Sugar-Free Coconut Cake Bites

Since y’all enjoyed the chocolate cake (made with beans!) so much, I’m going to create more desserts that don’t rely heavily on almond flour a.k.a. powdered gold for low carb bakers! Does this sound like a good plan? Leave some feedback and let me know what you think.

Healthy Grain-Free Coconut Cupcakes

These moist little cake bites contain all of the decadence of a classic Southern coconut cake, with none of the highly refined ingredients that make the original only an occasional treat. These flavorful coconut cakes are  sugar-free, gluten-free, and low carb (dairy-free!), so you get the nutrients from coconut, almonds, and eggs without the grains and sugar to spike your blood sugar.

With my recipes, it’s all about insulin. That’s my justification for using erythritol, xylitol, and even artificial sweeteners once in a blue moon at Starbucks. Not everyone agrees with this approach, and that is okay! That’s what so wonderful about the blogosphere–there are recipes for all dietary plans. Just do your research before accepting “natural” sweeteners automatically as the best optional for your healthy eating plan. Disclaimer: I’m not any sort of healthcare professional–just a student and an avid reader. To take an in depth look at one expert’s opinion concerning the latest nutrition research, information, check out Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes. He’s been making waves recently with his thought-provoking analysis. 

And finally, the recipe! It’s a moist, tender cake, with a loose crumb. You could definitely amp up the coconut flavor with coconut extract used for half of the vanilla. Bake it into a layer for a coconut layer cake! My cream cheese frosting flavored with a bit of coconut extract would be perfect for it.

Healthy Grain-Free Coconut Cupcakes

Grain-Free Coconut Cupcakes

Makes 20 mini cupcakes

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil OR unsalted butter
1/4 cup blanched almond flour, packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (may replace 1 tsp with coconut extract)
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, ground to a meal
1 tablespoon sifted coconut flour (sub with 2 tablespoons brown rice flour or 1 tablespoon protein powder)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup erythritol OR 1/4 cup honey OR 1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

With a Magic Bullet or food processor, grind shredded coconut into a fine, powdery meal. Scoop almond flour into measuring cup, and pack it in firmly with your hands, like you’re measuring brown sugar. Sweep it level. Add to coconut and the rest of the dry ingredients. Melt butter, and beat in eggs, vanilla extract, and coconut milk. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and beat together for a couple of minutes. Line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin papers, and spray with extra virgin olive oil spray. Alternatively, grease mini muffin wells very well with coconut oil. Pour batter almost to the top of mini muffin cups. Rap muffin tin gently on the counter to pop air bubbles. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until springy and firm to the touch. You might have to bake these longer since my oven in this apartment runs hot. Remove cakes from muffin tins as soon as they are cool to the touch, and cool on a wire rack. Dip cakes into glaze. Serve at room temperature.

~1.1g net carbs per mini cake (unglazed)
~1.3g net carbs per mini cake (glazed)

Actual size!

Healthy Grain-Free Coconut Cupcakes

Coconut Milk Glaze

1 cup full fat coconut milk, chilled
4 teaspoons coconut flour OR a tiny pinch xanthan gum
Stevia and powdered erythritol, to taste
Tiny pinch sea salt

Whisk together coconut milk, and sift in coconut flour. Whisk in coconut flour until no lumps remain, then add a pinch of salt, and sweeteners. Taste and adjust sweetness level if necessary. Dip cakes into glaze and sprinkle with unsweetened coconut.
~3.5g net carbs for the whole batch of glaze

63 Comments on Sugar-Free Coconut Cake Bites

  1. Meagan
    June 10, 2009 at 1:57 am (14 years ago)

    These are soo cute! I especially like the "frosting" you created- I will definitely be trying that soon!

  2. aurelia.donka
    June 10, 2009 at 4:14 am (14 years ago)

    My chin hit my chest when I got the the carb count.

  3. m.e (Cathie)
    June 10, 2009 at 6:18 am (14 years ago)

    Hi there,
    I stumbled upon your blog & just wanted to say that your sweets & images are fantastic.

  4. m.e (Cathie)
    June 10, 2009 at 6:18 am (14 years ago)

    Hi there,
    I stumbled upon your blog & just wanted to say that your sweets & images are fantastic.

  5. Jackie
    June 10, 2009 at 7:19 am (14 years ago)

    I saw the title and thought I wouldn't be able to try these. Coconut flour hard to get in the UK unless you pay a fortune for it.

