Coconut Milk Snack Cake is ideal for after-school snack, coffee breaks, and late night study sessions. Lightly sweet, with a soft, tender texture, this cake is back-to-school fuel!
I didn’t plan on a series of four recipes using coconut milk. The Thai recipe for Coconut Milk Cookies fell into my lap because I am forever intrigued by cookbooks with international cookie recipes. Every culture has baked goods developed to stay fresh as long as possible, and I’m hunting for them all! For those searching the internet for coconut milk recipes, the Coconut Milk Cookies have been very popular. So to meet the demand, I continue to find ways to use this delicious ingredient. The cookies were followed by Coconut Milk Chocolate Chip Pound Cake and Coconut Milk Toffee Blondies. This recipe for Coconut Milk Snack Cake was a lucky fail turned into a win.
As I was working on the recipe for coconut milk blondies, one version looked like a fail when I took it out of the oven. Though beautifully golden with a heavenly smell, the supposed-to-be blondies had risen while baking. The texture was sure to be un-blondie like. I was disappointed, until I tasted this creation. Definitely not blondies, the cake is simultaneously sturdy enough for shipping yet soft and tender, with such a lovely vanilla-coconut flavor, that adding frosting would be a crime.
To mail Coconut Milk Snack Cake in a care package, I recommend baking in a disposable foil pan and wrapping the cake in the pan, uncut. The foil pan provides protection. Leaving the cake uncut, keeps the cake from drying out while shipping.
Coconut Milk Snack Cake was never destined to be a blondie. It’s a delicious, easy to make (no mixer needed), snack cake that compliments a glass of milk or a mug of coffee or tea. With a shelf-life of about 7 days, Coconut Milk Snack Cake can be enjoyed all week as an after-school snack, or shipped to your favorite college student for a sweet start to the semester!
MORE COCONUT MILK RECIPES
Coconut Milk Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
Coconut Milk Snack Cake
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, canned full fat, not low fat
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut shredded
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan (If shipping, use a disposable foil pan.)
- Open the can of coconut milk and combine the contents THOROUGHLY. The thick, heavy fat separates from the thin milk and MUST be recombined before using. This is most easily done in a blender, food processor, or electric mixer, but can also be done with vigorous whisking. When the fat is completely blended with the liquid the consistency should be similar to dairy cream or milk.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the homogenized coconut milk, melted coconut oil, eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, shredded coconut, and baking powder, then add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting or storing. If shipping, leave the cooled cake in the disposable pan and ship uncut.
- When cooled, the top of the cake can be sprinkled with powdered sugar (optional).
- Wrapped well or stored in an airtight container at room temperature, Coconut Milk Snack Cake remains fresh for up to 1 week.
This is soooo delicious! However, I now need to make it gluten free. Do you know if this is as simple as just substituting wheat flour to GF??? Or do I need to change quantity as well?
Hi, Lauren. I haven't tried this recipe with GF flour mix, but if you use something like Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 then you would simply substitute. Sometimes baking with gf flour mixes makes the finished product a little more dense. If you give this a try I would love to know how it turns out!
I used the Bob Red Mill gluten free 1:1, 3/4 cup sugar, light coconut milk and melted butter for the coconut oil. The cake turned out moist and delicious. I served it with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
Hi, Katy. I'm glad your version turned out to be delicious. Serving with whipped cream and sliced strawberries sounds lovely.
I love coconut! I’m going to have to try to make this. Thanks for sharing!
Hi, Jocelyn. I hope you enjoy the snack cake. Though it has several coconut ingredents, the coconut flavor is actually very mild. If you love coconut, you may want to add a bit of extract to the batter. Enjoy!
Heather in Ottawa
Thanks for this recipe! I was looking for a way to use up some canned coconut milk and this fit the bill. I added chocolate chips for my husband's sweet tooth, but we all loved this moist cake. Love that it makes a simple 8x8 pan sized cake, easy to make and to serve. Will be adding this to the roster, thank you!
Mine also came out dense and flat and I think I know why. Being that my blender was already out to mix the milk I decided to throw the eggs in with it. I think mixing the eggs in the blender is what made mine not rise at all. My coconut milk also had guar gum. I wonder if others who had a similar result also cracked their eggs into the blender?
Hi, Nathan. I am sorry to hear that your cake didn't rise. Thank you for letting me know about your experience. I am currently gathering the ingredients together to figure out what's going on. It doesn't make sense that some people have amazing results and for others it doesn't work at all. I really don't think it was the eggs in your blender. As long as the eggs didn't get cooked in there (you know how the super powerful blenders can make and heat soup?). I had hoped that it was because some people were throwing the coconut milk into the batter without combining the separated milk and fat. That is why I added the part about the blender. I thought it might be the guar gum which is a thickener, but I spoke to readers who told me their cakes worked fine with coconut milk with guar gum. I have made this recipe successfully with coconut oil, vegetable oil, and with butter, so it's not the fat. Could you tell me if you used a metal or a glass pan? That will be one of the things I will test this week. If I can figure it out, I will update the recipe.
Lovely recipe. It’s one of my family’s favourite cakes and so nice to have with a cup of tea 😍
Hi, Naz! I am so glad that you and your family are enjoying this cake. I agree, that it is lovely with a cup of tea! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and your 5 star review! Happy baking!
Is there a high altitude adjustment needed for this recipe? Mine was also flat and dense. I am at 4000 feet altitude.
Do you measure the oil after it has been melted or before?
