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 heavenly. It’s exactly what I was looking for to use up some extra coconut milk. I made it exactly as written and it’s perfect. The edges get chewy and the middle is so moist.
Glad to hear that you are enjoying the snack cake, Mallory!
Amazing, I love this recipe, I’ve made it at least 5 times the last month for various occasions… substituting coconut sugar for sugar and also used coco quench carton coconut milk instead of coconut milk can…
I also made the icing from whipped coconut cream!! So amazing, this is definitely my fav cake recipe now.
I'm delighted to hear that you have found so many ways to enjoy this snack cake! Thank you for sharing your successful variations with the other readers!
I Loved this ! Yum, so easy to throw together and I love how moreish it is - thank you
So glad you enjoyed the snack cake, Alysha!
Question, can you use a sugar substitute?
Hi, Patty. I have never tried baking this with a sugar substitute, so I don't know if it would work.
Hi Wendy! Well the sugar substitute did not work well, not cakey at all. it was flat
🙁 - But still tasted amazing. Will try the recipe again with coconut sugar or regular sugar.
Sorry to hear your experiment didn't work. Be sure that the coconut milk is well blended without lumps of the fat that separates from the milk. Uneven blending can cause the cake to be flatter also.I'm glad your experiment at least tasted good!
Would it still work out if I use lite coconut milk in the can?
Hi, Megan. You definitely have to use the canned coconut milk, but the recipe calls for full fat not lite. I haven't tried using lite so I'm not sure if the cake would work. I did find this article I am linking here for you, that suggests that it isn't a good idea to make that substitution for baking. https://www.thekitchn.com/mistakes-to-avoid-with-canned-coconut-milk-261134
I just tried this for the first time.While dealing with insomnia.It came out tasting better than I thought it would .Not a big fan of coconut.But it’s my youngest sons favorite.Can’t wait for him to wake up.So he can take it with him.To try while he is at work.Thanks a million!
I'm glad you enjoyed baking the recipe even if coconut isn't your favorite. I hope your son enjoyed the cake and your special effort!
Anyone tried this with gluten-free flour? I think I will.
Hi,Deborah. I haven't tried this cake with gf flour and don't recall anyone saying they had. Please let us know your results with gf flour if you do give it a try. My guess is that the cake will be less fluffy and more dense, maybe even more like a brownie/blondie in texture. Good luck.
Just wondering if coconut yoghurt would be ok to use instead of coconut milk. ???
That is an interesting question. I've never tried using coconut yogurt in this cake. I think it would work though with a very slightly different taste (maybe with a bit of a sour tang like when buttermilk is used?). Be sure to use full fat yogurt not low fat. I'd love to hear about your baking experiment if you try it!
Is there anything I can substitute for the coconut oil?
I have only made this with coconut oil BUT I see no reason why butter, margarine, or even vegetable shortening wouldn't work. They all melt when heated and are solid at room temp just like coconut oil.
This recipe needs to be at the top of everyone's list. Easy? Check! Easy to keep ingredients on hand? Check! Not too sweet? Check! Moist? Check! Amazing subtle flavor? CHECK! Agreed that anything additional is overkill and totally unnecessary. This will be on rotation regularly at our house and I am making one to send to my daughter in college and will make another to take to a friend. More more more!
Thank you so much, Kim, for leaving your glowing review of this recipe! This easy cake is definitely a winner. 🙂
Judith W Feldman
This cake is awesome! Didn't have shredded coconut, so used coconut chips that I ran through a food processor; added 1/4 tsp almond extract, and used virgin unrefined coconut oil - refined has almost no flavor. Because I had about 1/2 cup of left-over cream of coconut, I poured it over the hot cake (after poking it with a fork) This is a Keeper!
I am delighted that you enjoyed this easy coconut milk recipe! Your adaptations sound delicious. Turning the cake into a poke cake is brilliant!
can you use coconut cream instead of coconut milk?
I am not sure. Coconut cream is essentially coconut milk with less water. So I would dilute the coconut cream. Instead of 1 cup of coconut cream, start with 1/4 cup coconut cream, and mix it with 1/2 cup water to make 3/4 cup coconut milk. Then, to get the full cup needed for this recipe, add either more water or more coconut cream to create a milk-like consistency. I hope this helps. Different brands contain different amount of fat making coconut milk thinner or thicker, so it's impossible to give exact amounts.
If I was to make this into cupcakes rather than a traybake, should I adjust the baking time?
Yes, definitely adjust the baking time when you change the size of a pan in any recipe. I can't tell you exactly how long your cupcakes will take, but I would start watching them care fully at 15 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.
