Celebrating Sweet G with Grandmother’s Coconut Cream Cake!

G and J Barbie jeep baking up

Turning 15 means she is now eligible for a driver’s permit. She’s been practicing for at least 11 years!

That Sweet G (my daughter Grace) turns 15 today. FIFTEEN! She asked for a new laptop for her birthday, and her daddy said, “This sure was an expensive birthday!” I grinned at him and said, “Just wait until next year.”

Per our family birthday tradition, Sweet G got to choose her low carb birthday cake. Admittedly, she was influenced by the recipe testing I had been doing in late April for my next book, Keto Gatherings. For that book, I was determined to recreate my grandmother’s classic Coconut Cream Cake that she made once a year at Christmas. That cake was moist and dense and was everything Christmas, including the sacrifice of time and money she spent to make it.

When I thought I had my low carb recipe close to my Grandmother’s high carb version, I asked my mom to make it. She and her sister decided to give it a try since they each qualified as experts from their years of experience helping my grandmother. Well…let’s just say their expertise didn’t transfer to the low carb realm. After a lot of laughter, they ended up with something inedible and a lot of good-natured accusations as to which one did what wrong in the process! While they created a fun family story, they did not create something edible.

Thankfully, my sister-in-law, Sam stepped in and helped my mom try it the recipe once more. They called me to ask if they really had to wait overnight to slice it, which gave me the first clue that their test run had gone much better. By that evening they called to say that my carbivore brother had eaten two slices. I begged them to save a piece for me. The next day my mother brought us about one-fourth of the cake. I waited until G got home to try it.

When I took the first bite, I nearly cried. My eyes closed, I was transported to my Grandmother’s kitchen just as it was when it was overwhelmed by Christmas baking and cooking. It was G who pulled me back in time as she said, “Mom, is it wrong that I’m really glad that Dad doesn’t like coconut?! I really don’t want to share this!” We savored that cake, each being considerate of the other and only having a few bites over several days. As I offered her the last crumbs, she said, “This. Mom, THIS cake is what I want for my birthday.”

And this is the cake she got. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

Grandmother’s Christmas Coconut Cream Cake

Makes 16 servings

2/3 cup coconut flour

½ cup of oat fiber

¼ cup whey protein isolate

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

8 ounces unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sweetener

8 large eggs

4 large egg whites

1 cup heavy cream

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons coconut extract

5 or 6 drops of liquid sweetener

Coconut icing

2 ¼ cups heavy cream

1 pint sour cream

1 cup powdered sweetener

2 teaspoons coconut extract

10 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the butter and granulated sweetener. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and egg whites until frothy. Add the whipped eggs to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in heavy cream, coconut extract, and vanilla extract by hand. Add dry ingredients and mix in by hand, being careful to not over stir. Add liquid sweetener to taste. Divide the batter among two well-greased 9-inch round cake pans. For best results, line each cake pan with parchment paper so that the baked cake can be easily removed. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes. Test for doneness by touch or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the layers cool for about 15 minutes before removing them from the cake pans. If you have used parchment paper as a liner, the task is much easier. Let them cool to room temperature before making cake layers. Make the icing by using a hand mixer to whip the heavy cream. When the heavy cream holds peaks, whip in the sour cream, sweetener, and extract. Add 8 ounces of the unsweetened coconut to the icing and mix by hand. To assemble the cake, slice each cake round in half horizontally. Place one layer on a cake plate and smooth about ½ cup of icing on top. Add another layer of cake followed by a layer of icing until the four layers of cake are assembled. Cover the top and sides of the cake layers with the remaining icing. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Will keep 4 to 5 days in refrigerator.

Kim Vargo - Coconut Cake 1

Grandmother’s Christmas Coconut Cream Cake for Sweet G’s 15th birthday! This recipe is featured in my new book, Keto Gatherings, which will be released Dec. 4th!

37 replies »

  1. I am so excited @ trying this cake. This was my mother in laws fav cake & being Keto I thot I would never have again have it. But what are your serving size & carb count? Also tried amazon preorder if you new coming book & the $5 coupon didn’t work🙁Anyway you could ck on this for us. You know any values help us all & I do want your book😊

  2. What a precious story. See now I’m one who thinks food is definitely tied to our emotions (or is it that our emotions are tied to food??? hmmm). At any rate, the inclination to close your eye s and be “transported to Grandmother’s kitchen” upon a bit of cake means food IS more than physiological sustenance… it absolutely feeds the soul too. And I am so grateful for healthier, keto-friendly that let me feed my body and my spirit.

    Looking forward to making this.

  3. This sounds like a coconut cake I used to make in the “olden days,” pre-keto, so I can’t wait to try it! My one question is, which granulated sweetener did you use? I would rather have to purchase a sweetener than have failure with a recipe.

  4. OMG !! This looks stunning and sounds exquisitely yummy! I cannot wait to try this tomorrow. I am off now to shop for some powdered sweetener.

  5. I could just cry! I think I can eat keto the rest of my life, now that you have provided the holy grail of cake recipes. Thank you so much!

  6. It looks absolutely wonderful!! It looks like the Coconut Cake my aunt used to make!! I can’t wait to try this! Thank you, Kristie, for all you do!!!!

  7. Just reading the recipe whet my appetite for this cake! I love coconut so I have to come up with a reason to make it soon. I’ll need to practice a few times before Christmas holidays. 😉

  8. Wonderful. I ordered your Gatherings book yesterday, I can’t wait. (Please add a print screen to your online recipes when possible, it’s so hard to screen shot 10 pages 😀)

  9. would you be able to give me the fat/protein/carb count per serving for the coconut cake please? I’m anxious to try it!

  10. Will definitely make this cake for my Husband’s birthday. He loves coconut cake. Do you have the nuttritional information for this cake. He is diabetic and I need the numbers. Thanks for all your hard work Kristie.

  11. What do you mean by the 1 pint cup sour cream in the frosting ingredients? Is it 1 pint (2 cups) or 1 cup?

  12. Is there anything I can use instead of Whey Protein? I have an allergy to whey & whey protein

  13. My mom just made this for my birthday. I’m OBSESSED. Such a good, well-balanced recipe that I can love and not feel guilty about.

  14. Looks and sounds delicious! My 64th birthday is tomorrow and will be my birthday cake too!

  15. The recipe is great, and the cake is awesome!
    Thank you!
    Do you have the nutritional information?
    Does the baking process change the nutrition outcome–or can I simply add the nutrition information from each of the ingredients?


    • I did not include the nutritional info here. Please calculate it using your own ingredients. For my ingredients, the count was roughly 4.5 per 1/16th slice.

  16. I made this last weekend for a birthday party and we all loved it! We had non-keto family, a gluten-free family member, and several keto family members. This will be something we be making for special events.

  17. This looks and sounds amazing delicious. I do wish though, that you would have included macro count. All I can do is drool at this point. lol

  18. Is oat fiber different from regular oatmeal and where can it be bought? And which sweetener do you recommend? Thx!

  19. I want to make this delicious looking cake! Need the nutritional information? Calories, protein, fat, etc. thanks in advance! ❤️

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