Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake

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by Chris on April 22, 2012


A while back, I scooped up several gluten-free flours.  A colleague learned he was highly gluten intolerant, and the farmer’s market that has easily accessible GF ingredients is way too far for him to drive without packing a lunch and leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. So, I grabbed a variety for him ( as well as some for myself) to play with, like sorghum, chia seed, coconut, and quinoa flours.

The coconut flour was particularly interesting to me, especially since I have been using coconut oil for some time. I had heard it was an approachable flour to bake with, but did some additional googling. I learned some important need-to-know tips about the grain free flour that proves helpful in baking.  For instance, coconut flour is a very absorbent flour, so a little goes a long way.  About ¼ cup to 1/3 cup coconut flour equals 1 cup grain-based flour. And, since it is a high fiber, high protein flour, it is necessary to increase the number of eggs to the recipe.  In fact, for every one cup of flour, about six eggs are needed, plus one cup liquid (like milk).   Lastly, because of the “sweet” nature of coconut flour, less sweetener needed in the recipes.

Even with these tidbits of information, one bit of advice stuck with me.  Making established, tested recipes, rather than experiment, can limit wasted time and money. Heeding to the advice, I dove into one website I stumbled upon, and liked one chocolate cake recipe (as well as a submitted almond joy recipe).

Not able to help myself, I did tweak the recipe a little by adding coconut oil and using one less egg than called for.  But, that was because I had fewer eggs than I thought!  All worked out though.  The batter was really thick, more like a dense brownie batter than a fluid cake batter.  I was worried the cakes wouldn’t rise.  Looking in the oven half way through the cooking time and not seeing any action didn’t calm my fears.  Luckily, at the end of the baking time, the cake rose to an acceptable height.  Paired with a simple whipped cream and the cake was a slice of heaven!

Have you used coconut flour? How so? Any tips to share?

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Kate April 23, 2012 at 5:17 AM

I feel like I may have some coconut flour in the back of my pantry somewhere.

astheroshe April 23, 2012 at 6:52 AM

I have a recipe for coconut ball cookies on my blog, with coconut flour. I will say it really ramped up the flavor . I made them because i know a lot of people who like coconut flavor , but not texture. Def will make them again :)

Zirkie April 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM

delicious chocolate cake!!

Loraine October 7, 2012 at 6:01 AM

Just made this cake as friends requested a birthday cake made from coconut flour as they eat pretty much Paleo. I bake all gluten free but hadn’t tried coconut flour. I LOVED this recipe. I think Ive found a new ‘go-to’ chocolate cake. It is definitely ‘mudcake’ in texture and I just adore it. Thank you for sharing.

catherine December 22, 2013 at 5:10 PM

When I cook the chocolate cake can I use Brown Sugar? What would be the best one

Chris December 22, 2013 at 8:35 PM


Typically, substituting is fine, 1 to 1. I would use light brown sugar. I have never tried with coconut flour, though. But, since there is a higher moister content in brown sugar and coconut flour is so absorbent, I am sure the change would be perfect. Even so, your cake’s taste and texture will vary a bit.

Let me know how it turns out!

Mary December 31, 2013 at 9:10 AM

I love this recipe, it is my favorite cake now & have made it several times since finding the recipe on pinterest a couple months ago. I have one in the oven now for after New Years dinner tomorrow. :)

Chris January 4, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Mary, thanks so much for taking a moment to come back to tell me! I love you it has worked out so well for you. Happy New Year!

Kate January 3, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Could I substitute coconut milk for half n half? This cake looks sooo good! I am looking forward to making it, thank you!

Chris January 4, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Kate, I have not made it with half n half, but it should work fine. It will probably be a slight bit richer because of the cream. Have fun and let me know how you it turns out! Happy New Year.

Amy February 11, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Thanks for the recipe! I tried it using Hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa powder (I do not recommend it – it just makes everything bitter), almond milk instead of half-and-half, and melted butter instead of coconut oil. The cake came out really nice and moist, although mine isn’t very sweet (I used baker’s sugar instead of the regular granulated sugar, but I can’t see why that wouldn’t have made it sweeter). I haven’t tried the cake with the frosting yet, so maybe the relative un-sweetness of my cake will be balanced out. I look forward to trying it!

Chris February 13, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Yeah! Thanks for letting me know, Amy! I am glad to hear it came out well for you! My version isn’t overly sweet, either. You are on-point about the icing adding the extra.

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