Coconut Flour Cake with Lemon Curd, Strawberries and Cream (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal)

by Deliciously Organic on April 9, 2012

coconut cake

Before beginning my grain-free journey, I had a terrible sweet tooth. I couldn’t go a day without some form of sweet: honey, maple syrup, sucanat, fruit, etc. I ate whole grains, good fats, vegetables, organic meats, and all the good stuff for years, but could never quite kick the sweet tooth. In September, things changed. By eating a diet void of grain, I eliminated the high blood sugar spikes throughout the day which in turn caused my cravings for sweets to subside.

I started using less and less sweetener in my cooking as the months went along. I had enjoyed 2 teaspoons of honey in my coffee. Now I’m down to about 1/2 a teaspoon. Anytime I bake, I cut the sweetener in half and sometimes still find it too sweet. Last weekend when I traveled to New York City (a city full of tempting sweets) I went three days (three days!) without eating anything sweet.

I’ve talked to other friends who’ve had the same experience, and have been shocked by the results. I recently finished the book Deep Nutrition — one of the best books on eating I’ve ever read! Dr. Cate shares, “A study done in Iraq on sweet taste habituation showed that the more sugar we eat, the less we taste it, and the less we taste it, the more we eat.” My personal experience agrees with these results.

So why a cake when I’m talking about eating less sugar? If I were to have made this cake a year ago, I would have added a lot more sweetener. The lemon curd comes from a previous post, but I decreased the honey by 1/4 cup. The sweetness from the curd, cake and berries is plenty, so I elected not to sweeten the whipped cream. This cake feeds ten and the total sweetener in a modest slice is about 1.5 tablespoons per person. Not bad for a special occasion dessert.

I challenge you to start cutting down on the amount of sweeteners you use in your baking, cooking and eating. If you enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, start decreasing the amount of sweetener you add. If you consume a lot of grains or fruit, try to slowly reduce. Hopefully your cravings will begin to subside and you’ll be one step closer to an even healthier life.

Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd, Strawberries and Whipped Cream (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal)

Serving Size: Serves 10

Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd, Strawberries and Whipped Cream (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal)

This coconut cake recipe, makes for a great grain free layer cake. Double the recipe, make a buttercream frosting and you've got an amazing birthday cake!


    For the Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

  • 8 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt (or a coconut yogurt)

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted

  • 1/2 cup honey (I used clover)

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the Lemon Curd:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
 or 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey (I used clover)

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup lemon zest (make sure the lemons are organic)

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6-8 lemons)

  • 1/8 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream or coconut milk, whipped
  • 2 cups strawberries, tops removed, cut in half


Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Butter a 9” round cake pan and dust with coconut flour (this will ensure the cake doesn’t stick). Place all cake ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until just turning golden brown on top and a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a cake platter. Cool completely.

Melt butter in a double boiler set over medium heat. Whisk together honey, eggs, yolks, zest, juice and salt in a large measuring cup. Slowly, while constantly whisking, pour in egg mixture and continue to whisk for 6-8 minutes until thick like pudding. Pour curd through a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until cold.

To assemble:

Cut cake in half. Spoon half of curd mixture on top of bottom cake layer and spread evenly. Spoon half of whipped cream on top of curd and spread evenly. Top with 1 cup berries. Place second cake layer on top and repeat with curd, cream and berries, Serve.

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

HeatherChristo April 9, 2012 at 8:17 am

This is one of my favorite flavor combo’s carrie! just beautiful!


Maria April 9, 2012 at 8:20 am

Gorgeous cake Carrie!


marla {family fresh cooking} April 9, 2012 at 8:46 am

Great post + cake Carrie. I have had similar experiences with sweets :)


Eat Good 4 Life April 9, 2012 at 9:53 am

This looks divine. A lot of eggs no? :-) Oh well……as long as one doesn’t eat the entire cake right? I as well tend to decrease sugar content when baking but giving it up entirely….NO WAY :-) I love sweets way too much!!


