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

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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  1. 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!

  2. karen

    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

      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. :)

  3. Kelli

    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

      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 – – it’s one of my new favorites!

  4. 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.


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

  6. Tara Foreman

    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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

    • Deliciously Organic

      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.

  9. 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.

  10. Karen

    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

      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! :)

    • Deliciously Organic

      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! :)

  11. Melissa B

    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

      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.

  12. Stephanie Goodin

    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

      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). :)

  13. Adrianne

    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!

  14. Tiffany

    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

      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.

  15. Michelle

    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!

  16. katie

    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 :)

  17. charry

    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?

  18. Jenny C.

    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

      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!

  19. Meagan

    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

  20. Steph

    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?

  21. Hi Carrie,
    I am a Holistic Nutritionist and I refer my clients to your website regularly for recipes. I am vegan, GF and DF and love all the options! I am planning to make this wonderful coconut cake but did not want to include the whipped cream. It looks like the ingredients for the cake batter and whipped cream are combined. Can you let me know which belongs just to the cake batter?

    Thank you!


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