Frisky Lemon Cake (Grain-free, refined sugar-free)

I was in the mood for lemon cake.

So I decided to make some.

Kim Dannies, a blog reader who also happens to be a food writer for a local newspaper in Vermont, put this idea into my head.

Kim sent me this recipe and I’ve been dreaming of lemon cake ever since.

Well, I tried to replicate her recipe, using coconut flour and maple syrup in the place of flour and sugar, but it ended up being a total disaster. My substitutions were off– not enough sweet, too much almond meal…it ended up tasting like an almond-y rock.

Totally my fault.

I’m pretty confident that this recipe is phenomenal in its original form. The ratios of ingredients were just hard to replace using my rudimentary paleo-i-fying skills.

Failure = I’m still jonesing for some lemon cake.

So I decided to try something new.


Frisky Lemon Cake (Adapted from this recipe by Ms. Stewart)


1 cup plain Greek Yogurt

2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp lemon zest

3 Tbsp lemon juice

3/4 cup raw honey

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

4 Tbsp coconut oil (I used Tropical Traditions Gold)

3 eggs and 3 egg whites


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 F and grease a 9 inch baking pan. I used a spring form pan, but you could easily use any cake
  2. pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, vanilla and yogurt.
  4. In a large bowl combine the coconut oil and eggs. Use an electric mixer to beat each egg into the coconut oil. Once they are well mixed, beat in the lemon juice/yogurt mixture.
  5. Sift in the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. It’s best to continuously mix as you’re adding the coconut flour– either by hand, or with a your mixer on low.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or the  edges are golden, the center looks firm and until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and then eat with your hand…I mean, slice and serve like a civilized person.

This was my first time using Tropical Traditions coconut oil. It. Was. Awesome.

I found it richer and creamier than other coconut oils I’ve used. AND it had the most delicious coconut flavor! I had to taste test some on a spoon before I used it. I knew it would be good, but I didn’t know it would be good enough to eat by itself. This is a coconut oil worth eating plain for sure…if you’re into that…and I am.

Virgin coconut oil is produced by traditional methods using the fresh coconuts. This stuff is as unrefined as you can get. Gold Label coconut oil has more antioxidants than other coconut oils– it retains more of that coconutty-goodness that I’m so fond of.  I also love that it’s produced on small family farms in the coconut capital of  the Philippines.*

It’s good for puppies too, I hear.

Or at least Chester seems to think so…

The batter smelled like yellow cake from a box.

The finished cake was light and fluffy.

I didn’t frost it, because it didn’t need any frosting. It had the distinct flavor of a coconut flour baked good, but with a delightfully lemon-y taste as well.

The lemon zest and lemon juice added just enough lemon.

Frisky Lemon Cake success! I would definitely make this cake again for a special occasion. I’m thinking next time I’ll double the recipe, and make a layer cake with some kind of delicious frosting. Maybe a frosting of the lemon cream cheese variety. What do you think?

*Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

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12 Responses to Frisky Lemon Cake (Grain-free, refined sugar-free)

  1. amanda October 30, 2012 at 11:13 AM #

    Can you sub the yogurt for coconut milk? I can’t have dairy. The cake looks great though!

    • Allison October 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM #

      Hi Amanda– Hmm…you might be able to sub coconut milk for yogurt. You might have to add a little more coconut flour, because the coconut milk will be more watery than the yogurt. I’d add the coconut flour one tablespoon at a time until the batter looks like traditional cake batter…let me know how it goes!

  2. amanda November 14, 2012 at 12:05 AM #

    Thanks, I have yet to make this. I’m thinking of just adding 1/2 cup of coconut milk. I think that would equal the amount of a cup of yogurt. And if not, I could always add more coconut milk.

  3. amanda November 20, 2012 at 1:47 AM #

    I made it, I used the 1/2 cup of coconut milk, I had to add more coconut flour like you said. A little less than 1/4 cup. It turned out amazing! Thank you for such a great recipe. I will certainly make this again. Next time I might just decrease the coconut milk. Thanks again, I know my kids will love this.:)

    • Frankie December 21, 2012 at 6:21 PM #

      Perhaps you could use coconut cream/ milk combo so you wouldn’t need extra flour which could make the cake extra dense.

  4. Jennifer February 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM #

    The taste is delicious, but mine came out almost custardy in the middle while me edges got pretty done. Maybe add more coconut flour or a little almond flour?? Suggestions??

    • Allison February 13, 2013 at 5:48 PM #

      Hi Jennifer! Hmm…I would add a little more coconut flour– like 1 or 2 tbsp and see how that works. Coconut flour is pretty fibrous– you won’t need much to soak up some of that extra liquid. You could also try leaving the cake in the oven a little longer– it won’t dry out if the edges brown. I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes.

  5. Sarah March 6, 2013 at 4:13 PM #

    Have you tried it with 6 whole eggs? I’m lazy about separating:)

    • Allison March 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM #

      I haven’t tried it with 6 whole eggs…but I bet it would work– it might just be a different consistency. Let me know how it goes!

  6. Andrea September 24, 2014 at 11:39 AM #

    Mine also came out quite wet in the middle and my edges were too “well-done” to leave it in longer. This resulted in my cake falling apart when I took it out of the pan. BUTTTT the taste- AMAZING, and thankfully for me, I didn’t plan on taking it anywhere, so I ate the whole thing myself! (Well, not ALL myself). Great recipe, I will definitely try it again.

  7. thumper54 December 29, 2014 at 12:30 AM #

    I really like this recipe. I messed up and left out the baking powder and put in 6 whole eggs instead of 3 whole and 3 whites. I used coconut milk with the cream blended in, about 1/2 cup. I like lemon so added an extra Tbsp of juice. Also I think honey is usually too sweet so I reduced the honey to 1/3-1/2 cup and made up the difference in maple syrup. It needed to be cooked for 45 min to get the middle completely done, but it was worth it. Definitely worth making again and maybe this time I’ll try it as written. Thank you.


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