Lemon, Maple, Coconut Loaf Cake

(Gluten and Refined Sugar Free) 

There was a brief period when I was on a gluten, dairy, and sugar-free diet to try and bring down inflammation. Eek. It took a lot of discipline and planning to keep on that regime. It’s no surprise that one of the things I missed the most was a slice of simple cake. Since I found baking without the usual suspects really intimidating, I asked my good friend and James Beard–award-winning cook and author of At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, Amy Chaplin, for help. She created this recipe for me that has some of my favorite flavors all rolled into one: coconut, oats, lemon, and maple. It’s best baked in a loaf pan that’s been greased with a few drips of the melted coconut oil. Finish the cake by dusting maple sugar on top or just leave naked. It’s not a high riser or beauty queen but sliced warm and served with a cuppa, it's a nourishing treat. 



Makes one 9 by 5-inch loaf 

Preparation: 25 minutes


6 tablespoons (75g)(2.7oz) extra-virgin coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
1 cup (80g)(3oz) dried shredded unsweetened coconut
½ cup (45g)(1.6oz) gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
¾ (75g)(2.6oz) oat flour
¼ cup (20g)(0.8oz) ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature
½ cup (180ml) (6oz)pure Grade-A maple syrup
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup (60ml)(2oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice



Preheat the oven to 350/180. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with coconut oil, line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper, and grease the paper.

In a food processor, grind the coconut and rolled oats until they are as fine as they can be. Add the oat flour, flax seeds, baking powder, and salt. Grind again until combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Add the maple syrup, the coconut oil, lemon zest, and juice. Whisk until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk or stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when gently pressed and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the cake to gently release. Peel off the parchment paper from the sides. Invert the cake, peel off the bottom piece of parchment paper, and cool on a wire rack.


Flour with gluten adds structure to cakes. Many gluten-free flours and ground grains can be very absorbent. Amy taught me that when you’re using gluten-free alternatives, it’s best to mix a variety of gluten-free grains and flours to get a nice crumb and a nuanced flavor. As a result, the ingredients list for this cake may involve a trip to the store, but putting this cake together is simple.



1 comment

  • Love this! AW! Gotta make me some GF goodness. This looks delish! I’m a wreck from TG eating/drinking madness. XO

    martine channon on

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