    So I was delighted to see it wasn't the flour you used. Will definitely be trying these after the success of the chocolate bean cake!!


  6. Health
    June 10, 2009 at 11:31 am (14 years ago)

    Sounds So good! Can`t wait to make my own.Thank You for the descrption and preparation about the healthy coconut cake bites.Healthy Recipesfor all.

  7. Carrie
    June 10, 2009 at 12:43 pm (14 years ago)

    THOSE ARE SO CUTE!!!! πŸ˜‰ You go with your creative self Lauren!! πŸ˜‰ YUM!

  8. CaSaundraLeigh
    June 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm (14 years ago)

    Wow these look great!–Just found your blog; love it =)

  9. Paige
    June 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm (14 years ago)

    OMG! These are amazing. I'm so excited to try these and offer them up as healthy treats. Will try these and I'm thinking these would be perfect for my clients who can't have sugar or carbs. LOVE your blog!

  10. ms. v
    June 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm (14 years ago)

    I had a semi-fail coconut cake attempt a couple of weeks ago, so I absolutely can't wait to try this one! πŸ™‚

  11. Sophie
    June 10, 2009 at 7:31 pm (14 years ago)

    Coconut on coconut! I love seeing what you come up with, the only thing that's missing is a napkin for me to wipe my mouth with after I devour these amazing treats like a crazy lady. You need to open up a bakery!

  12. Ann
    June 10, 2009 at 7:55 pm (14 years ago)

    I LOVE that you mixed coconut flour, coconut milk and almond flour! I feel like it's my kitchen but that glaze is different and looks delicious and I'm definitely going to make that and put it in the fridge for craving time. Yum!

  13. - Jason
    June 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm (14 years ago)

    Hey, great blog. Curious, where did you read that Taubes is coming out with a condensed version of GCBC? I've been wanting to read it but it's just so long and probably goes too in depth for what I am interested in. Thanks.

  14. Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet
    June 10, 2009 at 11:11 pm (14 years ago)

    Those are simply beautiful! I was just saying to my husband that I needed to make some mini muffins for my daughter. Thanks for the inspiration!

    By the way, you had mentioned in a comment on my blog that my blog updates aren't showing on your sidebar. It looks like it got stuck when I moved over from blogspot to wordpress. Maybe try taking me out, and then adding me back in (and hopefully it will add me back in as a wordpress blog, instead of blogspot). See if that helps. Thanks for asking!

  15. Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen
    June 11, 2009 at 7:47 pm (14 years ago)

    What a lovely recipe! I LOVE coconut flour treats. I don't feel quite as guilty giving them to my little guy.

  16. Vanessa
    June 11, 2009 at 7:53 pm (14 years ago)

    Hey Lo, Ive been giving your site out to patients at the hospital! Just to get your food out in the open!


  17. Rachel:
    June 11, 2009 at 7:58 pm (14 years ago)

    Very good points!! I'm with you… am still not decided on the agave vs honey point myself.. agave is fructose, yet it doesn't affect insulin somehow. Hmm. Still can't decide. At least they are interchangeable so everyone can make their own mind up about them!
    I'm so glad to hear that Taubes is writing a book that is for the masses. I love, Good Calories, Bad Calories for the info, but it is seriously challenging to read through.
    I am excited that you are using less almond flour, as it's so expensive to buy blanched. I can't wait to try these… πŸ™‚
    Thanks Lauren! I just love your blog!!

  18. Tara
    June 12, 2009 at 10:46 pm (14 years ago)

    I needed a recipe to send along with my daughter for a birthday party she's attending this weekend. I'll be making these tonight. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Regarding the agave quandary some people may be having, here's a great article found on WAPF (in short, agave isn't any better than HFCS):

    Looking forward to the little muffins!

  19. Tara
    June 13, 2009 at 1:48 am (14 years ago)

    I'm baaaack…

    Lauren, your recipe is wonderful! I just made a double batch. Everyone loved them. I thought they would be dry, but they were moist and dense and delicious. Thank you!!

  20. Lauren
    June 14, 2009 at 3:41 am (14 years ago)

    Meagan – Hope you give these a shot!

    Aurelia – Haha, they are very low carb!

    M.e (Cathie) – Thank you so much! I hope you keep reading. πŸ™‚

    Jackie – So glad you'll be able to try these where you are, across the pond! Glad you like the bean cake.

