Coconut sponge cake

Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Keir Watson
Read Time: 2 min

This delicious sponge is very light, moist and has a nice golden crust. It is excellent served as-is, but also provides a great staring point for creative sponge cake. Oh yes! – just because you live the low-carb, paleo and grain-free lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t take your place in the Great British Bake off! Show them how its done, and use this recipe as a base for that special occasion cake without compromising your dietary standards.

Although the dominant ingredients are coconut based the flavour is surprisingly subtle, so it will be easy to vary the flavour by adding lemon, cocoa powder or vanilla for example. The recipe below is very low sugar, which for some people (guests) may not be sweet enough. Rather than increasing the sugar content consider using a Stevia enriched sugar* to increase the sweetness. (Interestingly, I’ve found that lemon or vanilla in deserts can increase the subjective sense of sweetness)

Recipe, Coconut Sponge Cake (8-12 servings)

250ml coconut cream* (Note: not creamed coconut!)
30g coconut flour*
3 large eggs
8g sugar
tsp baking powder

In a bowl, add the ingredients in the sequence above, stirring thoroughly as you go to avoid lumps. The final batter should be thick but pourable. Pour into a greased 6 inch tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes. When removed it should be golden-browned and springy. Leave to cool.

Macronutrients for whole cake:
P: 33g C: 19g F: 42g

*Specialist Ingredients:
Coconut flour – a great low carb, grain-free, wheat flour substitute. There are several brands available (e.g. Biona, Tiana) , which can be purchased at some whole food shops, but I also stock it at my clinic.
Coconut cream – this is cream substitute made from coconut, water and emulsifiers –  hence somewhat processed, unfortunately. I only know of one brand – Blue Dragon – but it seems to be available from many UK supermarkets.
Stevia sugar – Stevia is a powerful calorie free sweetener extracted from a herb. In some recipes it works as a direct replacement for sugar, although some people notice a different taste, but where sugar plays a textural role you may want to try something like Tate and Lyle’s “Lighter at Heart”. This is a blend of sugar and stevia allowing you to use half the sugar for the same sweetness. Use sparingly – it is better to wean your friends and family off highly sweetened foods.

9 thoughts on “Coconut sponge cake”

  1. Hello, Afifah! This recipe looks fantastic and I would love to use it. However, I don’t think I can get coconut cream in my country – coconut milk yes, but is there a possible substitute? Could apple sauce, more eggs, or honey perhaps work? I am new to low carb baking but here there aren’t many coconut products outside of coconut flour, milk, and flakes/shavings.

    • I always use Bart’s or Blue Dragon’s Creamed Coconut when cooking with coconut – but they are 100% coconut, with nothing added. Bart’s comes in small sachets that are easy to use. You melt it before using and then able to add the water and/or cream or any other liquid of your choice to the consistency required. That overcomes the junk the processing adds.

      Yuyui – you do not state which country you are writing from. This is the Bart’s product I am referencing:–140526-Bart+creamed+coconut+4s I hope you are able to view OK.

  2. Hi Yuyui, sorry for this slow response to your enquiry. I think if you try some of the coconut milk that you can get it will be fine, but also do a batch with apple sauce and let me know how it goes as I have not tried that and it could work out really well. It will increase the carb content a bit, but not excessively. I don’t think it will need more honey as that will render the carb content higher (honey is 80% carbohydrate). Another option is to add some yogurt (full fat plain yogurt of course) as this will work, but it will no longer be milk free. Many people are fine on goat’s or sheep’s milk products even when cow’s milk is disturbing to their immune system, so it won’t suit everyone but will be fine for others. Adding double cream would work too, if suitable for the individual making it.
    Let me know how your versions comes out. I bet they will be great!

    • Hi Monika, in England the thing called ‘coconut cream’ is available either in small cans or in small cartons. It is higher in fat than coconut milk. Try to find the correct thing. Which country are you in?

  3. I’m in a small village in the south of France. I’ve never seen coconut cream even in the shops in town. Alas, my hopes are not very high for the coconut flour either but I shall give it a go. This sounds delicious. One reader mentions using applesauce in the recipe. If that would work perhaps sauced rhubarb as I prefer tart to sweet.

  4. What about honey as a sweetner? I don’t use a sweetener as such but take honey for my allergies as I don’t go in for shots and pills.

    • By all means use honey, the only thing to watch out for is that refined sugar in some recipes provides part of the structure and honey may affect the texture (for example honey will not work in meringues); but, in this cake I think it will be fine.

      If you can’t get the coconut flour and are up for experimenting, I would suggest replacing it with ground almonds. As for the coconut cream, use either dairy cream or – if you must – a soya cream substitute. Of course it won’t be a coconut cake anymore!

      • Refined sugar has no place in my home so that isn’t an issue. I shall search for the coconut cream and also ask a friend to check when she is over in the UK next month. The ground almonds sound okay. Thanks again


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