Deliciously Organic April 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Coconut flour soaks up a ton of moisture, so without the 8 eggs it would be way too dry. Lots of protein!! 😉


Emily April 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I am on grain free day 27! My sugar cravings are way down. My weight hasn’t budged yet, but I am less tired, less hungry, and feel more nourished by my eating.


Jaime {sophistimom} April 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Oh, Carrie!! This cake just makes me happy!! Beautifully done!!


shanna April 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Such a good post, Carrie. I’m on a similar less-and-less-sugar journey and I feel like I’m continually learning new things! Love your attitude about working to decrease the need for sweets in what you bake. So inspiring and one of the reasons I love this site!


Katrina April 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I love the look of this cake!! Yum!


karen April 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Wow, Carrie this looks delicious! I just finished GAPS Intro. I like what you posted about cutting back on sugar. I wouldn’t say my sweet tooth is gone, but I sure don’t crave them anymore. I feel alot better without the grains and the sugar (and the caffine), amazing. Even our son noticed yesterday how delicious the strawberries were, organic – yes, sweet – amazingly. Food really tastes different now. I love butter :o) and I make ghee every week, sometimes twice, thanks for that recipe, too. Lastly, Deep Nutrition is sitting here on my desk, it’s my next read :o)


Deliciously Organic April 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Yay! You made it thorough the intro. Congrats! It’s great to hear that you are feeling better and food tastes so much better too! Let me know what you think of Deep Nutrition. I’ve read it 3x through and highlighted almost every page. :)


Kelli April 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Can you tell me if Deep Nutrition deals with nutrition on an evolutionary standpoint? I am looking for a nutrition book to read to my children on nutrition, but I believe in a literal six days of creation (and don’t live anywhere near a bookstore to be able to browse through it). If so, do you have any other recommendations? Thanks!


Deliciously Organic April 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I’ve read through the book several times and I remember her mentioning evolution once, but it doesn’t play a dominant role in her message at all (there is a sentence here and there, but nothing you can’t easily skip). I get bothered by many nutrition books that come from an evolutionary standpoint also. I usually skip those chapters. Ha! I’m not sure how old your kids are, but if they are mid-elementary – jr. high age I think they would probably find chapter 7 and on fascinating. Those are the chapters about fats (and how we have been fooled into thinking that low fat is the right way), the effects of sugar on the body, and how calories really work within the body. If your kids are younger, you might want to consider the Omnivore’s Dilemma Jr. Edition. That book helped my kids how food is processed and was a huge eye opener for them. She also has a blog – http://www.drcate.com – it’s one of my new favorites!


karen April 11, 2012 at 9:26 am

Hey Carrie, I looked up the Omnivore’s Dilemma, is the author Micahel Pollan? That’s the only one I can find. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids: The Secrets Behind What You Eat” is this it? Thanks!


Deliciously Organic April 11, 2012 at 11:36 am

Yes, it’s written by Michael Pollan. A good read for the adults too!


karen April 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Thanks for responding…FYI – I know you bake a lot with maple sugar, I just saw on Trader Joe’s site that they have one now, organic, too. I think it’s only $4.99 for a 6 oz bag, yippee. Can’t wait to try it :o)


Deliciously Organic April 16, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thanks for letting me know. I’ll look for it next time I’m grocery shopping!


Kelli April 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

Thank you. My kids are 7-14. Have you read her Food Rules book? If so, what would be the difference between the two?


Deliciously Organic April 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

I bought her Food Rules book and think it would be a great book for the kids. Each page has a new rule to follow, with an explanation, and it’s not quite as scientific as Deep Nutrition.


Kathleen April 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I, too, have been habitually cutting the sugar in half in most recipes with great results. I am also substituting coconut oil for butter with equally great results. Cakes and brownies seem more tender, cookies seem crispier. Coconut flour is not available in Mexico, but if I made this, I would be tempted to use coconut oil instead of butter.



Amanda@EasyPeasyOrganic April 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

This looks a dream, Carrie!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh April 10, 2012 at 5:23 am

Absolutely gorgeous! Almost too pretty to eat…almost.


