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Gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cake {dairy-free}

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Gluten-free Lemon Cake with a hint of coconut is the spring and summer dessert that’s perfect for potlucks! Slices of this cake are perfect just the way they are – no ice cream needed!

Gluten-free Lemon Cake on white cake stand

Today I bring you a delicious lemon coconut bundt cake that is not only gluten-free, but dairy-free, tree-nut free and peanut-free also! You won’t miss any of that though, as this cake is full of lemon and coconut flavor, has the perfect cake crumb, and a sweet and tangy lemon icing you’ll want to lick off your plate! I think this will become your favorite gluten-free dairy-free lemon dessert!

You all know that I love baking for myself and my family, but I love baking for other people even more! Seeing the smiles on the faces of friends with food allergies or intolerances when they have one of my desserts is so rewarding!

I made this gluten-free lemon cake for our church potluck recently. In our small church family of about 200 people, there are several other people with celiac, several with gluten intolerances, and quite a few with allergies to dairy, nuts and/or peanuts.

I wanted to make something that they could all enjoy at the evening dessert potluck. This gluten-free dairy-free cake is also free of nuts and peanuts of course. 

gluten-free lemon cake on platter with cake server beside it and raspberries

Notes about the ingredients and substitutions for this gluten-free lemon cake recipe:

  • Since I needed to use a nut-free flour blend, I grabbed one of my favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour blends, gfJules. It has xanthan gum in it already, so the xanthan gum listed in the recipe is just for if you use a gluten-free flour blend that doesn’t have xanthan or guar gum in it already. Results with gluten-free all-purpose flour blends vary, but you should have good results with any good quality flour blend that is very fine and doesn’t contain bean flours. I can guarantee it’ll be great if you use gfJules though since that’s what I used!
  • For the liquid in this recipe, I opted for canned light coconut milk from Trader Joe’s. You could use any coconut milk, regular milk or nut milks in this recipe as well, if you aren’t dealing with those allergies.
  • I used coconut oil to keep it dairy-free. You could also use organic vegetable shortening with good results.
  • If you really love coconut, you might want to sprinkle shredded coconut on top of the cake to finish it off too!
  • The lemon flavor in this cake is all natural – that is, you use actual lemon juice and lemon zest from fresh lemons. I do not recommend using any lemon extracts in place of actual lemon.

This gluten-free lemon bundt cake is made in a bundt pan. Since bundt pans come in such a variety of sizes, and also a variety of thicknesses of the metals, the baking time given is a range. Don’t rely so much on the time listed for baking, instead check for doneness in regular intervals with a toothpick.

gluten-free dairy-free lemon coconut cake with a cut slice on a plate with a fork

Thanks to the sweet and flavorful lemon glaze, slices of this are yummy served plain!

Here’s a look at how I brought it to a potluck. Since it was a potluck and I wanted to minimize the risk of cross-contamination during serving, I brought the cake already pre-sliced and ready to serve from this two-tiered serving plate. Each person could just grab their slice and enjoy!

Lemon Coconut Cake (Gluten-free dairy-free, tree nut free) Delicious, allergy-friendly treat to share at a potluck or party!

One of the families from church eats all gluten-free and dairy-free, and since they enjoyed the cake I sent the few remaining slices home with them. Thankfully, I’d kept another a few slices at home for my family too!

At home, since we can have dairy, we enjoyed some cake slices with homemade whipped cream.

Hope you can make this lemon coconut cake recipe soon! I think you’ll love it even more than a gluten-free coconut cake!

Slice of gluten-free lemon coconut cake with a raspberry

Have more lemons to use up? Another dairy-free option is my gluten-free lemon cookies. These paleo lemon tarts sure look great!

If you can have dairy, make sure you make these gluten-free lemon brownies. And try my gluten-free lemon cupcakes. These gluten-free lemon no-bake pies look delish too!

If you make these and love them, please come back and give this recipe a 5 star rating in the recipe card! Feel free to comment with tips or to share any successful substitutions you made.

Gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cake Recipe:

Yield: 18 slices

Gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cake {dairy-free}

Gluten-free Lemon Cake on white cake stand

This gluten-free lemon cake is a delicious choice to slice and bring to a party or potluck!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups (294 g.) gluten-free flour blend*
  • 1 tsp. xanthan *see note
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk (I used Trader Joe's light coconut milk that comes in a can)
  • 10 Tbsp. coconut oil

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-5 Tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a bundt pan very well, then set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour, xanthan or guar gum (if needed), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium for one minute.
  4. With mixer on low speed, slowly add sugar to the eggs. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  6. Slowly pour in dry ingredients on low speed and mix just until combined.
  7. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, warm the coconut milk and coconut oil while whisking, until the oil is melted and mixture is well mixed.
  8. Pour the coconut milk/oil mixture into the batter in the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until you have a smooth, thin batter.
  9. Pour batter into the greased bundt pan and bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted into the center should come out with only moist crumbs, not wet batter. Baking time will vary depending on your bundt pan's shape and size and can be anywhere from 35 minutes to 60 minutes or so, based on comments from others that have tested this. Rely on the toothpick!
  10. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in pan, over wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a long skinny spatula or butter knife to gently help release the sides of the cake so it doesn't stick to the pan. Flip cake pan over, removing cake from pan onto wire rack. Allow cake to cool until room temperature or slightly warm.
  11. While cake is cooling, prepare lemon glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice until it reaches your desired thickness for glazing the cake. I made mine pretty thin and it soaked more into the cake, which I liked. If you want it to mostly stay on the top of the cake, you'll want to make it thicker so it won't run down the sides of the cake and onto the pan. When I made this again for new photos, I actually double-glazed it. I poured the glaze over the cake once. Then after that soaked in, I poured the rest over the cake again.

Notes

*I've tested with gfJules gluten-free flour blend and King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour Blend and recommend either. See blog post for more information.

*If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe. (both the blends I tested this with have xanthan, so I did not add the additional xanthan listed here. It is listed in case you are using a blend that does not have xanthan)


Pin this to your gluten-free cakes board on Pinterest:

gluten-free lemon coconut cake

I hope you and your family and friends enjoy this gf lemon cake recipe.

Click to share this with your friends or family!

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Shana

Monday 22nd of April 2019

I made this exactly as written for an Easter dessert. It was De-lish - so moist and flavorful. I had to bake it for longer than recommended.

Alex

Saturday 13th of April 2019

Why can’t you use a gf all purpose flour with bean flour in it? I wish that was in the ingredients section of the recipe which I used for reference when shopping...thinking of trying it anyway. I’m only dairy free but we’re having a family party and my grandmother is gluten free so I was hoping to make something we could both enjoy.

Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen

Sunday 14th of April 2019

Flour blends with bean flours, in my opinion, do not provide great texture or flavor. I recommend avoiding them and choosing better blends for better results.

Brittany

Saturday 9th of February 2019

My husband made this for our family and it was delicious! This is our go to lemon cake! We've tweaked it just a little based on our preferences. I only use brown rice flour. We never use xanthum gum or guar gums because we don't tolerate them. We use 3 lemons because we love that real lemon flavor and use canned coconut milk. We also put shredded coconut in the batter. We bake as a cake in a 9x13 baking dish. We also make a lemon glaze and pour over the top. Its so delicious! This is a dense cake, but we really like it!

Deb miller

Tuesday 27th of November 2018

Is there an egg free verson

Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen

Wednesday 28th of November 2018

Sorry no. Feel free to try with your favorite egg-free substitution and report back on how it worked!

Emily

Friday 21st of September 2018

Hello, third time making this amazing cake, everyone I feed it to loves it! I agree with some of the other comments, it definitely doesn't cook in 35 min, takes at least 45. Could you update the recipe so I don't forget again lol. Thanks ????