This is the easiest vegan coconut cake ever, made in 1 bowl with simple ingredients. Fluffy, light, oh-so-soft and topped with a creamy coconut frosting. If you are a coconut lover, this cake is for you!

looking down on a piece of coconut cake, bite taken

I am beyond thrilled with how this cake turned out! It took a few attempts to get it just right, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

I worked hard to make the recipe as EASY as possible, with the end result still tasting like something you’d get from a bakery. I love 1 bowl recipes when it comes to baking, and I was able to achieve it here!

Vegan coconut cake is ultra fluffy and soft. It’s light and moist, instead of being heavy and dense. I used a simple vegan cream cheese coconut flavored frosting, with thin layers of frosting on the cake. This cake is truly delightful, and I can’t wait for you to try it!

piece of coconut cake standing up, shot from side, grey background

How to make it

It really could not be easier!

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl – flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined – oil, non-dairy milk, vinegar, vanilla and coconut extracts.
  3. Pour into greased pans and bake.
  4. Let cool, then frost.

collage of how to make vegan coconut cake

Tips for the best cake

  • Grease your pans well and line with a circle of parchment paper. This will prevent your cake from sticking and breaking.
  • Do not over mix the cake batter! Your cake will lose it’s fluffiness if you do.
  • Cool the cakes completely before frosting, or the cake will slip and break. Also, since this calls for vegan cream cheese frosting, you will need to keep the cake refrigerated so it doesn’t get melty.
  • Don’t have access to vegan cream cheese? No problem! Follow the recipe for Vegan Vanilla Frosting instead, adding a teaspoon of coconut extract.

whole cake with a piece taken out, close up

Want more vegan cakes?

looking down on a piece of coconut cake, bite taken
4.90 stars (75 ratings)

1 Bowl Vegan Coconut Cake

This is the easiest vegan coconut cake ever, made in 1 bowl with simple ingredients. Fluffy, light, oh-so-soft and topped with a creamy coconut frosting. If you are a coconut lover, this cake is for you!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 16 servings


Coconut Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup neutral flavored oil or melted vegan butter
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk, not from a can)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, slightly softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup shredded fine coconut, optional for topping cake


Make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8 inch cake pans. I also like to place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of each pan for easy removal.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk well to combine.
  • To the bowl with the dry ingredients, pour in the oil, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and coconut extract. Mix with a large spoon until just combined, but be careful not to over mix the batter or your cake won't be soft and fluffy.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove them and place on a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting; you can move them to the refrigerator to speed this up.

Make the frosting

  • To a large bowl (you can simply wipe out the bowl you used for the cake), add vegan cream cheese, slightly softened vegan butter (not too soft, or your frosting will be melty), 3 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla and coconut extract.
  • With a hand mixer, or stand mixer, mix starting on low, then increase to high until all ingredients are combined and smooth. If the frosting seems too runny, add another cup of powdered sugar. If it still is a bit runny, you can stick it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so until it firms up a bit.
  • Frost the cake as desired, then sprinkle with shredded coconut and serve. Enjoy!


  1. You could substitute cake flour for all purpose if desired, but if you do omit the cornstarch as well. Gluten free all purpose flour may work, but I haven't tested it.
  2. I used melted coconut oil, but you can use canola oil or melted vegan butter as well.
  3. I loved the cake with a cream cheese frosting, but you could also use my Vegan Vanilla Frosting and add 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to it.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. I’ve made this incredible cake before, but would like to know if you can make it and frost it the day before you serve it? I will be using Your vanilla buttercream frosting on it instead of the cream cheese. Thank you.

    1. Hi Louise. The cake should be fine in the refrigerator if only making one day ahead of time. Happy cooking!

  2. I wish I could give this 10 stars and make this cake for everyone I love. I’m not being dramatic when I say this was the best vegan cake I’ve ever made. The texture was out of this world, so light and moist. I did add an additional 1/2tsp of coconut extract because I’m a super freak. Dressed the cake up with some vegan cream cheese frosting and a ton of toasted coconut, sold it at a fundraiser bake sale and the people raved. Going to try it with lemon today <3 Big gratitude, Nora!

    1. Hi Katri. How awesome you made the cake for a fundraiser! Thanks for sharing your stellar review and feedback! Wishing you lots of happy baking!