Krista April 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

What a gorgeous cake! I have all the ingredients at home to make it, except the coconut flour. I didn’t realize baking grain free could be so easy.


Feast on the Cheap April 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

This looks glorious! What a beautiful spring treat


[email protected] April 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

This looks amazing and I love all the ingredients, a nice light and elegant dessert for a special occasion! So pretty!


Kristina Vanni April 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm

So fresh and light! Looks delicious! Perfect for Spring.


OneArtDirector April 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Carrie, you never cease to amaze me at how quickly you are progressing as a food photographer. Before long, you’ll be giving seminars alongside other experts! -jm


Deliciously Organic April 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

Thank you Jen. That’s a HUGE compliment coming from you. :)


foodwanderings April 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Love coconut everything and am always at awe with GF baking. I also meant to make a lemon curd in forever, thanks for the reminder and the recipe. Dessert looks good!


Tara Foreman April 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

This looks amazing!! I made your lemon berry tart this past weekend and it was out of this world good!!! I can’t eat heavy whipping cream though so I made whip cream out of Coconut milk, a little cinnamon and vanilla!! My father, who does not like coconut, loved it!!! Try it. I know you will love it too! thank you again


Deliciously Organic April 11, 2012 at 8:26 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t tried it with the whipped coconut milk, but it’s on my list!


Organic Cocktail Recipes April 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Wish I had known this recipe sooner. We baked a cake for my birthday a few weeks ago using way too much sugar. Will try this cake recipe out in the future!


Danijela April 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

Hi Carrie,
although you have an amazing recipe here I must say that I like this reading even more. The result of this study you have mention really does make sense. I think that eating less sugar is really a good and healthy choice. Great post!


jen April 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

What a beautiful cake. I discovered a similar thing with salt, I eliminated dairy from my diet and the first time I had a cookie with butter in it the saltiness was overwhelming. I still haven’t gone back to eating the butter and cheese I once did, my body can’t handle it anymore.


aida mollenkamp April 13, 2012 at 7:59 am

I can’t stand sweets that are too sweet so I appreciate the lower sugar in this one. It looks gorgeous by the way!


Lauren April 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Why do you get “bothered when nutrition books come from an evolutionary standpoint”?


Deliciously Organic April 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

It’s a personal preference. Sometimes I think those books focus too much on how they think we evolved and not enough time on how the body works and how we can change things now.


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Gorgeous cake! I’m also trying to add less sugar in most of my baked goods because there’s plenty of natural sweetness from the other ingredients so ultimately, there’s no need for it.


Lucy Lean April 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Pretty cake and with all those strawberries and lemon curd I’m sure it’s perfectly sweetened – like Julia Child said – everything in moderation, even moderation!


gina April 22, 2012 at 6:20 am

I made this yesterday for a birthday party, it was a hit! I think I found a new family favorite! Thank you!


Patent Attorney April 23, 2012 at 4:09 am

A beautiful cake and interesting ideas about reducing the amount of sweetness we take in on a day-to-day basis. I might try that – how long do you think it would be until one was to begin noticing the effects?


Marfa April 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

This sounds SO good. I ♥ that you’re cutting down on sweets…honey is so much better than sugar, but it’s hard to make a complete change! I made a rhubarb shortcake last week, since we don’t have strawberries growing in Ohio yet.


Erin April 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

Looks GREAT! Do you know how long the Curd will last in the fridge? I know the one I usually make with sugar last about 2 weeks… any thoughts? Have you tried keeping it longer…?


Deliciously Organic April 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

Thanks! It lasts about 1 week in the fridge in an airtight container.


Kathy May 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

Can I use regular flour instead of coconut flour?


Deliciously Organic May 24, 2012 at 9:22 am

You can’t substitute regular flour for coconut flour. Sorry!


