Coconut Chocolate Chip Cake- An Easy Gluten-Free Recipe

Use a gluten-free pancake and baking mix to make cake!

This is one of my most popular gluten-free cake recipes- a divinely simple gluten-free coconut cake studded with chocolate chips. And so easy to make if you keep Pamela's Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix on hand. We are leaving for Los Angeles on Friday and Yours Truly in Gluten-Free Goodness will be off-line for a bit. I thought I might leave you with something sweet to nosh as I prepare for our much anticipated sojourn into Hollyweird.

A simple recipe. No fuss. No frosting. Cake for those of us who aren't gifted with ganache. The kind of cake you can grab on the go (how very un-Zen!) or nibble politely over coffee and a hot flash inducing debate with friends about why naturally beautiful, smart and talented women inject military grade toxins into their foreheads and goddess-knows-what into their lips and bursting apple cheeks until all you can do, Dearest Reader, is stare in frozen horror wondering, What the Tap-dancing Hades have you done to your face?

Please, women. I beg you. Stop.

Your once expressive faces (your numero uno tool of the trade in theater and film) now look like masks or worse. You look like a sky-diving plastic blow-up doll. You do not look younger, I'm sorry to tell you. You look weird. Vacuous. If not desperate. There's an uncanny vinyl aura oozing from a visage that's had "work done" (I guess the new phrase is "been refreshed").

Trust me. Be strong. Be authentic. Think: What would Frances McDormand do?

And go eat some cake.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe

Craving a coconut confection with a tender crumb and morsels of melty chocolate? This cake's for you. Drizzle warm chocolate sauce on plated slices if you must.


3 large free-range organic eggs
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 cups Pamela's Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix
or gluten-free baking mix with leavening* see notes
1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350ºF [if you live above 5,000 feet, set your oven temp to 375ºF].

Line a 9-inch cake pan with buttered parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs till pale yellow, and add in the oil; beat to combine. Add the coconut milk and flavor extracts. Beat in the sugars till smooth. Add the flour mix a little at a time and beat until the batter is smooth.

Stir in the coconut and chocolate chips by hand.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the center of a pre-heated oven, until the cake is set in the center [cake should spring back to light touch]. At high altitude, this cake took 35-40 minutes to bake. At sea level, baking it at 350 degrees, I'd check it at 30 to 35 minutes; but note, it may take longer. Use your experience to judge what's best for baking a cake in your oven.

Cool the cake on a wire rack. It was delicious slightly warm. Slice and wrap leftover pieces for freezing.

Makes one 9-inch cake [round or square].

This sturdy cake works well with shaped birthday cake molds- thanks to Childlife for sharing this info; she made a train shaped birthday cake with this recipe, and it unmolded "like a dream".

Recipe Source:

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Karina's Notes:

If you do not use Pamela's Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix

substitute your own favorite gluten-free baking and pancake mix.

Or make your gluten-free flour combo and add per cup of g-free flour blend:

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum or guar gum
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

GF/CF folks: Make this cake dairy-free by using your preferred self-rising casein-free flour mix and dairy-free chocolate chips.

Enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day. 


Kleja said...

Karina! I love this post and I love Frances McDormand! You are so gifted in so many ways, thanks for sharing those very wise words. I have to admit that I am on the run a lot and there's nothing better than a great GF snack to tag along, I will be making this one and all my co-workers will be jealous. Have fun in sunny L.A. see you when you return.

SusanV said...

Okay, I give! Who the heck was that a photo of? She looks familiar...yet so strange!

WWFMD? Do I see a future t-shirt in that? ;-)

And speaking of naturally beautiful, your new profile pic is glowing and gorgeous. Have a great trip!

Karina said...

Hey Kleja!

Franny is a GODDESS!

[And as for snacks-on-the-go, I never leave home without a foil-wrapped GF treat tucked in my purse]. ;-)

Hi Susan!

It's Meg Ryan. :-(

And thanks! You are incredibly sweet. My new hair-cut gave me a much needed update [and I'm coming out of my winter/seasonal doldrums, at last.]

Can't wait to walk on the beach!


jennifer said...

Have fun on your trip, Karina! I wish for you sunshiny days and delicious food to brighten these winter days.

Speaking of delicious, coconut and chocolate is a great combo -- the cake looks fab.

Safe travels!

Anonymous said...


This cake sound WONDERFUL! I hate to even ask this on a gluten-free website, but how would this need to be modifed for some who is not gluten-free? Would you mind giving some hints there?

Have a wonderful time on the beach!


Lynn Barry said...

Can't wait to hear all about your trip. HUGS

lucette said...

Much as I love how this recipe sounds, I love the paragraph introducing it even more.

rachel said...

oooh, delicious! mmmm... I need to make cake tomorrow so my kids will have cake at a birthday party. this looks perfect!

thank you, and I hope you have a safe trip!

Flamenco Mom said...

What a fantastic recipe, and what a gorgeous cake! As someone who loves coconut, this has a place on my must-try list. Thanks for sharing this.

gilly said...

Hi Karina, I hope you have a lovely trip! I laughed at your description of the 'debate' bit, although the the topic is truly a sad one. I eagerly await your next delicious GF treat!

Allergic Girl said...

have a great time in LA--and thanks for all of the goodies!