  3. This was unbelievably tasty!! I used a small portion of the batter for myself and ate it just as is. It was extremely moist and I added coconut flakes in the batter since I’m a huge fan of coconut!!

    Thanks again Nora for these outstanding recipes!!

    1. You are welcome, Dee! I’m so glad you loved the cake. I bet it was great with the coconut! Thanks for taking time to share your fabulous review and feedback!

  4. All your cakes always come out delicious. I’m not even a fan of coconut and I enjoyed this one. I was wondering, do you happen to slice off the rounded tops of the cake before layering and frosting?

    1. Thank you so much! I don’t usually, unless they come out very rounded on top. You absolutely can if you want though.

  5. so I baked this goodness last night and YUMMMMYYYYY
    though it was just the cake.. I couldn’t make the frosting you know

  6. My son is vegan and getting married in august. They tried out a lot of professional bakers to bake their wedding cake but none even came close to being as delicious as this cake. I made it for a birthday and everyone raved about it. I’ll be using this recipe to bake their wedding cake. Thank you so much for making vegan baking easy and delicious. And thank you so much for sharing!

    1. That’s amazing! I have also been disappointed by vegan cakes in bakeries, and I never understand it because it’s just not that hard to make a delicious vegan cake. 🙂 I hope the wedding cake turns out incredible, thank you!

  7. I made cupcakes with this recipe for fathers day weekend and they were a hit! Even the people who don’t like coconut loved them lol I will definitely be making again. The cream cheese frosting is delicious!

  8. This cake is super easy to make and turned out with a delicious crumb! I would however suggest greasing AND flouring your pan – I only buttered mine and the cake stuck to the dish making it crumble as I flipped it onto the cooling rack. I hope to salvage it!

  9. What does the cornstarch do? I ask as I don’t use it but I do use arrowroot. Would that substitute for the cornstarch?

    1. Hi there! The cornstarch + all purpose flour stands in for cake flour, making the cake a bit lighter and fluffier. You could probably sub arrowroot, though I haven’t tried it myself. I hope you enjoy the cake!

    2. Love your recipes. The recipes are so easy and come out right every time. This cake is delicious. I made it with GF Bob’s 1:1. And yum

      1. I am so thrilled you love the cake, Emily! It’s also great to know the recipes are easy to follow! Thank you for your fabulous feedback and review!

  10. Nora, first let me say that I use your vegan recipes more than anyone else’s on Pinterest! I enjoy making up my own vegan recipes as well, but yours always turn out perfect! Have you ever added coconut to the cake batter as well as on top of the frosting. I have made an Italian coconut cake like that years ago before we became vegans, and it was awesome. I think I will try doing it! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

    1. Hi Sandy. I appreciate you using my recipes and am thrilled you are loving them! I’ve never tried adding coconut flakes to the cake batter, so I’m not sure how it will turn out. It sounds delicious! Let me know how it turns out for you. Happy cooking!

  11. I used my 10 inch bundt cake pan to make this cake and frosted it with the butter cream frosting. What a fantastic dessert it turned out to be. My Easter guests and my husband absolutely loved it, as did I. I use your recipes very often, and always am confident that whatever I choose will be a winner. Thanks Nora. This won first prize. I certainly will make this again.

  12. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. We had our first set of birthday celebrations since becoming vegan and this cake was perfect. I used it as the foundation for a PB&J and banana layer cake – a special request from my husband. It was delicious.

  13. I will be making this cake on Saturday and wondered if a bundt cake pan could be used instead of ones mentioned. This cake looks so good, I can’t wait to try it. Thank you

  14. I followed directions on the frosting and it was runny. Used extra sugar and put it in fridge and it was still runny. It might taste good but it’s very unattractive.

    1. Hi Jackie. If your frosting was runny, it’s likely that your vegan butter was either melted or way too soft and almost melted. This is why your frosting has no structure; the butter melted into oil. Make sure when you begin that your vegan butter is soft but not at all melted. Just no longer hard and cold. Hope this helps.

  15. Nora! This cake is AMAZING! 2nd only to your chocolate cake 🥰 made this for a dinner party and there were no leftovers. Had to make this cake for myself the next day, made easier by the fact I had leftover icing! You are a genius in the kitchen!

    1. I appreciate your awesomeness, Tayler! Your words are so encouraging! How thrilling that you loved the cake and it was a hit! Thank you for your fantastic feedback and review! Happy cooking!

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