Karen July 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

Hi Carrie – I noticed that your coconut cake and coconut flour waffles are the same recipe, :o). Yesterday I did a little creating of my own. Using your recipe I made mini cupcakes (greased the tin then filled with a scant 1″ scoop in each cup then baked for 16 minutes, turning half way through) with whipped cream frosting and strawberries and blueberries topping and then arranged to resemble the American flag.

I then went really crazy and decided to try making a pineapple upside down cake, my hubbies favorite. It worked! I made your coconut cake recipe, then I made pineapple part with two cups pineapple tidbits (TJ’s frozen), 4 tbsp organic brown sugar, 1/4 cup unsalted butter. Combined the brown sugar, butter and melted till disolved, poured in the pan, sprinkled in the pineapple, then poured in the cake batter. Baked in a 350 oven for 55 minutes. Removed and turned onto a plate immediately. At this point it looked pretty good, but no gooey goodness on top, according to my husband, so I made a glaze of 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp butter, and 2 tbsp water, then drizzled all over the top, amazingly moist and yummy. Hubbs loved it! Yea!


Deliciously Organic July 6, 2012 at 6:42 am

I love your idea! I’ve discovered that this cake recipe is the best all-purpose cake recipe. I’ve used it for numerous different recipes and it works every time! I will be trying your pineapple cake recipe. Thanks for sharing! :)


the urban baker September 2, 2012 at 6:40 am

Mitch’s birthday is this week and I have been looking for an alternative to his favorite coconut cake. I am going to give this a try – looks great, Carrie. I will let you know how many thumbs up it gets!


carmen September 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

Is there anyway to use stevia instead of the honey? Will the texture come out differently?


Deliciously Organic September 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I haven’t tested it, but I don’t think stevia would work well in this recipe because the honey adds moisture for the coconut flour. If you wanted to try it, I’d start with adding a tablespoon or two more of yogurt and an additional egg. If the batter looks too dry, then add a little more yogurt. If you give it a go, let me know how it turns out! :)


Alexis September 16, 2012 at 7:55 am

I made this cake last night…amazing , amazing, amazing….goodness gracious! Thank you sooo much for this recipe!!!!!


Deliciously Organic September 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm

You’re welcome. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!


Melissa B November 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hey Carrie! LOVED the taste of this cake, but the center of my cake really never got done. I kept it in the oven well over 45 minutes and finally just had to take out the cake and cut out the center. It was super moist and hoping you could help. I know you were not looking over my shoulder while I baked it but did I over mix (if you can with this cake) or maybe it was the pan, which was a springform 9 inch.


Deliciously Organic November 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ve made this cake dozens of times, so unfortunately I don’t know why the center didn’t bake. You might want to check the oven temperature to make sure it’s calibrated correctly.


Stephanie Goodin November 5, 2012 at 10:18 am

I’m curious of the nutritional values of this cake esp. the carbs. My mom has eliminated grains and sugar and most carbs out of her diet (she has release 15 lbs so far and feeling great..Yay!) She would like to find dessert to make for Thanksgiving and having a hard time finding one. She has experimented with stevia but it’s not working. She is allow 30 carbs a day. This coconut cake looks like it would be good for her but not sure about the honey and carb content. Can you help?


Deliciously Organic November 5, 2012 at 11:11 am

I’m so glad to hear about your mom’s progress! You could reduce the honey to 1/4 cup, but any more than that, and there might not be enough sweetness. I don’t know the exact nutritional value of the recipe, but there is recipe software out there that you can insert all ingredients and it will give you the nutritional info. I’ll also be posting a dairy free/grain free pumpkin pie in a few days. That one might be a good fit for her too (if she likes pumpkin pie). :)


Alexis @ Hummusapien November 29, 2012 at 11:43 am

I absolutely love cooking with coconut flour! This is such a beautiful cake. I adore anything with lemon and coconut :)


Deliciously Organic November 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Thank you!


Alexis December 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Could I use kefir if I dont have yogurt for the cake? That should be fine right?


Deliciously Organic December 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I haven’t tried it, but I would decrease the amount by a tablespoon or so since kefir has a bit more liquid than yogurt.


