Coconut Lime Tea Cake

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Tea Cake

Coconut Lime Tea Cake

Most everyone has those foodie items that when you pass them at the grocery store or bakery, you just have to pick one up. For me, this would be things like kombucha  or coconut water. Apparently I have a beverage weakness? Well, at least it’s of the non-alcoholic variety.

For Aaron, his soft spot is for pastries. Gooey cinnamon rolls, buttery croissants, and especially tea cakes from the very awesome Clear Flour Bakery near us. They’re far from vegan or healthy, but these little cakes have outstanding flavor combinations, like lemon poppyseed and cranberry orange almond. They somehow manage to be light and almost pillowy, despite the ridiculous amount of butter that I’m sure goes into making them.

I’m also a fan of tea cakes, but for very different reasons. Mostly, I just love anything miniature and therefore adorable. It’s kind of like puppies and kittens, and sometimes babies, but less so than cakes. I’m kidding!

Vegan Coconut Lime Tea Cake

Anyway, on yet another little online shopping session at Williams Sonoma, I came across some cute little loaf pans, among about a million other items out of my price range (um, apparently they’re now on sale too?!). And as soon as I saw those mini pans, I was determined to come up with a tea cake recipe of my own, minus the eggs, butter, sugar, and gluten – yet with a still-satisfying texture and flavor that would rival even Clear Flour’s cakes. A tall order, especially for a gluten-free baking novice.

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Tea Cake

I’ve been on a coconut kick these last two weeks, after discovering the large, flaked variety. For years, I stayed away from coconut because of the high fat content (including the saturated fat), but I’ve slowly been incorporating more into my diet. In addition to the flakes of coconut, I also experimented with coconut flour in this recipe. Admittedly, I was somewhat nervous because of the dense texture, but I paired it with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose flour, and could not be happier with the results. The coconut lends a rich, buttery flavor,  and I also added a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice and zest to give it some brightness. We all know how much I love my citrus, especially in baked goods.

Sugar-Free Coconut Lime Tea Cake

This tea cake uses only a very small amount of agave to enhance the natural sweetness of the coconut, so it’s definitely not your typical, sugared-up cake, though you could certainly add a powdered sugar glaze if you wanted. That said, I haven’t found any bakery receipts scattered around our apartment this week, so I’d say Aaron is a fan.


Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Tea Cake

Coconut Lime Tea Cake

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Tea Cake

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: 3 mini cakes

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Lightly sweetened, gluten-free tea cake made from wholesome ingredients. The coconut lends a rich, buttery flavor,  and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice and zest give it some brightness.

Coconut Lime Tea Cake

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Tea Cake



  • 1 C. All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1 C. Coconut Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 1/4 C. Coconut Milk
  • 1 Ener-G Egg (1 1/2 Tsp. Ener-G egg replacer, 2 Tbs. warm water)
  • Juice & Zest of 3 Organic Limes (about 1/4 C. juice, 3 heaping Tbs. zest)
  • 1/4 C. Agave Syrup
  • 1/4 C. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/4 C. Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (or Vanilla Extract)
  • 3/4 C. Coconut Flakes, plus 1 Tbs. more for garnish

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: 3 mini cakes

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 35 mins Total Time: 45 mins

Lightly sweetened, gluten-free tea cake made from wholesome ingredients. The coconut lends a rich, buttery flavor,  and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice and zest give it some brightness.


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease three 5 1/2 x 3 inch loaf pans and set aside.
  • Prepare your vegan egg by combining 1 1/2 Tsp. Ener-G egg replacer with 2 Tbs. water. Stir until no lumps remain.
  • In a large bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.
  • Add the Ener-G egg, coconut milk, lime juice and zest, agave, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the coconut flakes.
  • Transfer the batter to the greased loaf pans, garnish with the remaining coconut flakes, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes [2]

Feel free to replace the Ener-G egg with a flax egg (1 Tbs. freshly ground flax + 3 Tbs. warm water, allowed to thicken for a few minutes).

I used coconut milk from a carton, but canned light coconut milk should also work well.

Copyright © 2022 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. I’m a drink junkie too. Bolthouse Farms, Inko’s iced tea, Acai juice… I really wish the $4 a pop price tag were more of a deterrent for me.

    1. Amanda says

      I love Acai juice too. And Pom Wonderful. I like to mix it with seltzer to make it last longer. 🙂

  2. I have to buy a bottle (or two) of Kombucha when I’m out, too. Always! And I’m also a total beverage junkie- especially if there’s some sort of non-dairy milk I haven’t seen before.
    I need to look for the Bob’s Red Mill large flakes!! I LOVE coconut. In any form.

  3. Sarah says

    This looks seriously delicious. Bookmarked.

    Also, question: did you ever try making those crackers? If you did, did you find them completely gross? I am sorry if you did!

    1. Amanda says

      I haven’t tried the crackers yet, but you just reminded me that I need to get on that! They sound awesome!

  4. Kait says

    Theo chocolate. I am SO hoping they are at the VegFest this weekend so I can stuff myself full of samples.

    1. Amanda says

      Wait, is there a VegFest around Boston this weekend?!

      1. Kait says

        Worcester on Sunday. 🙂

      2. Amanda says

        The speaker lineup is awesome! I’m definitely going to try to go to that. Thanks for mentioning it!

      3. Kait says

        Of course! I’m super excited b/c the fest is only 3 years old! 🙂 See you there maybe…

  5. Nicole says

    For me, it’s hummus – a new brand, a new flavour, whatever. Although I often make my own at home, I love trying out new ones from the store for a special treat.

    Your tea cakes look really delicious. I’ve been on a big coconut kick lately too, and I’ve been eating my fair share of coconut butter. It’s so addicting. Actually, I can imagine it would taste pretty awesome slathered on a slice of your cake!

    Happy weekend!

    1. Amanda says

      I was thinking yesterday that I should make some coconut butter. That would really take the tea cake over the top!

      Enjoy your weekend!

  6. lysa says

    Lime and coconut ! great idea. It looks incredibly delicious. You have amazing photos!

  7. Ashleigh says

    To make this cake without the gluten free ingredients – would I just replace it the gluten free flour and xanthan gum with 1 cup of plain flour? Would you still recommend using coconut flour?


    1. Amanda says

      Yes, you would replace the gluten-free flour with regular all-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour) and omit the xanthan gum. If you replace the coconut flour, you will likely need to decrease the coconut milk by about half, since coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid. Also, the coconut flour adds to the flavor, so expect a less strong coconut taste if you replace it.

  8. Rhonda says

    I love miniature things too 🙂 I think the one thing I can’t pass up is good cheese, which is really bad, but I guess there are much worse things 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      There are definitely worse things. I had trouble giving up cheese when I went from vegetarian to vegan – I loved gruyere (although my stomach did not!).

  9. Large flaked coconut is definitely the best! Glad to see you used coconut flour too! I have some & I’ve been trying to experiment with it, but it’s been difficult for me! Hopefully I will have some luck soon 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      I know what you mean – the coconut flour is a little tricky. It’s so dense and it can be hard to get the liquid ratios right.

  10. Jen says

    I think you should start sending me study care packages 😉


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *