Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake

Gluten-free coconut cake in pan (photo by Yvonne Condes)

I’m trying to be good with my diet leading up to the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday so all I can think about is cake, cookies, pastries, and ice cream. The cake batter pictured here is for a Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake that I made for a Chinese/Vietnamese New Year party. Luckily, I didn’t have any limes or I would have made it today while I was home all day with my sick son.

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake (photo by Yvonne Condes)

A friend invited us over last weekend for a Chinese/Vietnamese New Year Party. We were told to bring a picture of a loved one for the altar and a dish to share. Spring rolls, steamed pork bao, shrimp dumplings, and vegetables were taken so I opted for cake. I had limes and coconut so I came up with recipe for a Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake. Coconut and lime are popular in Vietnamese cuisine, which is how I tied it to the New Year that begins January 31st.

Chinese/Vietnamese New Year Altar

Our host put a piece of the cake (with one bite taken out, whoops!) on the altar as an offering. The cake was a hit at the party and I thought it was the best non-chocolate cake I’ve ever made*. The full recipe is listed at the bottom of the post.

To make the cake, combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

Dry ingredients for gluten-free coconut lime cake (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Then whip butter, sugar, eggs and coconut oil.

Butter, sugar, oil, eggs for gluten-free coconut lime cake (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients alternating with 1/3 of the coconut milk until combined.

Adding gluten-free flour to mix (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Adding coconut milk to mix (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Then spread into prepared buttered and floured 9-inch cake pans.

Gluten-free Coconut Lime Cake in pan (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. While it’s cooling, whisk 12 oz. of sweetened condensed milk with the juice and zest of 3 limes.

Lime zest and sweetened condensed milk (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Once cake has cooled, place on cake pan. Poke holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick or skewer and then spoon the glaze over the cake.  Don’t worry if the glaze doesn’t soak all the way into the cake. Place second cake on top and repeat.

Filling for double gluten-free lime coconut cake

Chill cake for a couple of hours and before you’re ready to serve, make the whipped cream frosting.

Whipped cream frosting for gluten-free coconut lime cake (photo by Yvonne Condes)

Frost cake and sprinkle shredded coconut on top.

Gluten-free coconut lime cake with whipped cream frosting (Photo by Yvonne Condes)

Serve and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Cake


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon coconut oil
4 eggs
3 cups gluten free flour (I use Arrowhead Mills GF Flour with xantham gum. If you use mix that does not contain it, add 2 teaspoons xantham gum)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup coconut milk

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
The juice and zest of 3 limes

Heavy Whipping Cream 8 oz box from Trader Joes, well chilled
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xantham gum in a medium size bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then add coconut oil until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add 1/3 flour mixture alternately with 1/3 coconut milk to the butter mixture until combined. Spoon into prepared baking pans. Cook for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean.

Let cakes cool completely on a wire rack.**  While they are cooling, make the glaze. Whisk together 1 can sweetened condensed milk and the juice and zest of 3 limes. Put first cake on a plate (see below) and poke holes in cake with a toothpick or a skewer. Pour half the milk/lime mixture on to the cake and try to push in the holes with a spoon. It’s okay if if the filling doesn’t soak all the way into the. Place second cake on top and repeat.

Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours. Before serving, make whipped cream frosting. Whip heaving whipping cream until it starts to get thick. Add cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Frost cake and sprinkle shredded coconut on top. Serve and enjoy!

*I had a gluten-free baking business for a couple of years and I’ve made a lot of cakes!

Gluten-Free Tres Leche Cake

tres leches cake frosting

There are certain things that remind me of Christmas. And they’re not the usual things people think of like Christmas trees and nutmeg. For me, it’s the cold, dry, desert air, family talking very loud in Spanish and English, See’s Candy, and Tres Leche cake.

Every Christmas Day, my family and I would pack ourselves in the car and go to my grandmother’s house in Nogales, Arizona. It was a short drive from Tucson, but we didn’t go often so it was exciting when we did.

My grandmother’s house was on the top of a hill. It had a porch with old squeaky chairs, and a staircase that led up to a shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The house was always dark and as a kid it was a little spooky. After a few years, she stopped hosting and we started going to my Aunt’s house.

It was a drastic contrast; bright and loud with people talking and laughing. The best thing about my Aunt’s house was the food. Or should I say dessert. There was a buffet table with tamales, beans, tortillas, and ham, but there was a smaller table at the end with nothing but treats.

Boxes of See’s Candy, cookies, homemade fudge, and best of all a giant Tres Leche Cake would be spread across the table. I would think about the cake all year. But I never tried to make it. It has not one but tres leche. It sounded way too hard.

I finally decided this was the year I would make it. Most everything I bake is gluten-free so not only did I make the cake for the first time, I made it with rice flour.

It wasn’t quite the same as I remembered it, but it was so, so good. And it wasn’t difficult at all after I realized I needed to plan ahead. It came out sweet, and delicious. Not as light as a Tres Leche Cake with gluten, but good. It’s actually Quatro Leche cake because I put milk in the cake as well.

Gluten-Free Tres Leche Cake

2 ¾ cup gluten-free flour *
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons xantham gum
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup milk

1 can evaporated milk (12-ounces)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half and half
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13 by 9 inch baking pan (not glass) with cooking spray. Mix gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, xantham gum, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time. Beat for 1 minute for each egg. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with milk until combined.

Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake completely in the pan on a rack. Once it’s cool, use a fork or chopstick to poke holes all over the cake. Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and half and half. Pour over the cake. It will look like it’s pooling in the wrong places, but wait a few minutes and it will seep into the cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.

The next morning or hours later, whip the heaving whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until it forms stiff peaks. Spread over the cake. Serve and enjoy!

I’m sharing my new favorite milk recipe as part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor’s Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. For more milk recipes and a little dose of #positivismo visit the Master of the Glass Half Full on Facebook or Twitter

*Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix from the Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy
6 cups white rice flour
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
Store leftover flour in an airtight container

Gluten-Free Strawberry Cake

I am pretty food obsessed, which is probably why I’ve gained weight recently. My last food obsession was with this strawberry cake recipe from the food blog “In Erika’s Kitchen.” It looked so delightful I kept thinking about how I needed to make a gluten-free version for my family.

But I’m trying not to bake just for the sake of baking until I drop those pesky 8 pounds (I tried this recipe before I started my vegan diet). The last time I just baked a cake for the hell of it my husband and I ate an entire gluten-free lemon pound cake in a day.

So I waited until there was an occasion and thank you, Jesus, there was. This Easter I was finally able to make the cake and it turned out delightful. Light and moist. It has a streusel topping so it’s more like a coffee cake, but no one was complaining.

The strawberries are perfect right now so it’s a good time to try this out. This cake has oat flour. If you don’t like oats or can’t find gluten free oat flour, you can use all gluten-free flour.

This is Erika’s recipe that I modified to be gluten-free. Visit In Erika’s Kitchen to see the original.

Ingredientssliced strawberries
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups gluten-free flour (King Arthur Gluten-Free Multipurpose flour or see below*)
¾ cup gluten-free oat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 teaspoons xantham gumstrawberry cake batter
1/3 cup dark or light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter (or vegan butter)

Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with canola oil spray. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the eggs, oil and granulated sugar together until the mixture is thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add the strawberries and beat at low speed about 30 seconds, just enough to break up the berries a bit.

In a small bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and xantham gum.

Add 2 cups of flour mixture to the bowl and mix briefly, just until everything is combined. Smooth the batter into cake pan.

Make the crumble: Mix together the remaining 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the flour mixture. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it has the texture and feel of wet sand. Sprinkle the crumble generously over the batter in the pan. Bake the strawberry cake about 35 minutes or until a tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan about 10 minutes.

I served the cake in the pan, but if you don’t mind crumbles then you can flip it over on a serving dish. To do that, take a knife and run it along the sides of the cake. Then place a plate on top of the cake pan. Turn it over and quickly turn it back over onto a serving dish. It’s very crumbly and moist so best not put on a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature.

*Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix with Brown Rice Flour
6 cups brown rice flour
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour

Store leftover flour in an airtight container

Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake

Friday, a friend who has quite a few dietary restrictions came over to our house. No gluten, no dairy, no meat, no eggs. Well, she came to the right place. My husband has Celiac Disease, which means he can’t have gluten and I love to experiment.

My favorite cake recipe is a Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake that I adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.” You only use one bowl and no mixer so it’s quick and easy to make.

The cake is popular around here because it can pass for a cake made with wheat flour. It’s rich, chocolately, and  moist. I made it for my brother on his birthday a couple of years ago and he liked it. A high complement coming from a guy who eats like a 5-year-old; no vegetables, no fish, no nuts and the only thing he consumes that’s vegan is beer.

I almost always make this cake with chocolate frosting, but I wanted to do something different so I went with vanilla and coconut milk frosting. It was wonderful with the chocolate cake, sweet and silky. Glad my friend didn’t stop eating sugar, too!

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
1 ¾ cup gf flour mix
(King Arthur Gluten-Free Multipurpose flour or see below*)
½ cup garbanzo bean flour
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons xantham gum
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup warm water
½ cup canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350

Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, cocoa, xantham gum, baking soda, and salt until the flour is smooth (the garbanzo flour can clump together). Add water, canola oil, vanilla, and white vinegar. Mix well.

Pour evenly into cake pans. Cook for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. The cake may be a little sticky on top, but it’s still good.

Vanilla and Coconut Milk Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks

chocolate cake gluten free

Beat vegan butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly alternate powdered sugar and coconut milk until combined. Add vanilla and salt and beat for 1 minute. If it’s too thick add more coconut milk. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar. Leftover frosting is great on sugar cookies, or coffee cake.

chocolate cake gluten free iced

*Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix from the Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy
6 cups white rice flour
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
Store leftover flour in an airtight container