Anonymous said...

I am blown away by the kindness and helpfulness (as well as the out of this world creativity) that radiates out from this site. I am slowly going GF and your site is a godsend. Coconut is my favorite thing- and this will be be my birthday cake this weekend!! So many thanks!


kazza77 said...

Hey there! Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes, I am so glad I stumbled across them today and I can't wait to try them.

I'll be back definitely

Arfi Binsted said...

o i love coconut and chocolate!! will wait for more photos and stories. have a nice trip!

Karina said...

Thanks, Jennifer!

Hi Andy! Use a regular self-rising flour. That ought to work. ;-)

Hugs to you, too, Lynn!

Hey Lucette! Cool. Thanks. ;-)

Hi Rachel! Hope you all had a Happy Birthday party [and cake!].

Flamenco Mom - I just never get tired of chocolate + coconut. Sigh.

Heya Gilly! True, true. Crazy stuff. Thanks!

Hi Allergic Girl! Thanks a bunch!

Welcome Elizabeth - Wow - than you - I so appreciate it. Be well - and come back to visit.

Cool, Kazza! :-)

Hola, Arfi! Thanks so much.

Photos and reports coming soon!

Happy *Hearts* Day, Everyone!


Kleja said...

Hi again, I just wanted you to know that I made this cake for my birthday and it was really luscious and wonderful.

Karina said...

Hi Kleja! Happy Birthday! [Luscious = good for birthdays ;-)]. Yay.


Ryan's World said...

i made this cake for my celiac husband and he loved it! Our friends visiting also could not get enough. The entire cake was gone by the time they left. My husband has only been diagnosed for 2 years, and was so bored with the food. Thanks for spicing it up for us. We are having the best time with your recipes.

Karina said...

Hi Ryan's World! Fantastic. I'm so glad. Yay.


Rebecca said...

I made this recently so as to have a cake to eat at my nephew's birthday. It was delicious! Everyone else couldn't help having some too. A genuine hit! I dutifully wrapped slices up for freezing, and heated one up tonight when I was feeling a bit deprived. Perfectly wonderful nuked for half a minute. My sister suggested cupcakes would also be an easy way to make this an easy fall-back for when non-gf cake is served. The dreaded office cake party?! Thanks so much!

Childlife said...

Hi Karina ~

I'm new to your site, through this post. What a fabulous recipe this is! I was frantically scouring the internet for a sturdy enough looking GFCF cake recipe to work in a children's character pan cake mold for my son's birthday and still have a good flavor. This recipie worked like a dream!

My son had his train shaped birthday cake, it came out of the cake mold like a dream, tasted fabulous, and no one even realized it was GFCF until someone commented on noticing my daughter was having some. This one is an instant classic in our house - thank you so much for sharing it!

Karina said...

Rebecca! Yay- So glad to hear that this cake was a hit for your nephew's birthday. I think cupcakes would be fabulous. Thanks for stopping back to share this with me.

Hi Childlife- Another YAY! Good to know this GF/CF cake works in a cake mold. I may add that piece of info to the tips- for other Mom's wondering about molding this recipe.

Thanks for sharing- it means so much to me to read feedback like this.



Anonymous said...

Karina, I have been craving coconut chocolate something for about 3 days. Today, it hit me that you probably had a recipe for that. You did! The kids and I chowed about half cake (right after nap time and of course, before dinner!) and we are all in agreement that this was the best cake - ever. I bet my husband (who is not a fan of coconut) devours the rest. You are the best! Michele

Karina said...

Michelle- Thanks so much! I love the simplicity of this cake. Yay for coconut.


Anonymous said...

Hi Karina,

This cake is fabulous! I think it is one of the best cakes I've tried GF or not. The only problem I had was that all (well most) of the chocolate chips sank to the bottom. I've never had that happen before. Any suggestions? Have you ever tried it in a 9x13" pan?

And thanks for introducing me to Pamela's Baking mix. It's the best. Works in my fudgie brownie recipe like a dream!


Susan said...

I have a question. What is golden brown sugar? Are you referring to Turbinado or Demerara? Also, for the organic light brown sugar, should I pack the half cup? The recipe doesn't say. I want to make this recipe for my co-worker's birthday since she loves chocolate and coconut. Thanks!

Karina Allrich said...

Hi Susan- Sorry for the confusion. I have tweaked the recipe over the years. Today I edited the best version of the recipe. The light brown sugar I use is Whole Foods- it's soft, not granular. And I don't pack it, per say. How lovely you're making this for a co-worker's birthday!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karina,

I just had this recipe for my 20th birthday cake. It was delicious! I loved it. It was so nice to have "cake" again (anyone who has been on gluten free will know what I mean).


StellaRoseFoundation said...

Any way to make this vegan???

Karina Allrich said...

Making this particular recipe vegan would require a different baking mix, and an egg replacer. I have not tried this with egg replacer.

I'll be working on a similar vegan cake soon.


Anonymous said...

This is a delicious recipe. I can't believe it's gluten free!

Anonymous said...

Hello Karina,
I am very excited to try this yummy recipe soon. I was just wondering if it still tastes good if I make it a couple of days before we eat it?
I want to make it at home Wednesday and then eat it on my birthday Friday when we are at a cottage on the Gulf Islands.

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