    Health – Thank you!

    Carrie – Thank you so much!

    CaSaundraLeigh – Glad you found the blog! Thanks for your sweet comment.

    Paige – I hope you get to try these and share them with your clients!

    Ms. V – Sorry to hear that! Hope these work out better for you. πŸ™‚

    Sophie – Your comment made me laugh! A bakery someday would be amazing.

    Ann – I hope you get to make these in your kitchen! Great minds think alike. πŸ™‚

    Jason – I don't remember right now, but I'll let you know when I track down my source for that information! Thanks for stopping by.

    Kimi – I hope you get to try these for your daughter! Thanks for the advice regarding the side bar.

    Jenny – I hope you get to try these for your little guy!

    Vanessa – I love you! Thanks for stopping by, girl. And for sharing the blog with the patients at the hospital!

    Rachel – I'm glad about Taubes book too! Will definitely keep coming up with alternatives to almond. It's just too expensive to experiment with! Agave is metabolized by the liver. That's why it doesn't affect your insulin!

    Tara – Thanks so much for the WAPF article. So glad these cupcakes worked out for you!

  21. Elizabeth
    June 14, 2009 at 3:54 am (14 years ago)

    Lauren, I made these yesterday and they are super good! Light and fluffy. My coconut milk glaze was kinda runny (I used a thinner brand of coconut milk than I usually do, so I'll blame it on that), so instead of glazing all the cupcakes ahead of time I am just keeping the glaze in a little tupperware and we dunk our cupcakes into it like fondue. Mmm.

  22. Anonymous
    June 17, 2009 at 3:23 pm (14 years ago)

    I just made these for a coffee get-together with friends tomorrow ,orning and they are delicious. I ate two so fast I couldn't believe they were gone. The taste is marvelous. Thank you so much. Anne

  23. Bonnie
    June 17, 2009 at 11:00 pm (14 years ago)

    Love, love, love these! Made a half batch Sunday and ate the last two today (Wed)! The half batch made 12 large mini-muffins. I messed up the glaze by adding too much sweetener but loved them "naked." I can't wait to get to the store and get more coconut to make these again! Thanks so much for many great recipes!

  24. Nikki
    July 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm (14 years ago)

    Holy cow, these are good! The kids and I had them for breakfast this morning! My glaze was also a bit runny, but the muffins themselves are perfect. Maybe next time I'll try the Xanthum gum. First black bean cake, now these – low carb is going to be easier than I thought!

  25. Lauren
    July 4, 2009 at 4:49 am (14 years ago)

    Elizabeth – Cupcake fondue–sounds fabulous! Hmm, I am not sure why the frosting was runnier. Perhaps I packed down the coconut flour in my measuring spoon. Glad you ended up enjoying them!

    Anon – Great to hear you liked the cupcakes! Coffee and cupcakes–a great combo. πŸ˜€

    Bonnie – Thanks for sharing your feedback with these! Good to know they're fine without the glaze.

    Nikki – So happy these worked for you! Low carbing isn't so bad with treats like these every now and then. πŸ™‚

  26. Shari
    July 20, 2009 at 12:42 am (14 years ago)

    Another winner! I made these today and they are wonderful! I had to tweak my frosting a bit as I only had lite coconut milk but it was delicious. I served with some strawberry sauce for color (and because I had a bucketload of strawberries that needed a job.)

  27. Lauren
    August 1, 2009 at 7:34 pm (14 years ago)

    Shari – Bet they were lovely with strawberries! Glad they turned out well for you.

  28. RollTheSnowball
    August 27, 2009 at 3:39 am (14 years ago)

    These mini cupcakes are delicious! I have avoided all grain products for about a year but have not been happy with any of the baked treats I have tried. I mainly use almond flour to bake, so the coconut flour was a nice surprise. The coconut cake bites were moist and tender. I made a variation of your cream cheese recipe sweetened with honey and thinned with a little of the coconut milk. Absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I look forward to trying more of your baked goodies!

  29. Jenni
    August 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm (14 years ago)

    Hi! Have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time and today was the day I got it accomplished. I loved them! Very yummy! My kids loved them too! Thank you for the great recipe!

  30. pegbord
    December 4, 2009 at 8:31 am (13 years ago)

    Laura, where can I make a monitory contribution to your site. You are definitely "da bomb!"

