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Easy Vegan Coconut Loaf Cake

 A soft and fluffy vegan coconut cake baked in a loaf tin, topped with buttercream and coconut. A real family favourite for afternoon tea, as a dessert or for special occasions like Easter or birthdays.

vegan coconut loaf cake with buttercream

EASY VEGAN COCONUT LOAF CAKE


Coconut cake is something I have appreciated more and more as I've gotten older.

As a child, I would never have chosen a coconut cake, if there was a choice to be made. I would definitely have picked the chocolate cake.

Now I'm older and wiser I can see the superior qualities of a coconut cake.

It's soft and fluffy with that wonderful tropical flavour and if it has some buttercream or icing too, oh my!


Easy Vegan Coconut Loaf Cake

COCONUT LOAF CAKE


This cake is baked in a loaf tin until it is golden on the outside and soft and fluffy inside.

The cake is flavoured with coconut milk and desiccated coconut then topped with buttercream and topped with more coconut.

Desiccated coconut is fresh coconut that is shredded or flaked and dried and adds flavour to lots of bakes and desserts.

You can also add desiccated coconut to your porridge in the morning. Check out my blueberry, banana and coconut porridge.


BAKING IN A CAKE TIN


This cake can also be baked in a round cake tin, but it takes less time to bake.

A cake tin has more exposed cake batter so it's a quicker bake than baking in a loaf tin.

One of my friends over in my Living on the Veg Facebook group, Judith tested it out in a cake tin and it took 45 mins.

Her tin is 23 cm / 9 inches.

Even if yours is a bit bigger or smaller than this, I would start checking it after 40 minutes.


sliced coconut loaf cake topped with buttercream and coconut

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE COCONUT LOAF CAKE


This cake is made with really simple ingredients that are easy to find when you do your weekly shop.

You may find you already have everything you need.

COCONUT CAKE INGREDIENTS

  1. COCONUT MILK
  2. OAT MILK - or whatever milk you have in the fridge
  3. WHITE WINE VINEGAR - or lemon juice to turn the milk into vegan buttermilk
  4. VEGETABLE OIL - or other unflavored oil
  5. ALMOND EXTRACT - just a little, you can use vanilla extract instead
  6. PLAIN FLOUR
  7. DESICCATED COCONUT
  8. CASTER SUGAR
  9. BAKING POWDER
  10. SALT - just a pinch

BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS

  1. VEGAN BUTTER - or spread (margarine)
  2. COCONUT MILK
  3. ICING SUGAR
  4. SALT - just a pinch
  5. DESICCATED COCONUT - to sprinkle on top of the buttercream

UPDATE - OPTIONAL TOPPING


I have since tried this topped with raspberry jam and coconut instead of buttercream.

It is so good and so easy.

It was one of my friends over in my Facebook group living on the Veg that suggested it and it's a really good option.



also try - Easy Vegan Coconut Ice from my lunchbox blog The Vegan Lunch Box.



coconut milk in a pink measuring jug with a mini whisk in it

WHAT TYPE OF COCONUT MILK IS USED IN COCONUT CAKE



To make coconut cake you need the type of creamy coconut milk that comes in tins.

The type that often separates into thick cream and liquid in the tin.

Before you use it, decant it into a bowl or jug and give it a good whisk so it's thick and creamy with no lumps.

This cake uses half a tin of coconut milk in the cake and some in the buttercream.


USES FOR LEFTOVER COCONUT MILK



Here are a few ideas for using up leftover coconut milk.

Store it in the fridge or the freezer until you need it. You can also freeze it in an ice cube tray, then pop them in a freezer bag.

  • SMOOTHIES - add it to smoothies to make them creamy.
  • PORRIDGE - add to your morning porridge for a weekend treat.
  • HOT CHOCOLATE - mix it with your regular milk and heat before adding hot chocolate powder or grated dark chocolate for a luxury hot drink.
  • CURRIES - add it to your next curry for that creamy finish or to temper the heat.
  • SOUP - add coconut milk to your soup instead of cream.
  • PASTA SAUCE - once again to make it creamy.

a lined loaf tin

LOAF TIN LINING TIPS



Lining a cake tin can be a right faff.

I cheat by using loaf tin or cake tin liners, but they aren't perfect.

For the best results with a loaf or cake tin liner, spread a little dairy-free spread or margarine around the inside of the rim of the tin, then insert the liner and press against the edges.

The spread will hold it in place and stop if flapping about when you are trying to pour the batter in.

If you are lining with non-stick baking paper or parchment, you will also want to grease the tin to hold it in place and to coat the areas not covered by strips of paper.


A slice of coconut cake on a tea plate, the rest on a platter

HOW TO STORE COCONUT CAKE


This coconut cake is at its very best the day it's baked, but if it's stored carefully it will keep fresh and soft for 2-3 days.

