’m not certain how it would work if the coconut oil was liquid and not solid? Like on a warm day? I will research the topic, but for now I’m going to just use a classic vegetable shortening frosting recipe. Because that’s what I grew up with. And that’s what I love the most. I understand if you’re not into vegetable shortening and in that case you’re more than welcome to use Smitten Kitchen’s glaze recipe or whatever other recipe you love!

    I love this covered 9×9 pan from Nordic Ware:

    covered Nordic Ware 9x9 baking pan
    Click the image to purchase!

    Vegan Coconut Cake with Pink Frosting

    A few simple ingredients yield a marvelously dense and moist cake. This recipe is almost exactly the same as a wonderful recipe called PLUSH Coconut Cake from Smitten Kitchen.

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    resting time 20 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Servings 9 servings
    Author we are all magic


    For the cake:

    • 2 cups + 3 TB all-purpose flour 285g
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup sugar 200g
    • 1/2 cup coconut oil in liquid form 110g
    • 13.5 ounces coconut milk, I used Goya
    • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

    For the frosting:

    • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2-3 tbsp almond milk you could use whatever type of non-dairy milk you want
    • 1 drop red food coloring optional


    1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper.

    2. Measure dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. I measure by weight so I just put the bowl on the scale and tare it each time I need to add a new ingredient. Whisk everything together.

    3. Measure and melt your coconut oil if it’s not liquid. And add to the bowl.

    4. Add coconut milk and mix well.

    5. Finally add the vinegar and mix until fully incorporated.

    6. Pour silky batter into prepared pan and pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. It will be golden and you can test for doneness with a toothpick.

    7. Allow to cool completely.

    8. For the frosting, beat all ingredients together until light and airy.

    9. Frost the top of the finished cake, cut, and enjoy!

    This is the most wonderful cake that just happens to be vegan. You might have the simple ingredients in your pantry right now! Coconut oil, coconut milk, flour, sugar, baking soda, and vinegar!
    This is the most wonderful cake that just happens to be vegan. You might have the simple ingredients in your pantry right now! Coconut oil, coconut milk, flour, sugar, baking soda, and vinegar!