Bakery, Recipes
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Gluten Free Thursday: Naked Coconut Cake With Cream Cheese Buttercream And The Age Of 40

Well, it’s happening. Today. Right now. I’m 40. Today is my birthday. A new decade starts for me. I was extremely stressed and anxious when I was turning 30. This time, I kind of don’t care.



I mean, ok, I care. I care about becoming a part of a group of 40-something women in my life who are truly amazing. This is inspiring. I am proud to be one of them.




I changed my life at the age of 30. I moved to a whole new country, moved to Helsinki from Istanbul. So many things happened in life since then and I had some ups, some downs but overall a somewhat inspiring and intriguing decade. That I changed and matured and found a lot more of my true self, I care.



I had a very serious depression / anxiety issue right after mid-30s. It broke me first. It hurt who I was deep down. But I managed to survive that and went up to a clearer path. Is it a smooth path right now? Life never is. But I am ok with it. That I am now flexible enough to fight with what life may bring on my way, I do care.



But well, I don’t want to just talk about my birthday! I want to talk about this delicious cake as well! This is a truly delicious and light cake even though there is a quite good amount of cream. It is perfect for celebrations.


The cake smells amazing – thanks to coconut and lemon. As the cream is not only made of butter but mostly with cream cheese it is lighter than normal buttercream. And it’s the perfect combo with amazing smell flavour and smell. I adapted this recipe from another blog, though unfortunately I cannot remember from where because I wrote it as notes in my notebook but didn’t write the source.



You can decorate the cake with fresh berries and edible flowers like I did, but you can also decorate it with anything else you like. Shaved coconuts may be a good idea. Other berries, like blueberries or blackberries also look good. Another alternative: you can put a real (but not really edible) flower on top only! For instance, here is this same cake with a few more layers, more cream that surrounds it all and real but not edible flowers:


Enjoy your cake with any decoration you like and with all your lovely friends and family!




Difficulty: Medium
(makes 1 cake – cut in 2 layers – in 18cm springform cake pan)


Printable PDF-recipe (no photos)


For cake*
1/2 dl + 1 tsp (or 1/2 cup or 25 gr.) coconut flour
2 dl + 1 tsp (or 3/4 cup + 5 tsp or 125 gr.) gluten free flour blend**
zest of 1 large lemon
1 tsp baking powder
150 gr. butter, softened in room temperature
1.5 dl + 5 tsp (or 2/3 cup + 3 tsp or 150 gr.) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp (or 60 gr.) sour cream


For cream cheese buttercream***
400 gr. cream cheese, cold, right out of the fridge
75 gr. butter, very soft in room temperature
3.5 dl + 5 tsp (or 1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp or 200 gr.) powdered sugar


To decorate:
berries, edible flowers****, fruits and/or nuts you like, shaved coconuts…


*You may want to bake the cake the night before so that it’s completely cool the day of creaming. Also, the flavour develops better.
**I use Sunnuntai brand.
***I made a large batch of this cream cheese buttercream one day before I prepared this recipe for another cake. I used the remaining buttercream for this cake. Because I wasn’t thinking of using some of that buttercream for this recipe post, I didn’t take any photos of neither the ingredients, nor the making of buttercream. It will be just in writing, sorry!
****In Helsinki, you can find edible flowers in Heinon Tukku, Stockmann Food Market or K-market in Kamppi shopping center (at least the ones I know of..).



1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease an 18cm cake pan and cover the base with a baking paper.



2. In a medium bowl, put first 4 ingredients (coconut and gluten free flour, lemon zest and baking powder) and mix a little. Put aside.




3. In a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer, if using) put softened butter and sugar and whisk well until creamy.





4. Add eggs, ONE AT A TIME, and whisk well.




5. Add lemon juice and sour cream and whisk well.





6. Add flour mixture, whisk well until the ingredients incorporate.




7. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Spread the batter in the pan evenly and smoothen the surface using a spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. When it’s ready, take out of the oven and let the cake cool completely before taking out of the pan and making the creaming. I usually make the cake the night before so that when it’s time for creaming next day, it’s completely cool and stiff.





8. When you are ready to assemble the cake, make the buttercream: first whisk cold cream cheese and powder sugar and very well mixed. Then add very very soft butter and continue whisking until you get silky smooth buttercream. That’s it!


9. Assembly: Cut the cake in 2 using a good knife (I used a serrated bread knife). Put aside the upper piece. Generously spread buttercream on the first layer. You can also pipe the buttercream in a spiral but I was too lazy to do that. TIP: If you have some buttercream left, you can cover the sides (just as much as you have), smoothen with a spatula and make it a semi-naked cake.





10. Put the second piece on the other piece and again, spread cream on top. Decorate with berries, edible flowers or whatever you like. Serve immediately or let it stay in the fridge up to 4 hours. Enjoy!





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I'm a food blogger / food designer and entrepreneur who finally found the meaning of life by cooking, baking and eating together.


  1. Anonymous says

    Happy Birthday from Skåne across the sea..! Your food styling is always so superb! :^)

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