My coconut milk is pretty dense too - Geisha full fat. What brand do you use?
Hi, MJ. There are definitely adjustments for high altitude baking. I have no experience with that but I think you might find the help you need here, https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/learn/resources/high-altitude-baking. I measure the coconut oil before melting. I became concerned about this recipe after receiving several comment about density, so I baked the cake myself this week. It came out light and fluffy. I am trying to trouble shoot so that I can figure out why it's not doing that for everyone. Other than you high altitude situation, all I can think of is the coconut milk.i am beginning to think it is the added guar gum and stabalizers. Some brands have more guar gum than others, making them super thick. Some have no guar gum at all. I am going to research this. Right now I can tell you that the coconut milk I use is thin like regular dairy milk. The full fat often has to be shaken or mixed because the fat separates from the milk. That must be done before mixing it in with the other ingredients. I have made this recipe with canned coconut milk by the brands Trader Joe's and Thrive Market. We don't have Geisha brand, but checking online shows me that it has both guar gum and stabilizers for thickness. I will update the recipe once I know for sure what brands to recommend.
Heather in Ottawa
I made this tonight because I was looking for a recipe to use up cans of coconut milk. I cut the sugar to 3/4 cup and added 1 cup of chocolate chips to the mixture. Holy cow, this was fantastic. It was so good it is now a go-to for quick snack cakes. I love the undertone of coconut but it's not in your face so if someone says they don't like coconut they may like this. Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi, Heather! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the snack cake! Chocolate chips sound like a great addition. I totally agree with you about the flavor. It's a soft, background flavor, not bold at all.
Mine was dense and flat too. I wondered if it was the consistency of the coconut milk. What I used was very thick - paste/peanut butter consistency.
Hi, Angela. I am sorry to hear that your cake didn't turn out properly. Your coconut milk sounds very strange. Did you use condensed coconut milk by mistake? That would not have worked in this recipe. Normally, coconut milk has the consistency of dairy milk. Coconut cream is a little thicker, about the consistency of dairy cream. This is a light, fluffy cake which should be very easy to throw together.
Hi Wendy. I’m getting ready to make my coconut cake, I was wondering if I can use coconut cream with this recipe.
Hi, Rosie. If you are referring to canned coconut cream that is unsweetened (NOT the sweet stuff that is used in tropical drinks) then you can use it successfully in this recipe, as well as the Coconut Milk Cookies recipe. Enjoy!
Hello Wendy 🙂 I made this last night and only cooked for 30 minutes. The bottom was moist and dense. Don't get me wrong it was still delicious but maybe underdone (?) even though my toothpick came out clean. I also used a glass 8x8 pan and wondering if that contributed to the issue? I'm going to give it another try and cook for another 10 minutes. Hoping it bakes all the way through and rises better! ??
Hi, Kimberly! I have had several people, like you, tell me lately that their snack cake was moist and dense. I will certainly try to help trouble shoot, because I know this recipe works. Many people get light , fluffy results. So mystifying! First let talk about the pan. I used a metal pan. Is it possible for you to try that? Glass takes longer to heat and then retains heat longer. The batter will take longer to cook and may not cook evenly, with the edges getting a bit over cooked before the center is done. Be sure you are using canned only, full fat only coconut milk, melted coconut oil, and flour measures by spooning into the measuring cup. My guess is the pan is the issue. I hope this helps and will be crossing my fingers for your next coconut snack cake to be perfect!
Would you happen to have the nutritional information?
Hi, Irene. I have slowly been going through my recipes and updating with additional information, including nutritional information on the recipe cards. I updated this recipe card for you, just now. 🙂
No salt required for the cake to rise?
Hi, Courtney. Salt is not required when using baking powder, because baking powder already contains salt. The salt acts as an acid when activated by a liquid and will enable the cake to rise.
Made this many times, including today. It turned out great as usual.
Failed, NOT inflated at all, dense and no taste.
I like to know what caused the failure.
Hi, Billi. Obviously, I can't know what happened to your cake, but try to help troubleshoot, because I know this recipe works, having made it as written many times. Assuming you used the 8" x 8" square pan, lets talk about ingredients. You say your cake was dense and not fluffy. The two ingredients that contribute to the rise in this cake are the eggs (2 Large) and the baking powder. Is your baking powder active? If it is old it may not be. Your cake also had no taste. This is not a strong flavored cake. It should have a light vanilla-like coconut flavor. I am wondering about the coconut milk that you used. It MUST be canned and full fat. Do you measure your flour by spooning the flour into the measuring cup and then leveling off? If you scoop flour, you will compact the flour in the measuring cup and end up with too much. One final thought is to use an oven thermometer to be sure your oven is calibrated. I hope at least one of these ideas helps solve the mystery of your failed coconut cake!
Hi I made this but it is very densed!! I will beat the egg and sugar first next time ?
Hi, Carol. I have no idea why your cake would be dense or require beating the egg and sugar. Just mixing in a bowl should result in a very light and fluffy snack cake. I am wondering if you used something heavier than canned coconut milk? Or maybe you scooped your flour (resulting in too much flour in recipe)? Be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cups and then level off the top for a more accurate measure. Good luck!
Getting ready to make this now.
When I mix the wet with the dry, I don't need a mixer, correct?
Hi, Karen. I'm sorry that I didn't see your question until now. I hope your snack cake was delicious! You are correct that this cake doesn't use a mixer. Just a gentle mix by hand. 🙂