Hi Wendy - can I use coconut sugar for this recipe instead of granulated sugar? Cheers
Hi Tati. I have not tried it, but I think coconut sugar would work. If you try it, I would love to know the results! Happy baking. 🙂
Hey Wendy - thanks for ur speedy reply. This turned out DELICIOUS 😊…the coconut sugar worked very well, I didn’t think it affected the flavor (except my cake’s color was slightly darker than yours because of the darker sugar)…
Also, your recipe was simple and super easy to follow so I made it with my 3-year old little munchkin 😊😊 . It came out very good and went very well with tea.
So thank you again for sharing this yummy recipe 😊🙏🏻
Thank you so much, Tati, for getting back with your great results!! It is very helpful to know that this recipe works well with coconut sugar. Baking with a munchkin assistant is the BEST.....possibly messy, but the best all the same. 🙂
I was wondering if I could substitute vegetable oil for coconut oil? I have everything except the coconut oil... Thanks!
Hi, Selena. I haven't tried vegetable oil in this recipe, however, everything I read says that you can successfully make that substitution. I've baked cakes using olive oil that come out deliciously moist and not "oily" at all. If you give it a try, I would love to know the results. 🙂
I like to make cakes for my friends and barely eat them. I love coconut so I tried to find a recipe and I'm glad I came across this one. I made the cake and loooooooooove it so muuuuch ! I guess this is the only cake I'll be eating from now on ! Haahaa
Thanks again !
Hi Liz. Your friends are lucky to have you baking for them! I'm so glad you love this cake so much!! I agree with you that it is special. Enjoy.
Can it be made without shredded coconut?? If so, do I need to change proportion of flour or should it remain the same?? I have all the ingredients but it's not possible to get shredded coconut at this time of the year where I live😅
Hi. I think this cake would be fine without the shredded coconut. Don't adjust the flour. The shredded coconut is more for flavor and texture. Enjoy!
This cake was delicious! I did a bit of experimentation and added white chocolate chips and blueberries to it and it was amazing!!
Hi, Emma. I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake! Your add-ins sound like a tasty variation!
Delicious! I had some leftover coconut milk and google brought me this. My 16 yr old has been snacking on it all night!
Hi, Jill. I am glad to hear that you found a way to use up your leftover coconut milk that made your 16 yr old so happy. 🙂
The has been the biggest hit now for months. We live in Hawaii and usually make butter Mochi and/or haupia both of which take time and effort. At my husband’s suggestion, I substituted Mochi flour (sweet rice flour) for regular flour and cut the amount of sugar down to 2/3 cup. Wow. It is the new favorite cake to make quickly and give to neighbors. And it is very Hawaiian. 🌺 Thank you Wendy.
I am so excited about this idea, Liz! My daughter has to eat gluten free and your substitution using the rice flour would make this snack cake gluten free! I am going to try it out this weekend! Tell your husband he is brilliant.
I had 1 cup of leftover coconut milk that I needed to use, so I googled and found this recipe. This was quite good and easy to adapt to handle dietary restrictions. I am GF, so I used GF flour and substituted xylitol for the sugar. While my cake was perhaps a bit more dense and less caramelized (due to my substitutions) than shown in the photo, it was still incredibly tasty and moist. Even the non-GF folks thought it was delicious, and my friend who is gluten/dairy/sugar-free thought it was fantastic and ate two pieces! I didn't have coconut flakes so I substituted chopped walnuts to make up the volume, and it worked fine. So that made me think that this is an excellent base-cake recipe that can be used in many ways - I'm thinking as a shortcake with fresh fruit, or shredded apple, nuts and cinnamon for a moist apple cake, or dried fruits for a fruit cake ... lots of options, in addition to the coconut cake version posted here. Thank you for sharing the recipe! I'll be adding it to my recipe box.
Hi, Colleen. I am delighted to hear that your dietary adaptations produced such a successful cake! And it sounds like you have a lot more baking plans ahead. 🙂 I suspect that you are right about the gf flour making the cake a bit more dense (my daughter is gf and I've baked numerous gf cakes for her) but I do want to mention that even those who used all purpose wheat flour found the cake comes out more dense if it is baked in pan larger than 8" x 8". Thank you for leaving your lovely review!!
Can you substitute equal pets almond flour for regular flour?
Hi Sheryl. I do not believe that using almond flour instead of regular flour will work. If you notice Colleen's substituted gf flour mix which mimics the properties of wheat flour.
Very easy and delicious. Thanks for a great recipe!
I am glad you enjoyed this easy recipe and yummy cake! Thank you for sharing your experience and leaving a 5 star rating!