You can store it:

  • In foil
  • In baking parchment in a cake tin
  • In baking parchment in an airtight container

The airtight container is the best option in my opinion.


CAN YOU FREEZE COCONUT CAKE?


Yes, you can freeze the coconut cake. 

Freeze it on the day it is baked before you add the buttercream.

My advice is to freeze it in slices. 

Wrap the slices in freezer-friendly baking paper, then pop them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer.

It needs to be well wrapped so it doesn't get freezer burn.

Take a slice out of the freezer when you want it and defrost in the fridge.


MORE EASY VEGAN CAKES TO TRY



Here are a few more easy cake recipes for you to try. Loaf cakes, cupcakes & muffins.
  1. Easy Vegan Chocolate Loaf Cake - A soft and fluffy chocolate loaf cake with chocolate chips.
  2. Easy Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake -  An easy vegan lemon drizzle cake baked in a loaf tin. It's light and fluffy with a wonderful lemon flavour.
  3. Easy Vegan Lemon Muffins -  Light and fluffy vegan lemon muffins topped with lemon icing.
  4. Quick Blackberry Chocolate Cake - A super quick vegan chocolate cake filled with blackberries. Perfect for last minute guests or when you just want a quick but luxurious cake that doesn't require much effort.
  5. Raspberry & White Chocolate Cupcakes - Vanilla & white chocolate cupcakes topped with buttercream, raspberries and vegan white chocolate mini eggs.
  6. Vegan Blueberry Ginger Muffins - Cupcake size blueberry muffins flavoured with ginger. This vegan treat is perfect for lunchboxes or an afternoon treat.
  7. Vegan Jaffa Orange Loaf Cake - a soft and fluffy orange cake topped with dark chocolate.
  8. Vegan Strawberry Milkshake Muffins - Easy little vegan muffins with the flavour of strawberry milkshake.

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An easy vegan coconut cake that's baked it a loaf tin. It's a soft and fluffy cake topped with buttercream and coconut

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HOW TO MAKE COCONUT CAKE


Scroll down for step-by-step photos followed by a full printable recipe. If you don't have a printer, hit print then save as a PDF. 

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Making coconut cake - step 1 - lined loaf tin and milk in jug

STEP 1


  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Line a 2 lb loaf tin.
  3. Mix the coconut milk in a jug or bowl to combine the solids and liquid, then measure into a jug or bowl and add the milk and vinegar, then stir and set aside.

Making coconut cake - step 2 - dry ingredients added to a mixing bowl

STEP 2


  1. Sieve plain flour and caster sugar into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add desiccated coconut.
  3. Now add baking powder and salt, then mix well.

Making coconut cake - step 3 - oil and almond extract added to milk and wet ingredients poured into dry ingredients

STEP 3


  1. Add almond extract and oil to the milk mixture and stir.
  2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.


Making coconut cake - step 4 - mixed cake batter in loaf tin, then baked cake

STEP 4


  1. Fold the batter until just combined (don't over mix it) and pour it into the prepared loaf tin.
  2. Bake until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  3. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then move to a baking rack to continue cooling.

Making coconut cake - step 5 - buttercream mixed in mixing bowl

STEP 5


  1. This step is optional, you can leave it plain. If you want to make buttercream, start by whisking the vegan butter or spread until soft.
  2. Add icing sugar and mix again until smooth.
  3. Add coconut cream for a light coconut flavour.
  4. Whisk until smooth, if it needs to be thicker, add more icing sugar.

Making coconut cake - step 6 - buttercream added to cool cake

STEP 6


  1. Once the icing is thick enough you can spread or pipe it onto the cooled cake. You want a good generous, thick layer of buttercream.
  2. Top with a layer of coconut sprinkled on top.
  3. Stand back and marvel at the beautiful cake you've just made!
  4. Enjoy it!

coconut cake, vegan coconut cake, dairy-free coconut cake, coconut loaf cake, vegan coconut loaf cake, afternoon tea, Easter cake, vegan easter cake, dairy-free easter cake, cake, vegan cake, dairy-free cake, easy vegan cake, vegan loaf cake
baking
British, vegan
Yield: 8 - 10 slices
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Easy Vegan Coconut Loaf Cake

Easy Vegan Coconut Loaf Cake

A soft and fluffy vegan coconut cake baked in a loaf tin, topped with buttercream and coconut
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 H & 10 MTotal time: 1 H & 20 M

Ingredients

CAKE
  • 200 ml / 0.85 cup coconut milk (cream from a tin, not thinned down drink)
  • 100 ml / 0.42 cup oat milk (or your everyday milk)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 75 ml / 0.3 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp almond extract (or vanilla)
  • 300g / 1¾ cups + 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250g / 1¼ cups caster sugar
  • 8 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
BUTTERCREAM (optional)
  • 100g / ¼ cup + 3 tbsp soft vegan butter (or dairy-free spread
  • 300g / 2 cups + 1 tbsp icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk (cream from a tin, not drinking coconut milk)
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut (to top the buttercream)

