SMiLes by Meg

Flourless Coconut Cake

This post is going to be a buzzer-beater. I made it yesterday, finally at home in Duxbury enjoying summer vacation, and then spent today moving into a new apartment with my mom’s help. There is nothing like moving into a new place – full of fresh starts and exciting decorating opportunities. And, of course, a new kitchen!

But in all my excitement, I definitely was a bit rushed in baking this last night. And maybe had a pretty catastrophic baking fail. I do not blame the recipe – this one was all me. So if you do try this post, I’m sure it will turn out 100% fine.

For me, it started with the fact that I was home and therefore obviously had to make something with coconut in it. I remembered that Ottolenghi had a flourless coconut cake, and thought that would be easy enough. It would have been – if I hadn’t also thought a couple glasses of wine would help the process.

First, put the butter, sugar, coconut, vanilla extract, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg. Finally, with the mixer running, slowly beat in the almond meal on low speed. Spread the batter into a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. How easy is that? Absolutely nothing that I could screw up. Bake it at 350°F for 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.And then: the worst happened. I got complacent. I thought the cake was done. I thought it had been in the pan long enough to cool. It hadn’t. I flipped it and it just crumbled.

My mom put out a valiant effort. She tried to form it back into a cake. She started calling it coconut cake meatloaf. She told me not to tell the blog world what had happened.But I can’t lie to you all. Part of having a baking blog is screwing up. And making what would have been a beautiful cake that ends up looking like this:Nevertheless, I pressed forward. If we were going to eat coconut meatloaf cake, it was going to have some chocolate water ganache.

So to make that topping, start by putting the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until it melts and comes to a boil. When it starts boiling, let it continue for around 7 minutes, until amber brown.  Remove from heat and add the water. It might seize up – just return it to heat to melt back down. Add the vanilla extract and bring back to a boil. I didn’t take pictures of this because (1) wine and (2) stovetop cooking requires concentration.

Remove from heat for a minute and pour over chocolate pieces, and whisk in butter. Drizzle chocolate over cake. I recognize how terribly unappetizing that looks. But it did taste pretty amazing. Store loosely covered at room temperature.


Flourless Coconut Cake



  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  •  2/3 cup finely shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups almond meal


  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cubed



  1. First, in a stand mixer, beat butter, sugar, coconut, vanilla, and salt on medium speed using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate.
  3. With mixer running on low speed, add almond meal and beat to combine.
  4. Pour batter into 9×5 loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool 20 minutes in pan before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.


  1. Put chocolate pieces into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar and corn syrup, stirring occasionally, and bring to boil.
  3. Boil for 7 minutes or until turns amber in color.
  4. Remove from heat and add water. Mixture may seize – return to heat and stir to melt again. Add in vanilla extract and bring to boil.
  5. Remove from heat for 1 minute. Pour over chocolate and whisk to melt.
  6. Whisk in butter pieces.
  7. Pour ganache over top of cake to serve.

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