Adrianne March 24, 2013 at 4:44 am

Hi Carrie, I am planning to make this cake for my twin’s birthday! I have used Molly’s coconut muffin recipe before and subbed “flax eggs” for half of the eggs in the recipe. I would like to sub flax eggs for all the eggs in the cake due to an egg allergy in the family. Do you have any thoughts on that? Thanks and I LOVE your blog. I am continually revising my family’s diet toward whole nourishing foods and your site has really helped!


Tiffany March 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Hi Carrie, I am going to double the recipe to make a layer cake with buttercream frosting! I was wondering what the best way is to store this cake and how far ahead it can be made?
Thanks so much!


Deliciously Organic March 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

You can make it 1 day ahead of time and store it in the fridge covered. I would bring it to room temperature before serving. That frosting is amazing at room temp! If you want to make the cake layers ahead of time, I would cover it tightly with parchment and then foil and freeze it.


Michelle April 2, 2013 at 6:11 am

I made this this past weekend and it was AMAZING!!! I would even argue that it was better the next day because the lemon curd sort of soaked into the cake layers. We had a couple pieces the day of and finished it off two days later, lasted the whole time.

I finally have a go-to gluten free cake that I am not ashamed to bring to a party! Thank you for this outstanding recipe.

The lemon curd recipe will be used again and again, one of the best I have ever had!


Deliciously Organic April 2, 2013 at 8:04 am

Thank you! Such high praise! I’m so glad you all enjoyed it and that you now have a gf cake that you can be proud to bring to a party. :)


katie April 3, 2013 at 11:27 am

This is an amazing cake!!!! I’m usually disappointed by healthy desserts but this one is delicious. The only thing I found is that I had to bake it way longer (1h 30mins or so) than the recipe called for but it turned out perfectly :)


charry May 2, 2013 at 8:21 am

The lemon curd portion of this email was a complete flop for me. It never thickened. Just a runny, liquid mess. The steps were simple and I followed exactly as you said. But my results were not anything that I could spread on a cake. Any thoughts?


Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 8:54 am

Hmm…I’m not quite sure what happened. Did you make any substitutions?


charry May 2, 2013 at 9:19 am

No substitutions. I literally followed your instructions to a T.


Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 10:41 am

Well, this one has me stumped. I’m sorry I can’t offer more help. I just made this curd a couple of weeks ago and it turned out just fine.


Jenny C. May 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I’m making this cake tonight for mother’s day brunch with my mom tomorrow. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I was wondering how long the whipped cream will stay fluffy? How far ahead can I assemble the cake… I don’t want the whipped cream to de-flate before I serve it!


Deliciously Organic May 12, 2013 at 7:12 am

The whipped cream should stay fluffy for about 24 hours. You can assemble the cake a couple of hours ahead of time and store it in the fridge. I like to set it out for about 20 minutes to get the chill off. Enjoy!


Meagan February 4, 2014 at 3:52 am

This cake is unbelievable! I tried it a few weeks ago – it was the first cake I made without wheat flour. I have since been diagnosed with coeliac disease and this cake will definitely be used when I need a good recipe. It tastes so amazing. Thank you for all your recipes and and thank you for being such an inspiration


Deliciously Organic February 5, 2014 at 7:48 am

Thank you for the feedback. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And if you haven’t tried the grain-free chocolate cake, you should give that one a whirl. :) http://deliciouslyorganic.net/chocolate-cake-chocolate-buttercream-paleo-grain-free-gluten-free/


Steph April 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm

This looks so good! Do you think I could make it without putting the strawberries in between the cake layers? It wouldn’t get too soggy if it just had the lemon curd and whipped cream in the middle would it?


Deliciously Organic April 14, 2014 at 7:08 am

I think that’s a great idea! I would assemble just before serving as the juices from the fruit could make the cake a little soggy over time.


Patent Attorney May 13, 2015 at 8:46 am

I’m actually slightly overwhelmed by how completely delicious this looks. I love strawberries and cream, and I love it even more in layers!


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