Instructions

CAKE
  1. Preheat the oven to 170c /  150 c fan / 325 f / gas mark 3.
  2. Line a 2 lb loaf tin.
  3. Give the coconut milk a good mix until it is smooth, then measure into a jug or bowl. Add the milk and vinegar and stir.
  4. Sieve the flour & sugar into a large mixing bowl. 
  5. Add the 8 tablespoons of desiccated coconut, baking powder and salt then mix well.
  6. Add almond extract and oil to the milk and stir.
  7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold in until just combined. Do not overmix.
  8. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 mins until golden and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean,
  9. You can cover the cake with foil for the last 10-15 minutes to stop it browning too much.
  10. Leave to cook in the tin for a few minutes, then move to a baking rack to continue cooling.
  11. Once it's cool you can slice and serve or add buttercream and coconut.
BUTTERCREAM (OPTIONAL)
  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk the butter until soft, then whisk in the icing sugar.
  2. Next whisk in the coconut milk.
  3. If it's not thick enough, you can add more icing sugar.
  4. Spread or pipe onto the top of the cooled cake and top with a generous layer of desiccated coconut.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Notes:

CALORIES


PLAIN CAKE

8 slices = 414 calories per slice

9 slices = 368 calories per slice

10 slices = 331 calories per slice


CAKE WITH BUTTERCREAM

8 slices = 609 calories per slice

9 Slices = 542 calories per slice

10 slices = 487 calories per slice


This cake can be wrapped in foil (if you don't add icing) or kept in an airtight container for 2-3 days.



You can freeze this coconut cake. Freeze it before add buttercream, on the day you make it. It's a good idea to freeze it in slices, wrapped in freezer-friendly baking paper, then store the slices in a freezer bag.


Calories

413.80

Fat (grams)

15.68

Sat. Fat (grams)

6.70

Carbs (grams)

65.03

Fiber (grams)

1.62

Net carbs

63.41

Sugar (grams)

34.29

Protein (grams)

4.63

Sodium (milligrams)

97.39

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Created using The Recipes Generator

26 comments

  1. Ooh, that looks delicious (and your flowers are gorgeous)! Am trying to do more baking as we head toward the in-between of the last blustery days before the sun comes and I won't feel like doing anything that doesn't involve frozen fruit and a blender. Thanks for the vegan options - trying to be more serious about that, too. This looks TRULY fluffy and light, and so many people aren't quite getting that with their vegan baking, so hope springs eternal for the rest of us in seeing this kind of post!

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    Replies
    1. Awww thanks Tanita. I do seem to have the formula right for vegan cakes now It took a bit of work but I got there. Of course Graham is very happy about that. I just have a wee taste then let the boys enjoy them. Wish you guys were on Facebook so I could actually see what you're up to.

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  2. You are not helping my figure here! I still can't wait to try it. Jill

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    Replies
    1. Haha sorry about that. You can freeze it in slices and limit yourself, haha

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  3. This is such a beautiful cake and perfect to enjoy in the sunshine with friends

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes definitely. I am sure it would be gratefully received 😁

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  4. Such a light and fluffy cake that does not disappoint! Looking forward to making this again for Easter; delish!

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    Replies
    1. You are not the first to have made it already. Enjoy it over the weekend.

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  5. This coconut cake is the best I have ever made and tasted! It is yummy and delicious. It is easy to make too! It is a must to give it a try! :)

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    1. I am so pleased with how light and fluffy it is and with the flavour. A real winner!

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  6. It's so delicious, and I always love coconut. Will make it for easter, and my family absolutely like it.

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes it will go down so well with friends and family at Easter.

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  7. What a delicious coconut cake! I especially love that layer of coconut buttercream on top and the minimal prep. Yum!

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    Replies
    1. Well that does make it extra special and yes it's super easy to make.

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  8. What a light and fluffy coconut cake. It looks and sounds marvelous!

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  9. Enjoyed this after dinner last night and it was a hit all around the table! So easy and delicious; exactly what I needed to cure my sweet tooth!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, I'm getting such good feedback about it.

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  10. I am a sucker for a good loaf cake! This one looks so good. Thank you so much for the recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did.

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  11. This cake was so tender and delicious. Absolutely loved it. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it. It's been a real hit.

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  12. We have a new family member who's vegan and I am always hunting for delicious new recipes for her. And this one was an instant hit with the entire family. Thank you.

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  13. I'm not great at baking but this is probably one of the best cakes I've made! So easy and totally delicious, a great recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Awww I am so glad you enjoyed it. I try to make sure all my recipes are easy. You will have to try my other loaf cake, they are just as easy to make.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x