I initially attempted this cake a week ago, and it was not a pretty sight, nor did it look like a cake.

What I wanted to create was a tiered cake, but what I was left with was crumbs – turns out my attempt in vegan and gluten free had veered down a path I didn’t want to go any further down. I wanted to throw the rest of the cake mixture out.

My dear second family where I currently stay are dead against throwing out food unless it no longer resembles the food it originally was or the expiry date has long since passed.

To my dismay they said, we can eat it on ice cream.

Eat coconut, almond crumbs on ice cream I thought.

That means I have to continue baking the remaining cake batter I thought.

It would be better to admit failure and not be faced with it I thought.

They were right, I later thought as I enjoyed caramel swirl ice cream with the crumbs. In fact, I couldn’t get enough and this led me to a combination I would not have been inspired to try without their determination to salvage the sad wreckage of the ‘cake’.

In four days, four cups of crumbs were reduced to a smattering of crumbs.

And I knew the next attempt would have to involve caramel.

Gluten Free Coconut Almond Cake
Serves 10

3 eggs
3/4 raw sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup almond milk
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups almond meal
1 1/2 cups rice flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup chilled coconut cream
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s/icing sugar
1/3 cup dulce de leche

Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk until well combined and pale in color. Add in the coconut oil and almond milk and mix once more until well combined.

Place the coconut, almond meal, rice flour and baking powder in a bowl and stir well to combine.

Place the dry ingredients in with the liquid ingredients and stir until well combined and a smooth cake batter, it will be quite a thick batter.

Pour half the batter into a greased cake tin, smooth out and place in the preheated oven to 180°C/355F.

Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.

Set aside to cool as you repeat with the remaining batter.

When a skewer comes out clean, remove and set aside to cool.

Freeze the cakes for a minimum of an hour before icing.

To make the icing, place a can of coconut milk in the fridge, preferably overnight to allow  the cream to thicken and separate from the water.

Place in a bowl and beat until smooth. Discard or drink the coconut water (up to you). And add the dulce de leche and confectioner’s sugar to the bowl and mix until well combined and smooth.

Place the bottom tier on a serving plate and spread the icing over in a 1/4 inch thickness. Freeze for another 20 minutes to set the icing.

Place the second tier on top and pour the remaining icing over the top. I placed another tablespoon of caramel in the centre (or as close to the centre as I could put it) and used a skewer to create a star pattern.


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