  31. Lauren
    December 4, 2009 at 9:57 am (13 years ago)

    Pegbord, thank you SO much for that nice comment! I create a yellow PayPal "DONATE" button and placed it on the sidebar (to the left) of my blog content). πŸ™‚ What a nice offer!

  32. Carolyn
    February 17, 2010 at 3:08 am (13 years ago)

    I made these today and they are YUMMY! I had a couple of questions, though. My "batter" wasn't really batter. It was more like a wet crumbly consistency. I checked and double-checked all my amounts and they were correct. They also didn't rise much if at all. The flavor is great, but not really the consistency of yours. The only thing I can think of is that I ground my own almonds and my food processor couldn't really get it as fine as flour. I'd say it was more like a "meal". Thoughts?

  33. Anonymous
    February 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm (13 years ago)

    I'm attempting to make these this morning but after I got all the ingredients mixed up it is still the consistency of the flour, just a tad crumblier (is that a word?). Instead of grinding up the coconut, I used 2 cups of coconut flour that I had on hand. How wet should the batter be and if I use coconut flour how much should I have used?

  34. T2Nashville
    March 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm (13 years ago)

    I made these yesterday, and this is now my "go to" recipe for coconut – even more so than your coconut pound cake! It also uses less coconut flour, eggs, and butter, so you also save money by making these – yet still get the coconut cake taste I've been looking for. Thank you so much for creating this, Lauren! I posted about this to my weight loss surgery friends over at

  35. Lauren
    March 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm (13 years ago)

    Hi T2Nashville! So glad you enjoyed these coconut cake bites. They are a pretty sweet deal! πŸ™‚ Congrats on the weight loss.

  36. Deborah
    March 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm (13 years ago)

    I made these the other day and they are DELISH! They also keep very well, they were just as good if not better a week after, as they were the first day. Thanks Lauren, I just LOVE your recipes!

  37. Lauren
    March 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm (13 years ago)

    Thank you for the nice comment, Deborah! I am so glad you like these coconut cake bites. πŸ™‚


  38. Casey78
    April 29, 2010 at 3:36 am (13 years ago)

    I tried this recipe my way, using the coconut flour to replace the coconut flakes and the result was more like a macaroon – but the best, cakiest macaroon I've ever had lol. It was soooo delicious! I guess that's why I'm more a cook than a baker. Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚

  39. Brandon
    June 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm (13 years ago)

    Thank you Lauren!

  40. Anonymous
    July 15, 2010 at 2:42 am (13 years ago)

    I made these today and didn't have enough coconut, so I only used 1 1/2 cups coconut and a little more than 1/2 cup coconut flour. I increased the coconut milk to 3/4 a cup due to the flour. They didn't rise, weren't very wet, and look crumbly on top. Any ideas on how to correct this? The batter tasted sweet, though πŸ™‚

  41. Marcipangris
    July 21, 2010 at 9:15 pm (13 years ago)

    re: comment on July 14, 2010 10:42 PM,
    Coconut flour absorbs a ton of liquid (more than pulverized shredded coconut I think), so if you use the 2 cups shredded coconut and only 1 tablespoon of the (highly absorbent) coconut flour as in the recipe it should have the right texture. πŸ™‚
    I would think that if you're short on shredded coconut, it would be more viable to substitute it with a nut meal like almond flour (almonds ground in food processor) but I haven't tried this, so I'm not positive!

  42. Lauren
    July 22, 2010 at 12:04 am (13 years ago)

    Casey, I am glad you got something you enjoyed from the recipe, whether it was intentional or not. πŸ˜€ Sounds like a happy accident!

    Anon – If you follow the recipe exactly, without making substitutions, you should get great results. πŸ™‚ Sorry I can't be more helpful with substitution questions.

  43. annabelle
    February 11, 2011 at 2:56 am (12 years ago)

    I made the Healthy Coconut Cake Bites and they were oh sooo yummy. My whole family liked them and they will be a definate item I make again thank you for the great recipes.

  44. Anonymous
    February 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm (12 years ago)

    Thank you, Thank you SO much for your blog!!!

    We are gluten free- and the gf flours are all SO HIGH CARB!!

    This is a AWESOME site for diabetics also!

    God Bless You!!!

  45. Penis Enlargement
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  46. Cassandra
    March 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm (12 years ago)

    Made the "cake" version of this today in an 8.5" round glass pyrex dish. I too was confused as the batter was more like a wet crumble after following the directions completely. I added an additional 6 Tbs coconut milk and some water to thin a bit, although it was still "dry" looking for batter. Popped it in the oven anyway, the cake took 40 min and came out great! Used the cream cheese frosting recipe as suggsted with some coconut extract and vanilla stevia. Highly recommended! Thanks Lauren

  47. Betty
    April 6, 2011 at 4:30 am (12 years ago)

    these look and sound so delicious, thanks for sharing!

  48. pike208
    December 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm (11 years ago)

    I finally was able to make these cup cakes and boy are they delicious. My daughter loved them too.

  49. Grace
    January 16, 2012 at 7:42 am (11 years ago)

    I just made these πŸ™‚ I used my shredded coconut shredded (didn't put them in the food processor), so they ended up tasting/having the texture of the center of an almond joy. Delicious! Thanks for another great recipe –

  50. Lauren
    January 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm (11 years ago)

    Grace, I'm happy you liked the cupcakes. Sounds like they turned out well for you even if they are a bit different from the original recipe. πŸ™‚

  51. Bethany
    January 31, 2012 at 1:12 am (11 years ago)

    Hi Lauren! Yes please post more recipes using beans…I made a spice cake even using chick peas too and it was great. I would love more ideas in the bean department. They are way cheaper than almond flour. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  52. Anonymous
    February 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm (11 years ago)

    Could you use oat flour instead of almond flour?

  53. Lauren
    February 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm (11 years ago)

    Anon – I don't think oat flour would work here. Try it and let me know what you think!

  54. Elizabeth
    February 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm (11 years ago)

    I like to eat these warm with butter without the glaze. Very tasty!

  55. Anonymous
    February 29, 2012 at 3:21 am (11 years ago)

    I just started the Atkins Diet and I can't wait until I'll be able to eat these! All of your recipes look so good. Knowing I have amazing looking treats like these to look forward to make sticking to the diet easier. Thank you for sharing!
    – Ali

  56. Christina
    March 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm (11 years ago)

    These all sound like winners to me! Keep up the good work!

  57. Cairie
    October 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm (10 years ago)

    Just made these yesterday- trying to find low carb recipes for my recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetic 14 yr old son, and now that we know all about how insulin and carbs work, for the rest of the family! These are awesome and we made the glaze to dip them in too! I didn’t have coconut flour, but did have rice flour and used that. Didn’t have stevia extract and just skipped it. I’ll use some coconut extract next time to make them taste even better! I made 24 cupcakes and cooked them for 25 minutes. 1 pkt stevia powder (2 gram size) for the glaze- just right! Will make again and try more of your recipes- THANK YOU!!!

    • Lauren Benning
      September 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm (9 years ago)

      So glad you enjoyed these, Cairie!

  58. Rhonda L Richardson Strange
    September 4, 2014 at 7:06 am (9 years ago)

    If any other Diabetics make this recipe…it is better for you to make as directed. Someone else said they used Rice Flour and that is too high in Carbohydrates for a Diabetic and will raise insulin levels.

    • Lauren Benning
      September 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm (9 years ago)

      Rhonda, thanks for sharing your feedback! I agree with you about rice flour. Probably not the best idea, but of course it depends on the diabetic eating plan you are following.

      • Guest
        September 11, 2014 at 7:15 am (9 years ago)

        I am a Registered Nurse with 25 years of experience in Health Care and have done teaching for Diabetics. Love your Recipe and just want everyone to maintain their health as you do. The diet is the same for ALL Diabetics whether you are Type 1 or Type 2. It is Low Carb and Rice flour is full of carbs and will raise blood sugar levels. Much better to use Almond or Coconut flour in all Recipes as they have a lower Glycemic Index and your first choice was the best. The protein powder you mentioned is also a great substitute! Thanks for the wonderful Recipes!

    • Lauren Benning
      September 20, 2014 at 11:46 pm (9 years ago)

      Rhonda, thanks for your recommendations below re: diabetic-friendly eating! So glad to hear you are enjoying the recipes. There are more coming your way this fall! If you haven’t seen the new recipes index, please click on the “Recipes” tab. There you’ll find a complete list of the recipes on the blog, by category.

  59. Christina Quero
    August 28, 2016 at 4:30 am (7 years ago)

    Hi Lauren! Do you keep the nutrition facts on these AWESOME cupcakes. They were amazing but I’m on WeightWatchers and I want to know howuch points they are. Thanks so much!!!!!